Worker safety groups and Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers can breathe a sigh of relief. The recent sequestration announced by the federal administration will not result in the furloughs of employees of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
OSHA’s sequestration plan includes bonus and hiring freezes for the agency. There had been a very real fear that the sequestration could result in temporary layoffs at the agency and that the agency would have to place some inspectors on temporary absence of leave. However, this does not appear likely.
The White House released a fact sheet just before the sequestration went into effect, warning that OSHA would have to furlough some inspectors, and that this would result in as many as 1,200 fewer inspections of workplaces. Some worried that the sequestration would cut inspections of critical and dangerous workplaces in industries such as oil and gas and construction.
But OSHA now says it has been able to identify ways to reprogram funds and make efficient reductions in spending while still targeting some of its essential goals. Most importantly, the agency will be able to pay inspectors who are responsible for workplace safety inspections.
The workers’ compensation lawyers of Parsons Law Group had been concerned about the effect of an inspection freeze on dangerous workplaces. The Labor Department as well as the Office of Management and Budget have asked OSHA to continue to operate under the reprogramming plan. The plan still must be approved by Congress.
Michael Parsons is an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer, representing injured workers in the metro Atlanta region and helping them recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they have earned.