In a recent letter to the Senate & House Appropriations Committees as well as the full Congress, SMACNA expressed its enthusiastic support for maintaining the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) FY18 budget at the current level of $339 million.
The President’s requested FY18 budget for NIOSH is $200 million. That proposed level represents a severe $139 million decrease in FY16 levels. Such a significant cut in its budget will result in NIOSH being generally unable to carry out its federal mandate under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) to conduct research aimed at preventing fatalities, injuries, and disease in the workplace. NIOSH has no enforcement function, and serves the nation by producing actionable information that employers depend upon and widely use to improve working conditions as well as eliminate hazards threatening workers nationwide. NIOSH determines its research agenda after soliciting broad and constructive input from industry employers. More importantly, NIOSH is responsive to new and emerging hazards that arise in the business community, producing information and guidance that saves lives and improves the health of our nation’s workforce.
In the construction industry, one of the most hazardous industries in our nation, NIOSH has formed successful partnerships with private sector organizations and academic institutions. These partnerships have proven tremendously successful in moving research to practice on our job sites. This unique public-private partnership allows NIOSH and its industry and academic partners to carry out research that provides a wealth of resources to our association and the small businesses we represent. By directly involving the industry and other employers through its extramural partners, NIOSH has been able to collaboratively work to ensure its work is focused, relevant, and impactful.
While SMACNA believes an increase in NIOSH’s FY18 budget is warranted based on its performance and value, it's recommend that the NIOSH FY18 budget be funded at the FY16 level of $339 million. With FY16’s budget level NIOSH can continue serving American businesses and their workforce by conducting unique and valued research in an integrated and cooperative fashion as has been done for years. NIOSH is the only Federal Government agency charged with researching safety and health hazards across all U.S. industries. Our member corporations ask for your support in maintaining NIOSH’s FY 18 budget at the same level as in FY16, $339 million.
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