Archive for June, 2015

Department of Labor Increases Budget To Fight Workplace Fraud

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

DOL Budget Boosts Labor Funds to Combat Workplace Fraud

The Obama administration has proposed $14 billion to fund Labor Department divisions pertaining to work force development and safety, among other initiatives. Several Labor Department divisions, including the Employee Benefits Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Wage and Hour Division, among others, saw moderate increases to their fiscal unit budgets.

In an online chat Monday following the budget’s release, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said the department would seek to allocate $1.7 billion for worker protection programs—an increase of roughly $69 million—and also hire about 177 new inspectors and investigators.
“Today’s budget affirms this administration’s strong commitment to vigorous enforcement,” Ms. Solis said in a recorded video message. She added, “OSHA received over 100 inspectors in our federal budget, as well as an additional 25 requested last year. We are also moving 35 inspectors from compliance assistance activities to enforcement.”

From the Wall Street Journal.

OSHA Releases Workplace Injury and Illness Data

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Every year since 1996 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has collected work-related injury and illness data from more than 80,000 employers. For the first time, the agency has made the data from 1996 to 2007 available in a searchable online database, allowing the public to look at establishment or industry-specific injury and illness data. The workplace injury and illness data is available online at OSHA.gov at as well as Data.gov.

OSHA uses the data to calculate injury and illness incidence rates to guide its strategic management plan and to focus its Site Specific Targeting (SST) Program, which the agency uses to target its inspections.

“Making injury and illness information available to the public is part of OSHA’s response to the administration’s commitment to make government more transparent to the American people,” said David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. “This effort will improve the public’s accessibility to workplace safety and health data and ensure the Agency can function more effectively for American workers.”

Information available at the Data.gov and www.osha.gov websites includes an establishment’s name, address, industry, associated Total Case Rate (TCR), Days Away, Restricted, Transfer (DART) case rate, and the Days Away From Work (DAFWII) case rate. The data is specific to the establishments that provided OSHA with valid data through the 2008 data collection (collection of CY 2007 data). This database does not contain rates calculated by OSHA for establishments that submitted suspect or unreliable data.

Data.gov provides expanded public access to valuable workforce-related data generated by the Executive Branch of the federal government. Although the initial launch of Data.gov provides a limited portion of the rich variety of Federal datasets presently available, the public is invited to participate in shaping the future of Data.gov by suggesting additional datasets and site enhancements to provide seamless public access and use of federal data.

More information about the Department of Labor’s Open Government Web site is available at www.dol.gov/open where there are links to the latest data sets, ways to connect with Department staff, and information about providing public input that will make the Department’s site and its work more useful and engaging.