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OSHA lost safety inspectors during 2017

Connecticut workers may be disturbed to learn that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration lost 4 percent of its federal inspection force during President Trump's first year in office. OSHA inspectors visit workplaces across the country to issue citations for safety violations. They also note hazardous conditions that may lead to on-the-job accidents.

According to media reports, OSHA lost 40 inspectors through retirement, resignation and other forms of attrition last year. Those positions remained empty as of Oct. 2, 2017, and the losses left the agency with less than 1,000 total inspectors. However, the U.S. Department of Labor told media outlets that "several" new inspectors have been hired and around 25 more are being recruited.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Trump promised to make deep cuts to the federal workforce. As of the end of September 2017, there were 16,000 fewer full-time government employees than the previous year, according to statistics provided by the Office of Personnel Management. With the exception of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Interior and the Department of Veterans Affairs, every cabinet agency lost workers in 2017.

Thousands of workers suffer on-the-job injuries each year. When this happens, most of them are eligible to file for workers' compensation benefits benefits, which provide medical care and wage replacement payments while they recover. Some workers find it prudent to seek legal advice before filing their claim to make sure it is properly prepared. An attorney could also be of assistance in a subsequent appeals hearing should the claim be disputed or denied.

Source: The Hill, "Fewer OSHA workplace safety inspectors in Trump's first year: report," Lydia Wheeler, Jan. 8, 2018

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