President's Budget Proposes to Consolidate NIOSH Activities, Research within NIH

Published February 14, 2018

​President Trump’s budget proposal (PDF) for fiscal year 2019, released on Monday, seeks to consolidate NIOSH’s activities and research, including the Energy Employee Occupational Injury Compensation Act program, within the National Institutes of Health. The proposal explains that NIOSH, which is currently part of CDC, would initially be established as a new NIH institute, but could eventually become more fully integrated into existing NIH institutes and centers. It would fall to NIH to assess the feasibility of such integration. The budget proposal also seeks to cut NIOSH’s budget by $135 million, eliminate the agency’s Education and Research Centers, and stop direct federal funding to support academic salaries, stipends, and tuition and fee reimbursements for occupational health professionals at universities. The World Trade Center Health Program, currently administered by NIOSH, would continue to be administered by CDC under this plan.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and OSHA’s Susan Harwood training grants are again up for elimination along with NIOSH’s ERCs. CSB, which investigates industrial chemical accidents and makes recommendations for improving the safety of plants, workers, and communities, is proposed for elimination “due to the relative duplicative nature of its work.” CSB is requesting a budget of $12.1 million in FY 2019. The agency’s budget justification (PDF) details its accomplishments related to chemical incident investigations, recommendations to reduce future safety risks and hazards, and safety outreach and collaboration.

“Through its independent investigations, the CSB plays a unique role in fostering collaboration with industry, regulators, standards-setting bodies and professional organizations, thus emphasizing the CSB’s vital role in driving critical chemical safety change in the United States,” CSB’s budget document reads.

The president’s budget proposal calls OSHA’s training grants “unnecessary and unproven,” stating that the agency has no evidence that the program is effective. OSHA’s training grants provide education for workers and employers on workplace safety and health hazards, responsibilities, and rights. The grants target underserved, low-literacy, and high-hazard industry workers.

The Trump administration’s proposal (PDF) requests a $2.6 billion or 21-percent budget decrease from the 2017 enacted level for the Department of Labor. DOL’s budget in brief (PDF) provides level funding for OSHA in FY 2019, plus an additional 71 full-time equivalent workers. The department seeks a budget increase of $4.6 million for MSHA, plus 12 new FTEs.

Detailed budget documentation from DOL is available on the department’s website. The president’s budget proposal, including an explanation of “major savings and reforms,” is posted on the White House website.