Skip to Main Content

Trump’s Regulatory Purge Hits OSHA Hard, Puts Workers at Risk


The Trump Administration’s war on regulations has drawn the ire of a major consumer advocacy group, which recently rebuked the President for betraying a campaign promise to protect American workers.

Public Citizen: OSHA Roll Backs Sacrifice Worker Lives at the Altar of Industry Profits

In a scathing report issued just before Labor Day, Public Citizen accused President Trump of pursuing an anti-worker agenda at the behest of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has long sought to roll back fundamental worker protections at the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Most notably, the report condemned the Trump Administration for targeting OSHA rules that required employers to maintain accurate and transparent records of workplace injuries and illnesses, as well a long-awaited regulation intended to reduce industrial workers’ exposure to cancer-causing beryllium.

The Administration has also worked to reverse an OSHA mandate that required recipients of federal contracts to fully comply with all workplace safety regulations.

“Trump has betrayed America’s workforce, sacrificing lives at the altar of industry profits,” Shanna Devine, worker health and safety advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division and the report’s author, said in a statement. “Shamefully, the resources the administration has used to carry out the Chamber’s anti-worker agenda could have been spent advancing lifesaving protections.”

OSHA Hindered by Hiring Freeze, Leadership Vacancies

To make matters worse, OSHA has suffered from a lack of leadership since President Trump took office, including the absence of a permanent administrator and vacancies at several other key positions.

A hiring freeze implemented in the early days of the Trump Administration has also contributed to a significant reduction in the number of OSHA inspectors, as well as a sharp drop in enforcement actions.

“According to Jordan Barab, former OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor, some of OSHA’s regional staff cautioned that in the wake of the hiring freeze, OSHA’s enforcement and whistleblower programs were ‘falling apart at the seams’ and OSHA was ‘just bleeding,’” the Public Citizen report noted.

OSHA Only One Front in Trump’s Regulatory War

Unfortunately, the Trump Administration’s war on workplace safety regulations doesn’t stop at OSHA.

Since President Trump assumed office in January 2017, dozens of regulations intended to protect workers and the public from catastrophic plant, refinery and pipeline explosions – including the Chemical Disaster Rule, OSHA’s combustible dust standards, and important offshore drilling regulations – have either been severely curtailed or abandoned entirely.

In each and every case, the Trump Administration has characterized the targeted regulations as unnecessarily burdensome, repeatedly demonstrating its willingness to place industry priorities well ahead of worker safety.

Undefeated Plant Explosion Attorneys Winning Over $1 Billion for Injured Workers and Their Families. Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here For a Free Consultation.

Having won over $1 Billion for our clients and successfully represented more than 1,000 plant, refinery, and pipeline workers in connection with the biggest industrial explosions in recent memory, our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers have the resources, knowledge, and experience to ensure that you and your family receive the maximum compensation possible for all of your injuries and losses.

If you have questions following a workplace accident or explosion, call 1-888-603-3636 or click here to send us an email through our “Contact Us” form.

All consultations are free, and as we represent clients exclusively on a contingency-fee basis, you’ll owe us nothing unless we win your case.