Worker Protection:

Selected National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Activities

HRD-87-44BR: Published: Feb 23, 1987. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 1987.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed selected activities at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to: (1) identify changes in NIOSH administrative staffing patterns; (2) identify funding for a program to notify individual workers of potential health hazards in the work place; and (3) determine if NIOSH expanded its industry-wide study activities.

GAO found that: (1) the percentage of NIOSH staff dedicated to administrative activities declined after NIOSH relocated its headquarters; (2) NIOSH provided general notification of work-place hazards to employers, employee representatives, union officials, and state agencies, but it did not usually notify individual workers of potential exposure to health hazards; (3) NIOSH submitted budget requests for a worker notification program, but did not receive funding because of ethical, social, economic and legal issues; and (4) NIOSH did not specifically account for targeted funds to expand its industry-wide study activities or accumulate actual cost data for individual research projects.

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