Budgets reflect priorities; they also reflect values. And the Trump Administration has signaled where it stands loud and clear via its agency appointments (Scott Pruitt, need we say more?) and its FY18 budget proposals. We have already said plenty about what the proposed cuts to the EPA budget mean for public health and the environment.
Trump Administration Delays Protections for Construction and Shipyard Workers, Weakens Beryllium Rule
June 26, 2017 2:09 PM EDT
Beryllium is a very dangerous material. It’s a carcinogen and the cause of chronic beryllium disease, a devastating illness. Now a new proposal is out to “modify” (read “weaken”) protections for workers exposed to beryllium in construction and shipyards. Read more >
April 26, 2017 11:04 AM EDT
Today, just four days after hundreds of thousands of people marched for science, the Senate introduced a bill that would substitute politics for scientific judgment in every decision the government makes about public health and the environment. If enacted, the legislation would cripple the government’s ability to effectively carry out laws that protect us, putting everyone at more risk, especially communities of color and low-income communities that are more exposed to threats. Read more >
March 16, 2017 12:00 PM EDT
Update (April 4, 12:45 p.m.): It’s official. Another loss for America’s workers. Yesterday President Trump put the finishing touches on congressional efforts to overturn a decades-long and critical element of protecting our nation’s workforce. He signed the resolution that now permanently removes the ability of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to cite employers with a pattern of record keeping violations related to workplace injuries and illnesses. Yes, permanently, because it was passed under the Congressional Review Act. This action is a gift to unscrupulous employers and a true blow to worker safety and health.
Update (March 22, 6:20 p.m.): Senate votes. Workers lose. On a straight party line vote, the Senate just repealed OSHA’s rule clarifying an employer’s obligation to maintain accurate records of serious injuries. According to the Congressional Review Act, the rule is now and forever gone unless Congress tells the agency to write it again–and there is fat chance of that happening anytime soon. This is a sad day for U.S. workers; another safeguard gone.
Let’s say someone you care about—mother, father, wife, husband, partner, son, daughter, friend, and neighbor—works in a facility that’s had a history of serious injuries or illnesses. You know, like burns, amputations, and broken bones that happen at work. Or head, eye, or back injuries. Or problems that send workers to emergency rooms, clinics, or doctors with breathing difficulties, skin damage, or other health issues related to chemical exposures or other dangerous conditions at work. Read more >
March 2, 2017 2:18 PM EDT
Yesterday, President Trump’s Labor Department announced it would delay the effective date of a new standard to protect workers exposed to beryllium on the job, from March 21 to May 20. Part of the president’s regulatory freeze, the delay purports to give the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) an opportunity for further review.
A regulatory freeze in and of itself is not so unusual. Other presidents have done it. But this particular delay almost makes me cry. Read more >