Trumka: Unions will fight Trump over plan to yank beryllium exposure rule

WASHINGTON—Unions will fight the GOP Trump administration if his Labor Department yanks the rule reducing worker exposure to cancer-causing beryllium, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says.

The rule took effect Jan. 1. The Steelworkers started the fight for it in 1999 with a petition to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“More working people will die if the Trump administration rolls back OSHA’s beryllium rule,” Trumka said. “It also will mark the first time in history for the government to roll back worker safety protections against a cancer-causing toxin. The entire labor movement will work together to fight any proposal that takes away standards that keep us safe at work.”

Justifying the new rule, OSHA ordered firms “to reduce the permissible exposure limit by 10 times to 0.2 micrograms of beryllium per cubic meter of air over an eight-hour time weighted average.”  It also required medical surveillance of workers, regulated areas, training and engineering controls. Trumka cited reports that Trump wants to roll the rule back.

Source: PAI