ASSE Urges Congress to Study Whether NIOSH Should Separate From CDC

ASSE and AIHA have requested that a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study be conducted to determine whether NIOSH should remain within its current organizational structure under CDC. The request was made in a letter to Senator Tom Harken, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

NIOSH is the nation’s only resource for significant research and training in occupational safety and health, but concerns exist that its resources are inadequate. ASSE and other stakeholders recently opposed efforts by CDC to eliminate funding for research in farming, fishing and forestry and for Education Resources Centers, which educate large numbers of SH&E professionals. These budget cuts were introduced in CDC’s federal budget proposals and would directly affect NIOSH’s ability to provide needed research and education.

ASSE and AIHA also recommended that the GAO study address relocation options for NIOSH if it is in fact determined that NIOSH should separate from CDC. Previous discussions about an appropriate “home” for NIOSH included suggestions that it be located within the Department of Labor, that it be retained within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) but moved within the National Institutes of Health and that it become an independent agency within HHS reporting directly to the HHS secretary.

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