Oversight Needed for Maryland's Occupational Safety and Health Division
Maryland's Occupational Safety and Health division (MOSH) is struggling to carry out its mission of ensuring the health and safety of Maryland workers, according to CPR's analysis of a mandatory performance report the agency provided to the state legislature late last year.
The Maryland legislature mandated the report as a condition of releasing $250,000 of MOSH's FY 2018 funds. Our review of the report and other agency materials leads us to conclude that the agency's limited budget is a key culprit in its shortcomings in recent years. Namely, MOSH is struggling with significant turnover among health and safety inspectors, and this management challenge is compounded by resource shortfalls. Without enough inspectors, MOSH is failing to meet its inspection targets, leaving too many employers to police themselves and putting workers at risk. MOSH is also declining to update its regulatory standards on a timely basis, which may also be due to insufficient resources.
The State of MOSH's Budget
As the state agency tasked with implementing Maryland's federally approved state occupational safety and health program, MOSH gets up to 50 percent of its funding annually from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Between 2009 and 2017, MOSH received only a modest 1.6 percent increase in its overall budget from both federal and state sources. Notably, the state-funded portion of the budget declined by roughly six percent over the same period, despite the fact that
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