November 28, 2018

Insights from OSHA's FY 2019 Congressional Budget Justification

Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) presents a Congressional Budget Justification (CBJ) to Congress. This annual presentation is used to justify the entirety of the Foreign Operations Budget Request—and deliver valuable information and strategic focus on subjects pertinent to the US Congress. OSHA’s CBJ also includes an Annual Performance Report and Annual Performance Plan for the prior and upcoming fiscal years, respectively. The CBJ contains hundreds of detailed figures on provisions, safety and health standards, federal enforcement, and much more. And if you’re willing to dig a bit deeper, it also contains fascinating insights that will guide safety regulations of the present and future.

At Stronghold Safety, we take pride in supporting the safety and productivity of industrial workplaces across the country. We bring over 100 years of combined machine safety experience to the table—allowing us to create some of the finest machine safety solutions on the market. With an extensive network and seamless supply chain, we offer top-quality machine components that maximize ROI and safety. Today, we’d like to break down OSHA’s FY 2019 Congressional Budget Justification.

Understanding OSHA’s 2019 CBJ

Before we jump into 2019’s report, let’s take a moment to review the contents of an annual CBJ. At the most basic level, the Congressional Budget Justification exists to inform the US Congress across a breadth of budget activities, including the following:

  • Safety and Health Standards

  • Federal Enforcement

  • Whistleblower Programs

  • State Programs

  • Technical Support

  • Safety & Health Statistics

  • Executive Direction

For the purpose of this synopsis, we’ll be focusing on 2019’s Safety & Health Standards, as well as Safety & Health Statistics.

Safety & Health Statistics in 2019

OSHA’s Safety & Health Statistics offer management information and statistical support for the organization’s operations and programs. This budget activity is important because it provides clarity on whether proposed OSHA initiatives are worth the time, effort, and money they’ll require. It’s also OSHA’s responsibility to collect employer data on staff injuries and illness across the nation—which consumes a large portion of this budget. In summation, this budget activity supports the collection, evaluation and distribution of statistical data across all OSHA activities.

For 2019, OSHA requested $32,677,000 and 34 FTE (full-time equivalent) for its Safety & Health Statistics activities. This request aligned with OSHA’s FY 2018 Full Year Continuing Resolution. OSHA will continue to invest in enhancing and modernizing its IT systems to more effectively gather and distribute statistical data. Moreover, OSHA intends to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO). The purpose of this partnership is to ensure OSHA’s “modernization efforts are in line with the Department’s IT strategic vision, objectives, and goals.”

OSHA also plans to redesign a handful of its essential agency systems, including and WEBIMIS—with the intention to ensure secure systems and workflows. The agency also intends to use part of the Safety & Health Statistics budget to consolidate several systems with overlapping functions to optimize data quality and further streamline distribution.

Safety & Health Standards in 2019

OSHA’s Safety & Health Standards support the development, communication and evaluation of safety, health standards, and guidance. This budget activity ensures that OSHA maintains clear and logical priorities across all of its practices—while eliminating obsolete or ambiguous provisions.

For 2019, OSHA requested $17,878,000 and 69 FTE to cover its Safety & Health Standards initiatives. This request also reflects OSHA’s FY 2018 Full Year Continuing Resolution. The agency stated it would “likely publish three final rules, including one for beryllium.” OSHA also claims it will commit some of this budget towards producing “guidance documents” to foster activities within the Safe + Sound Campaign. Overall, 30 educational guidance documents are being planned—many of which will support Safe & Sound.

2019’s proposed educational guidelines cover a wide range of subjects, including radiation and agricultural hazards. OSHA also intends to commit a portion of the Safety & Health Standards budget towards education on process safety management, hazardous chemicals, and hazards in shipyards in particular. OSHA also intends to dedicate a significant portion of the Safety & Health Standards to issuing four proposed rules for 2019—along with one SBREFA (Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act) panel.

For more information on these regulatory initiatives, you can explore DOL’s Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.

Let Stronghold Safeguard Your Business

We would be happy to provide all the support and guidance your team needs to maximize workplace productivity and safety. Moreover, be sure to reach out for more information on our wide variety of machine safety components—ranging from electrical devices to safety accessories and physical safeguarding tools. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!