Occupational Safety & Health:

Federal Costs Incurred in Developing Field Sanitation Standard

HRD-88-15FS: Published: Nov 27, 1987. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 1987.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the development of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) field sanitation standard for agricultural employers, focusing on: (1) OSHA personnel costs; (2) costs of studies federal agencies and contractors conducted; (3) federal legal costs; (4) costs of printing the standard's draft and final versions; (5) estimated compliance costs; and (6) estimated enforcement costs.

GAO found that: (1) neither OSHA nor other involved federal agencies compiled actual cost data relating to the standard; (2) OSHA and the other involved agencies estimated that costs for legal proceedings, public hearings, printing, and contract services totalled about $626,000; and (3) OSHA officials plan to determine enforcement costs after completion of inspection activities for fiscal years 1987 and 1988. GAO also found that available data indicated that: (1) at least 27 OSHA staff members worked on the standard for varying amounts of time, with estimated costs exceeding $200,000; (2) study costs totalled $289,960; (3) public hearing costs totalled $93,434; (4) Departments of Labor and Justice legal costs totalled $174,935 and $29,929, respectively; (5) printing expenses totalled $37,750; and (6) estimated compliance costs would total about $50 million.

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