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Erik Schelzi / AP

The Trump administration hasn't named a replacement for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) chief. And Trump's budget proposes eliminating two key programs that ensure worker safety, specifically through OSHA. This all suggests that worker safety could change under Trump, per NYT.

What's changing:

  • Lowering exposure to beryllium in the workplace. The Obama administration introduced a rule (that had been crafted over nearly 40 years) to reduce exposure to beryllium, a chemical element that has caused "Chronic Beryllium Disease," a type of bacterial lung disease that kills approximately 100 people each year. Just weeks ago, as this was set to go into effect, OSHA introduced amendments that would allow some industries to exempt from the rule.

Lowering exposure to silica. The safety agency put another Obama-era rule on hold, which worked to reduce workers' exposure to the mineral silica, which has been linked to cancer and Silicosis, a debilitating lung disease. Reporting workplace injuries. OSHA "delayed action on a rule that would require employers to electronically report workplace injuries so that they can be posted for the public," per NYT.Eliminating the Chemical Safety Board. Trump's budget proposes eliminating this program, which looks into accidents that occur in chemical plants.Eliminating OSHA grant program. The budget proposes ending this program, which "provides training in industries with high injury or fatality rates and workers who do not speak English well."What they're saying: "The President and his administration care very much about worker safety, but believe the Obama administration's approach was counterproductive, and we think we can do better," a WH spokesman told NYT.Why it matters: It has been known for decades that exposure to these respiratory hazards (beryllium, silica, etc.) is linked to disabling, sometimes fatal, diseases. Rolling back Obama-era rules that tried to hold companies accountable for worker safety could result in dangerous workplace conditions.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

COP26 head warns Glasgow summit will be "harder than Paris"

Alok Sharma, U.K. COP26 president, in Milan on Sept. 30, 2021. Photo: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

U.K. COP26 President Alok Sharma told reporters Tuesday that the upcoming talks in Glasgow, widely viewed as the last chance to avoid some of the worst consequences of global warming, will be extremely difficult.

Driving the news: Sharma sought to temper expectations and note that the agenda features some of the toughest items that negotiators have punted on at previous summits.