President Trump has promised major reductions in government regulations on businesses, but the Occupational Safety & Health Administration could be spared the big knife.
Both as a candidate and after he was sworn in as President, Trump declared that he will exclude security, safety and health rules from his promise to cut two regulations for every new one issued.
“Although a deregulated workplace is to be expected from the latest pendulum swing back to a Republican administration, this transition may not be as predictable as with previous transfers of power,” observes Ryan Cantu, an attorney with the law firm of Kane Russell Coleman & Logan.
“For instance, Trump’s strong campaign appeal to blue-collar workers could constrain widespread deregulation at the expense of workplace safety,” Cantu points out.
Trump is no stranger to OSHA issues because of his experience in real estate projects where the contractors were investigated and cited by OSHA.
One of the most notable was the 2008 death of a construction worker employed by a subcontractor at the Trump SoHo hotel in New York.
OSHA is part of the Labor Departrment, which still does not have a cabinet secretary run it due to the witdrawal of Trump’s first nominee, which required starting the nomination process all over again.
Alexander Acosta, Trump’s second pick for Labor Secretary has strong crendetials and was previously confirmed by the Senate to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board
He also was U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Florida, held high ranking posts in the Justice Department Civil Rights Division, and is the dean of Florida International University’s law schoiol.
Assuming he is confirmed as Secretary of Labor, Acosta will need to name a new OSHA administrator, who will need to get up to speed and hire staff before substantial changes can be made.