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Bipartisan efforts to secure funding for OSHA program

Many workplaces in Missouri and throughout the country pose a danger to the health and safety of workers. The vast majority of companies are subjected to regular inspections conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. One little-known program offered by the federal agency is in danger of being discontinued due to a lack of funding.

Two senators from different states are now working to secure congressional funding for the Voluntary Protection Program. It was set up as a way to offer workers a safer environment while also reducing some of the costs and burdens that federal regulations require. The program allows employers that are able to meet certain strict requirements to avoid the onerous inspections that workplaces are subjected to on a regular basis.

While the program has been effective in protecting workers because the employers are taking the extra safety measures required by OSHA, it’s in danger of being cancelled. The estimated $70 million cost for the approximately 1,400 workplaces that are active participants is the responsibility of OSHA. Efforts are underway to place the program under the financial protection of Congress in order to ensure that it can continue the benefits it has provided since 1982.

Over the years, the OSHA program has prevented many a workplace accident or illness and promotes cooperation between employees and management. While any effort to prevent a serious work injury is certainly admirable and benefits all parties involved, not every accident can be prevented. Missouri workers who suffer an on-the-job injury or illness have the right to pursue claims for benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance program. Many facing these circumstances enlist the guidance and support of an experienced workers’ comp attorney.

Source: trib.com, “Enzi backs voluntary workplace safety program with bipartisan support“, Arno Rosenfeld, Sept. 30, 2017