As a workers’ compensation attorney, I tend to view current events through the prism of their effect on workers and more specifically injured workers. The Trump Administration has rolled back his predecessor’s strides in environment, labor and finance, civil rights, health care, government reform, immigration, and education. I would like to specifically address reverses in worker and consumer safety. The Washington Post updated how Trump is rolling back Obama’s legacy through 16 executive actions, 74 cabinet level agency decisions, 14 congressional review acts, and a piece of new legislation.
- Specifically, in terms of worker and consumer safety, the Mine Safety and Health Administration is revising a mining inspection rule published three days after Obama left office by allowing examiners to do their reviews while miners are working letting companies not record hazardous conditions if they are immediately corrected.
- The Trump Administration Interior Department ordered the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to stop a study of health risks for residents near surface mining operations in the Appalachians.
- The EPA delayed implementing a rule that would have changed how agricultural workers are protected from pesticides.
- The EPA is delaying implementation of rule to require manufacturers to label formaldehyde and composite wood products.
- A Coast Guard plan to regulate firefighting systems on tanker ships and helipads on offshore platforms was withdrawn.
- Additionally, a Coast Guard rule that would have required all ships and berths to maintain equipment and technical systems for safety was withdrawn.
- OSHA delayed implementing a rule regulating construction worker exposure to silica (linked to lung disease and cancer).
- The House and Senate passed a bill signed by President Trump eliminating worker safety regulations aiming to track and reduce workplace injuries and death.
- The Labor Department removed from its agenda a proposal to stiffen exposure standards for chemical solvents.
- The Labor Department cancelled plans to lower permissible exposure limits for some substances that had been set in 1971 and cancelled plans to revoke obsolete permissible exposure limits for other substances.
- The Labor Department removed from its agenda a proposal to tighten exposure standards for styrene, a chemical used in plastics identified as a carcinogen.
This laundry list of anti-worker executive actions, Cabinet-level agency decisions and Congressional review acts reveals the hypocrisy of Trump’s campaign promises to help working families. Rather, it reveals his completely anti-worker policy.