Nearly four decades in the making, a new rule under the Obama administration was set to lower workplace exposure to beryllium, an industrial mineral linked to a lung disease that is to estimated to kill 100 people annually.
But several weeks ago, OSHA suddenly proposed changes that experts expect may exempt major industries from the tougher standard. OSHA has also put off enforcement of an Obama-era standard for another respiratory hazard — silica, a mineral linked to a disabling lung disease as well as cancer — and it has delayed action on a rule that would require employers to electronically report workplace injuries so that they can be posted for the public. The moves come as the Trump administration offers other hints of a significant relaxation in the government’s approach to occupational safety.
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