Federal agencies will receive more money to enforce workplace safety rules and examine whether companies are hiding workplace injuries under a spending bill signed Wednesday by President Obama.
The 2009 appropriations package gives a 6 percent funding boost to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The $27 million increase, for a total budget of $513 million, is intended to bolster OSHA's enforcement of workplace safety violations and ensure that companies are accurately recording workplace injuries.
The spending measure also called for a $52 million increase for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, to $597 million, with some of the money aimed at improving the agency's ability to capture accurate workplace injury statistics.
The $410 billion in appropriations funds the government through the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
In an investigation of the poultry industry published last year, the Observer found that weak government enforcement, minimal fines and dwindling inspections have allowed companies to ignore hazards that can kill and injure workers.
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