2018 Blueprint Budget Slashes Funding for Department of Labor

What’s the 2018 Blueprint Budget and what does it mean for workplace safety?

President Donald Trump submitted a Budget Blueprint to Congress that aims to “reprioritize Federal spending so that it advances the safety and security of the American people.”

In “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” many federal government agencies will experience cuts in their budgets, and will be driven to achieve greater efficiency and to eliminate wasteful spending in carrying out their honorable service to the American people.

The Department of Labor will have a 21 percent decrease, or $2.5 billion, from its 2017 annualized CR level. This includes the elimination of OSHA’s unproven training grants, which will yield almost $11 million in savings from the 2017 annualized CR level and focus the agency on its central work of keeping workers safe on the job.

Moreover, there will also be reduced federal assistance for job training and employee service formula grants. The 2018 Blueprint also proposes the elimination of funding for the Chemical Safety Board, among other independent agencies.

Read the Blueprint Budget.

Organizations Request Budget Minimums for OSHA and NIOSH

In a letter to Rep. Tom Cole, thirteen organizations asked that the funding for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) be set at a minimum of $573.8 million and $339.121 million, respectively.

Rep. Cole is Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Labor, Human and Health Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

The organizations made their case by citing statistics on worker injuries and fatalities, as well as their costs to the industry, and by stressing OSHA’s and NIOSH’s programs in helping keep workers safe.

The letter mentioned in particular OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs, and NIOSH’s Education and Research Centers (ERCs) and Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Sector program (AgFF). The letter also cited injuries in these industries and the importance of training, education and research on occupational safety.

Read the full letter and view the complete list of organizations who signed the letter.

Get Safety Going

About the Safety Contact
One of the most important aspects of a strong safety culture is good communication. This means that people need to talk about safety in a positive, non-threatening way. Making regular "contacts" about safety promotes a safe workplace and makes talking about safety comfortable – a regular part of work.

To establish good safety discussions, you need to talk with people when they are working safely and unsafely. Regular contacts about safe work promote communication and help you learn about the safety aspects of your job. You need to learn how to make both safe and unsafe contacts to be an effective safety communicator.

Making a Contact with Someone Who Is Working Safely
Safety discussions need to take place when people are working safely so safety becomes an everyday part of work. Your goals here are to engage the person in conversation and reinforce the safe work he or she is doing. Here's how to talk to someone who's working safely.

Step 1: Start with a positive comment
"Hi, Jack. I see you're wearing those new safety glasses we just got."

Step 2: Engage the employee in discussion about the job
"I'm curious about this job. Can you tell me about it – the hazards, the way you do it, and so on? I'm trying to learn more about what it takes to work safely here."

Step 3: End with thanks
"I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me."

You need to encourage safe work because people need reinforcement to keep on working safely. "What's the point in doing this job safely?" a person might ask. "No one notices anyway." In a strong safety culture people give each other positive feedback about safety to make sure the safety culture stays strong.

Would you like to learn more? Join us for a FREE one-hour overview webinar.

Or attend a STOP® one-day workshop in your area. One is coming soon – join us in Chicago on May 18th. Register today! Cost is $99 and includes breakfast, lunch, and refreshments.

Performance Gaps for OSHA?

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted a performance audit of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to determine whether OSHA ensured that employers took adequate and timely abatement actions in response to safety or health violations it cited during inspections.

The OIG reported that OSHA did not take adequate actions for about 16 percent, or 12,808, safety and health violations cited in FY 2015.

Furthermore, in about 33 percent of abated citations OSHA issued during FY 2015, employers did abate the hazard during the inspection or within 24 hours after OSHA had identified the danger(s).

By law, OSHA has up to six months from the inspection date to issue citations, and employers are not required to manage any risk pointed out by OSHA unless they receive the citation.

The OIG says that it took OSHA an average of 81 days from the inspection date to give a citation, and much longer for repeat, lawful willful citations. This meant that workplace risks were not abated for an average of 86 days after the inspection.

OSHA responded to the report in a letter, contesting many of the findings because of their flawed analysis and its misconstrual of the legal authorities governing OSHA inspections. OSHA explained the nuances and other dynamics that influence the nature of inspections and the issuance of citations, but were not taken into account by the OIG report.

Read the PDF of the full report of the OIG and OSHA’s response.

GHSA Reports Rise in Pedestrian Fatalities in 2016

There were around 5,997 pedestrian fatalities in 2016, according to preliminary data and estimates from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), up from 5,376 in 2015 and 4,910 in 2014.

The number of deaths rose 25 percent from 2010 to 2015, and the 2016 count may mark the first time in over 20 years that it has registered 6,000 fatalities.

Highlights of the GHSA report:

  • Increases were reported from 34 states from the first half of 2015 to first half of 2016
  • California, Florida, Texas and New York accounted for 42 percent of all pedestrian deaths
  • The highest pedestrian fatality rates were found in Delaware, Florida, and Arizona, respectively, while the lowest were in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

The GHSA report cited factors that contribute to changes in the number of pedestrian fatalities, including the increase of travel in the first six months of 2016, as well as the use of devices while walking and driving.

The report also features efforts to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries and federal safety programs and resources, as well as state efforts.

Read the full GHSA report.

Join us for Integrated Safety Management for Operations Managers

Join DuPont Sustainable Solutions for a two-day safety workshop – Integrated Safety Management for Operations Mangers – in Atlanta on May 23rd and 24th. Register today!

Reserve your seat at this in-depth workshop on managing safety and discover how to integrate safety management practices into the overall management systems in your organization.

Developed by industry experts and practitioners using adult learning methodology, Integrated Safety Management for Operations Managers helps participants:

  • Understand and apply the principles of safety leadership in communicating and nurturing value for safety in a Safety Management System
  • Identify and implement safety observations to recognize and help prevent incidents and enhance safety culture
  • Follow best practices in incident investigation
  • Develop and encourage safety networks among employees
  • Adopt and execute an action plan to improve safety performance.

Who should attend?

  • EHS managers
  • Safety directors and managers
  • Plant managers
  • Site managers
  • Area managers
  • Superintendents
  • Vice presidents
  • Presidents and CEOs
  • General managers
  • Anyone who wants to learn to integrate safety management into the overall management process.

Cost

  • $1,200
  • Includes all workshop materials
  • Breakfast and lunch provided each day

Location

Atlanta Marriott Suites by Marriott Midtown
35 14th Street Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 876-8888

See the complete agenda.

Join us in Atlanta on May 23rd and 24th for this enlightening workshop. Register now!

For FREE online previews visit www.training.dupont.com. To speak with an account representative, simply call 888-489-9776 or email info@training.dupont.com. Please be sure to give your name, facility name, address and phone number.

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