Seyfarth Synopsis: The Biden Administration is seeking a 17% funding increase for OSHA under the Department of Labor’s fiscal year 2024 budget request.

The FY 2024 budget request for OSHA is approximately $738.7 million, an increase of more than $106.3 million from FY 2023. The upcoming fiscal year begins Oct. 1. Released on March 9, the proposal includes increases of 16.3% for federal enforcement (up roughly $40 million for FY 2023), 30% for federal compliance assistance (+$23.3 million), and 26.3% for safety and health standards (+$11.1 million).

During the Trump Administration, OSHA faced years of flat budgets and OSHA had a difficult time competing for safety professionals with private industry when trying to hire compliance officers. This created staffing challenges at OSHA’s area offices. With this new budget request, USDOL intends to add 432 full-time equivalent employees (“FTEs”), including 250 additional enforcement staff “to rebuild and strengthen OSHA’s enforcement program.” The 250 new enforcement FTEs would include 142 OSHA compliance safety and health officers.

A divided Congress, however, will have the final say. A hearing before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee was previously scheduled for March 9, 2023, but was postponed due to the departure of outgoing Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.