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Those employers who choose to contest either a citation or penalty or both are exercising a legal right. This does not result in inequitable treatment since the right to exercise this option is equally available for all employers to choose. Further the low rate of contest does not appear to suggest that either the size of the penalties or the appeals process are motivating factors in initiating employer contests.
Question: To what extent do you think employers without valid complaints are filing appeals, just because the chances are so good for reduced penalties?
Answer: OSHA has no way of prejudging the validity of employer appeals prior to a hearing on the matter. The law presumes that the employer's notice of contest is based on his belief that his position is defensible.
Question: After the Supreme Court's ruling on OSHA's cotton dust standard, you indicated you would substitute a "cost-effectiveness" approach for the "cost-benefit" approach. Accordingly, what type of cost-effectiveness studies are you conducting on OSHA standards?
Answer: OSHA's analyses first seek to demonstrate the existence of a significant risk. Next, they must show that the standard will reduce that risk. Third, the economic and technological feasiblity of the standard is evaluated. Finally, both the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Executive Order 12291 require careful and systematic consideration of the economic and social consequences of the rulemakings. Therefore, once OSHA has determined the appropriate level of protection based on the three criteria outlined above, the costeffectiveness of the various means of achieving that level of protection will be analyzed. The cost estimates are generally developed through the analysis of data obtained from OSHA-initiated industry surveys and submissions by the affected industries and other interested parties. The analyses also include estimates of the reduction in risk that would occur from the regulatory alternatives under consideration. For example, reduced risk may be achieved by requiring better worker training, more intensive medical surveillance, improved engineering controls, safer work practices or requirements for personal protective equipment. All or any combination of these approaches are evaluated as the Agency attempts to select the most cost-effective means of eliminating workplace hazards.
Question: How much is budgeted for cost-effectiveness studies in fiscal 1983?
Answer: In FY 1983, OSHA is requesting $4,394,000 for regulatory analysis. These funds for regulatory analysis encompass cost-effectiveness studies as well as regulatory flexibility statements, environmental impact statements, industry profile studies and economic and technological feasibility assessments.
Question: What actions have been taken to improve accouating controls over OSHA penalty receipts being transmitted between OSHA offices?
Answer: OSHA has taken positive steps to improve its accounting
controls over penalty receipts transmitted between area offices and the National Office. New penalty collection procedures have been promulgated that put into place OSHA's first unified debt collection system for all regions. In addition, the accounts receivable and management systems have been consolidated into one system to assure proper tracking and handling of all penalty receipts.
Question: What has OSHA done to expedite the deposit of penalty receipts into the U.S. Treasury?
Answer: OSHA has recently updated its procedures for handling penalty receipts. All area offices are required to forward penalty checks to the National Office on the same day that they are received. These receipts are transmitted to the Federal Reserve Bank on a daily basis.
MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
STATEMENT OF FORD B. FORD, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR MINE
SAFETY AND HEALTH
RICHARD L. BAKER, BUDGET OFFICER,
SAFETY AND HEALTH
SUBCOMMITTEE PROCEDURE Senator SCHMITT. Our next group is the Mine Safety and Health Administration, represented by Ford B. Ford, Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Administration. Mr. Ford, if you would come forward.
Welcome, sir. Good to have you here. If you would introduce your associates and proceed with your opening statement.
INTRODUCTION OF ASSOCIATES Mr. FORD. Thank you, sir. To my immediate left is Joe Lamonica, Administrator of Coal Mine Safety and Health. To his left is Roy Bernard, Administrator, Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health. To my right is Richard Baker, Chief of Budget and Finance, and Mary Ann Wyrsch, Director, Office of Budget for the Department of Labor.
If I may summarize my opening statement and have the full statement in the record.
Senator SCHMITT. I hope that you will, and then we'll have some questions for you. Please go ahead.
Mr. FORD. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you. I would like to briefly outline MSHA's budget request.
MSHA is required by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977 to conduct four annual inspections of all underground mines, two annual inspections of all surface mines, as well as additional inspections of especially gassy or hazardous mines. The Mine Act also provides for the participation of miners in promoting health and safety activities in the mines. Another feature of the Mine Act is section 115, the mandatory education and training provisions. In addition, the act requires MSHA to propose civil penalties for violations of the regulations and standards, and to provide technical assistance to mine operators. To conduct these activities during fiscal year 1983, MSHA's appropriation request totals $138.8 million and 3,408 positions. The request does not include $15 million which will allow us to finance 412 positions for the coal mine safety and health program. An amendment will be transmitted at a later date for this purpose.
The Mine Act contains all the necessary elements for MSHA to provide incentive and assistance to miners and mine operators in achieving a successful safety and health program-technical assistance, enforcement authorities, and education and training requirements. It also provides a framework for involving all segments of the mining community-management, labor, and Government-in pursuing our mutual goal of improving safety and health conditions for our Nation's miners.
MSHA has been organizationally structured around the various elements of the Mine Act. It is my belief that each organization can contribute more effectively and efficiently to promote safety and health if the tools available to MSHA were employed in a more coordinated fashion.
Therefore, I am reorganizing MSHA's field structure to place under the supervision of the district manager all the tools available to MSHA which contribute to improvements in safety and health conditions. This will involve assigning education and training specialists and the conference function to the district managers' staff. This will enhance the district managers' ability to look at the conditions and practices of mines in their particular district and to use the most appropriate mechanisms to assist in the reduction of accidents, injuries and illnesses.
These new functions will complement the enforcement activities currently in the districts. I assure you that MSHA will continue to take strong enforcement action where necessary to achieve safety and health compliance, and to encourage a continual commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy working environment. The organizational changes I have discussed represent a broadening of the role of our field managers, in recognition of the need for a comprehensive approach at the district level to the improvement of safety and health in the mines.
My objective is to improve safety and health conditions in the mines through concerted, cooperative efforts of management, labor, and Government. I believe that this comprehensive approach will allow us to target our resources and create an environment in which MSHA can have a positive impact on safety and health.
A total of $90.5 million and 2,681 positions is requested for enforcement activities in both coal and metal/nonmetal mines. These resources will provide for an estimated 31,920 regular safety and health inspections and 87,795 other inspections of the Nation's mining operations.
Surface mining of stone, clay, colloidal phosphate, and sand and gravel were excluded from MSHA's jurisdiction after December 15, 1981. However, we are requesting that this exemption not be included in the fiscal year 1983 appropriation and have adequate resources in our request to carry out the provisions of the Mine Act related to mining activities of these commodities.
The standards development program will continue its review of metal and nonmetal standards. In addition, the review of coal standards initiated in 1982 will continue in 1983.
In fiscal year 1983, a total of $2.7 million and 72 positions is requested for the assessments program. The decrease in resources in 1983 is due to the 1982 reorganization which transferred the conference function to the district management operations.
Improvements in debt collection of civil monetary penalties will continue to be stressed in 1983 to increase the effectiveness of the assessment program.
A total of $12.6 million and 110 positions is requested for educational policy and development in fiscal year 1983. The decrease in resources in 1983 is due to the 1982 reorganization which transferred education and training field functions to the district managers.
In 1983, EPD will continue to provide unified and comprehensive staff oversight on all matters related to MSHA's role in education and training activities including academy operations.
A total of $5.2 million is included for the State grants program in 1983 for 37 participating States.
A total of $18.9 million and 361 positions is requested for technical support activities in 1983.
Completion of the Dallas Pike Facility in 1983 will provide for the consolidation and more efficient operation of the approval and certification program.
A total of $14.1 million and 184 positions is requested for program administration to provide necessary staff support for efficient and economical agency management.
Also included in the 1983 request are funds for the orderly replacement of 126 MSHA-owned motor vehicles which will meet GSA standards for replacement in 1983.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my summary statement. I will be happy to answer any questions.
REORGANIZATION AND RIF LETTER
Senator SCHMITT. Mr. Ford, I have just been handed a letter signed by you to me, as chairman of the subcommittee. It would be very helpful if these kinds of letters appeared a little bit before you appeared before this committee. That way, we can have a chance to figure out what in the world you're trying to do and then maybe ask any clarifying questions that might be required.
Mr. FORD. I regret that the letter didn't get to you sooner. It was a logistical issue to determine where all of the RIF locations would be, the number of people to be assigned to the district field offices, so that we would be sure that the information passed on to you was correct. The letter relates to the RIF resulting from the sand and gravel exemption and from the reorganization. The reorganization, as the letter states, doesn't include any reduction in personnel. It includes reassignment of personnel into field offices.