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Report: Recent OSHA Rules Vulnerable to Congressional Action

A recent report notes that a new OSHA rule limiting exposure to beryllium could be nixed without the arduous process of repealing federal regulations.

Workplace regulation experts believe that the Trump administration could look to strike numerous rules implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in recent years.

But a recent report notes that a new OSHA rule limiting exposure to beryllium could be nixed without the arduous process of repealing federal regulations.

Business Insurance reports that the Congressional Review Act leaves the beryllium rule and another rule regarding recordkeeping requirements vulnerable. The act allows Congress to reject federal regulations within 60 days of their enactment β€” and negates the ability to filibuster a vote.

OSHA enacted the beryllium rule in January and said previous limits did not adequately protect workers exposed to the toxic metal, which is used in numerous high-tech industries.

Beryllium is a carcinogen and its dust can cause incurable lung disease. Reports indicated that the defense industry, in particular, resisted strengthening the previous limits β€” which date to the 1940s β€” for years.

Industry groups reportedly did not oppose the stronger limits during the rule-making process, and it’s unclear whether the Republican-controlled Congress would seek to reject it.

"Clearly the message from the executive branch is that they want to see less regulation, but which regulations may go is anybody’s guess," Houston attorney Matthew Deffebach told BI.

Trump signed an executive order stipulating that agencies must repeal two regulations for each new rule proposed, and analysts previously indicated that Trump β€” whose businesses and contractors had numerous run-ins with OSHA β€” could target rules regarding electronic reporting of injuries, disclosure of previous rule violations and silica dust exposure.

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