strengthen employers' incentives to maintain reliable data on all injuries, counteracting the tendency to underreport that may be generated by OSHA enforcement policies.
From this perspective, the committee supports OSHA's balanced approach, which is structured to offer collaborative assistance to employers with elevated injury rates, but still reserves the option to undertake aggressive enforcement and fines. For example, under its Cooperative Compliance Program, OSHA offers employers with the highest injury (and illness) rates the option of working with the agency to improve rates, rather than facing an increased possibility of "wall-to-wall inspection." Although the program has had the support of employee organizations and many employers, it faces a judicial challenge on the ground that it "coerces" participation by employers with high injury rates who otherwise face a near-certain inspection. Whatever the judicial fate of the cooperative compliance program, the committee urges OSHA to continue to develop regulatory strategies that emphasize collaborative efforts between the agency, employers, and employees to achieve reasonable reductions in injury rates based on employer size, current injury rates, industry needs, and safety experience.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is a research agency of the CDC devoted solely to work-related safety and health. NIOSH was created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. NIOSH investigates potentially hazardous working conditions at the behest of employers or employees; evaluates and identifies chemical and safety hazards in the workplace; conducts research to prevent occupational disease, injury, and disability; supports training of health professionals; and develops educational materials and recommendations for worker protection. In FY 1997, NIOSH acquired research responsibility in the area of mine safety through the transfer of several research programs formerly within the Bureau of Mines of the U.S. Department of Interior. NIOSH's vision statement is "delivering on the nation's promise: safety and health at work for all people, through research and prevention" (NIOSH, 1998a).
NIOSH's total budget in FY 1998 was $153 million. Injury-related funds were spent on research (intramural and extramural), training, prevention, and public education. The majority was devoted to the activities of NIOSH's Division of Safety Research, one of its seven divisions. Most of its research and surveillance activities are performed intramurally, but about 21 percent are conducted in conjunction with state health departments through cooperative agree-