Join in Opposing Proposed FY 2012 Cuts to NIOSH Ag, Forestry and Fishing Program and ERCs
Please join ASSE in opposing the Obama Administration’s proposed FY 2012 budget elimination of two significant NIOSH activities - the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AFF) Program and Educational Research Centers (ERCs). ASSE’s letter to leaders of Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Committees focused on the importance of these programs to ASSE members, the safety of workers and US competitiveness and the failure of the Administration to make a case for eliminating support for AFF and ERCs in its budget justification. Justification for cutting AFF support was based on a National Academies review of the program was misunderstood, according to the experts who conducted the review in their own letter to Chairman Harkin. Cutting ERC support was based on the conclusion that the “goals of the program have been met,” which ASSE refuted in its letter.
Congress needs to hear from safety and health professionals about the importance of NIOSH and these programs. As the only meaningful resource for occupational safety and health research and educational support, NIOSH deserves every ASSE member’s support. The need to support the AFF program, which supports research into keeping workers safe in jobs with some of the highest fatality and injury rates, is obvious. While it is well recognized that the ERCs do not do enough safety education and training in some members’ view, having no ERCs will not result in more safety professionals, only less.
As a first step in advocating for NIOSH AFF and the ERCs, the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Committees need to hear from you. So, especially if you one of these is your Senator or Representative, please send them a message –
But you should also contact your own Senators and Representative. You can easily find their email and office addresses by going to http://www.contactingthecongress.org/ and entering your address.
Your message can be short and simple. Best is a message in your own words, including examples from your life and practice that demonstrate personally the importance of the AFF programs and/or ERCs. But, the following sample message can be used –
Dear Senator/Representative _________________:
I am a safety and health professional who lives and works in ________________. I value the importance of the National Institute for Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH). Because NIOSH is the only federal resource for occupational safety and health research and education, it troubles me that the current Administration is proposing in its FY 2012 budget proposal to end support for two NIOSH activities – the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AFF) program and Educational Resource Centers (ERCs). Without the AFF program, research in how to save the lives in some of the most dangerous industries will stop. Without ERCs, the ability of employers to hire well prepared safety and health professionals to help protect workers will be severely harmed. Investment in safety and health education and research is an investment in our nation’s competitiveness. Please join me in opposing these proposed cuts.
If you can please share your letter with me, Dave Heidorn at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions, please let me know. Thanks for your efforts.