Efforts to improve workplace safety may become a thing of the past under the new administration.
Rule on Reporting Workplace Injuries Delayed
Whenever there’s a change in office, no matter the political party, it takes some time to readjust to the change in policies and priorities. Within the past few months, the Trump administration has made it clear that the government will not enact or enforce many of the stricter safety standards made under the Obama administration.
Among these changes, the new administration has delayed a rule requiring employers to publicly report workplace injuries, and will not enforce stricter standards for exposures to beryllium and silica.
Stricter Standards for Silica & Beryllium Exposure Refused
Over the last several years, significant measures were taken to protect workers by controlling the use of beryllium. Beryllium, linked to lung disease, takes the lives of about 100 people every year. The Trump administration’s changes will allow major industries to get around the new standards, costing many workers their lives.
Chemical Accident Investigation & Prevention Team Eliminated
The Trump administration also hopes to eliminate the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), which investigates chemical accidents and makes sure similar incidents don’t happen again.
Victims Pay the Price
Beryllium scars lung tissue and prevents oxygen from moving in and out of the lungs. Scientists say that even small amounts of exposure to the metal can be harmful.
Workers who are now suffering from beryllium exposure are pushing to strengthen the Obama-era rules, not weaken them as the new administration plans.
“I don’t want anyone else to get sick”, says a 49-year-old airplane mold worker who was exposed to beryllium for six years. Now, his only hope is getting a lung transplant, according to his statements to reporters.
Exposures and Deaths Continue to Plague Industrial Workers
Other toxic substances linked to lung illnesses include asbestos, PVC, and diacetyl. Despite laws put in place decades ago, workers continue to be exposed to these toxins, causing life-changing and often fatal cancers.
People who work in the construction, sandblasting, and maritime trades are at the highest risk for lung problems from these elements.
It only takes a small amount of exposure to start developing a lung illness, which may grow to fatal illnesses later on.
Contact a Workplace Exposure Attorney
Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience representing people injured on the job and exposed to asbestos, PVC, or diacetyl. If you or a loved one has come into contact with one of these toxic substances, contact our firm immediately for a free consultation. We accept clients from all 50 states.