Jainchill & Beckert, LLC

Trump could repeal silica law, advocacy groups warn

Connecticut residents may be interested to learn that, on April 6, the White House announced that a workplace safety regulation would be delayed. The regulation, which was issued by the Obama administration, would limit the amount of silica dust employees could be exposed to.

If employees are exposed to it, silica dust could cause cancer. Every year, 2.2 million workers are exposed to silica dust in the United States. Unions and workplace safety advocates have reportedly spent decades seeking to impose regulations that could keep workers safer. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that the regulation could save more than 600 lives every single year. OSHA made a statement the same day the announcement was made in which it said it would be holding off on enforcing the rule.

The delay means that the enforcement of the regulation, known as the silica rule, would be enforced starting in late September instead of late June. However, the Trump administration has been repealing numerous regulations that were passed by the Obama administration. If the rule is not repealed, it may be weakened or the Labor Department may not spend much energy defending the regulation.

Employees who develop respiratory problems and eventually lung cancer due to unsafe working conditions may be eligible to seek workers' compensation for their injuries and medical bills. If they are unable to work, they may also be entitled to partial wage replacement. An attorney may assist with gathering evidence that shows that the workplace is unsafe due to unsafe levels of dangerous chemicals. If the employee's benefits are denied, the attorney may assist with appealing the decision.

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