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The ERC program, launched in 1977, is intended to carry out the mandate of the Occupational Safety and Health Act to ensure

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occupational health nursing, and occupational safety. A research training program at the regional ERCs was subsequently mandated by

the Congress; in part to attract graduates into academic teaching

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programs, an extensive continuing education and outreach program is

offered which, over the last five years, has reached an estimated

100,000 people.

As indicated above, NIOSH also provides training

funds for about twenty-five single-discipline project grantees at

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current total training budget is $10,472,000 for Fiscal 1991.

For

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We are well aware that your committee has, over the past

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Congress has repeatedly kept the three program alive in the face of

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safety and health

a lack of support and

the

careers

because of

uncertainty of completion of their education requirements.

Meanwhile, the manpower shortages in key occupational

health specialties have been exacerbated. For example, many of all

of the limited number of occupational medicine practitioners in the

are

United States the products of the ERC and training grant programs. Yet, in 1989, only 122 physicians received full-time training in occupational medicine at ERCS. The overall impact of

Federal budgetary restraints in recent years can be measured by the

fact that almost

800

students

at the ERCs and project grants

graduated in each of the peak budget support years of 1980-1981,

when the Federal appropriations were $12.9 million.

The current level of graduates is down by nearly two

thirds, due to the fact that funding levels have been reduced.

For

FY 1990 and FY 1991, the funding levels have remained at about $10

million annually.

No additional FY 1992 funds have been requested by the

Administration for the Education and training grant program which,

is currently at $10.4 million.

We believe that this is unfortunate and once again are

requesting your help in furthering worker safety

and

health

research and professional development.

Indeed, we believe that a minimum acceptable level for

an

the overall NIOSH budget is $130 million for Fiscal 1992, increase of approximately $33 million over the Administration's

request.

of

this requested increase,

$28 million should

be

allocated for NIOSH research, bringing the total research budget up

to $114.5 million.

The remaining $5 million should be added to the

training grant program, raising it to $15.4 million.

This proposal is modest, indeed, compared to where the NIOSH budget should be in light of the past cuts.

We have attached to this statement a table that measures

the dramatic impact of NIOSH budget cuts during the 1980's.

You

will note that

the Fiscal 1980 appropriation for NIOSH was $80.4

million (base year), of which $12.9 million was for Education and

training.

In fiscal 1992. it would retire a NIOSH appropriation

or $168.521715 iust te eral the comparable Funding of 1980!

If

these same real dollar figures were to be applied to the Education

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that effective and low-cost remedies can be developed and insti

tuted.

our present level

of occupational health

and education

activity in the United States is simply not meeting the demand for

such professionals.

It should be emphasized that the annual cost of occupa

tional iniuries and illnesses in our country is now estimated to be

$200_billion!

This amounts to about $1,667 per worker each year!

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equivalent of $12.33 in preventive occupational safety and health

programs for each worker and Finland invested $12.29_per worker in

1986.

0406

These statistical comparisons are even more startling when measured against the fact that occupational musculoskeletal disorders alone the disability of

12 million U.S.

cause

some

workers annually, while occupational, traumatic injuries disable

another 10 million workers and result in the annual death of some

some

10,000 workers. Occupational-induced hearing loss affects 500,000 American workers a year.

Many, if not most, of these

fatalities and injuries could be prevented by more effective, professionally-directed safety and health programs.

Much is said today about the need for America to become

more competitive so as to reduce our trade and budget deficits.

We

believe that the prevention of even a modest portion of the annual

occupational injuries, diseases and deaths would produce dramatic

dividends throughout our economy.

We are acutely aware of the difficult budgetary situation which confronts the Congress and the major effort that is required

to get the deficit under control.

But we are also convinced that

the benefits of an effective occupational health and safety program are critical to the Nation's future, and thus warrant additional

funding.

We, therefore, urge you and your committee to seriously

consider an appropriation for Fiscal 1992 of a total of $130

million for NIOSH activities, including $114.5 million in the

research line and $15.4 million in training line of the CDC/NIOSH

budget.

The latter figure includes a modest restoration of lost

ground in the ERC and Project Training Grant and a small expansion

of the research training effort just recently begun.

We thank you for your past support of

our work and

sincerely hope that your evaluation of the progress we have made in occupational health and safety education despite limited funding

will merit your favorable action on our budgetary request.

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