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A labor group is calling for OSHA to continue focusing enforcement on the poultry processing sector because agency data shows poultry workers suffer a disproportionately high rate of severe injuries, backing the need for a continued enforcement emphasis on the sector, despite fears that looming budget cuts -- and a pending court case -- will gut the program.

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The Justice Department (DOJ) is renewing its bid to have an appellate court reverse a lower court's quashing of an OSHA warrant seeking to inspect a facility beyond the circumstances of a reported incident, charging that the company's worker injury and illness records provide enough data to support a “reasonable suspicion” that a violation has occurred.

Manufacturers that use nanomaterials in their products are urging the Trump administration to repeal the Obama EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) rule that requires reporting on their use of the materials, charging it is burdensome and unclear and appears inconsistent with the EPA's plans for allocating limited resources and assessing risks under the revised TSCA.

Chemical and other manufacturers are urging the Trump administration to rescind or revise numerous Obama-era OSHA policies, ranging from an overhaul of limits for worker exposure to silica to a Justice Department (DOJ) plan strengthening enforcement of worker safety laws, arguing the policies harm businesses or are unnecessary.

The Justice Department (DOJ), backed by 14 state attorneys general (AG), is seeking to dismiss labor and environmental groups' lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's executive order (EO) that requires OSHA and other agencies to repeal two rules for every new one, though plaintiffs are publicly faulting the administration's arguments.

Even as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt seeks to delay implementation of the Obama-era facility safety rule, a coalition of local emergency planners is urging the agency to quickly implement provisions of the rule, arguing new requirements for coordinating with and disclosing data to local planners protect first responders and will not cause the broad public disclosure industry fears.

NIOSH is seeking comment on a draft guide detailing a chemical classification system that allows users to assess workers' risks to substances that lack exposure limits and regulators have only limited data, an approach that could serve as an alternative to OSHA's enforceable limits given the difficulty in setting such standards.

A federal appeals court has granted chimney sweepers' request for a two-month delay of their lawsuit challenging the Obama OSHA's final rule aimed at limiting workers' slips, trips and falls to allow for settlement discussions and Trump administration review, though another group's effort to settle its challenge to the rule has not succeeded.

OSHA enforcement officials are lying low as the Trump administration ramps up plans for cutting government programs and staff at the Labor Department (DOL) and other agencies, sources say, declining to test novel enforcement approaches or issue citations for alleged violations of the Obama OSHA's worker injury reporting rule.

Environmentalists, labor and community groups are seeking to intervene in industry groups' stayed lawsuits challenging EPA's facility accident prevention rule, arguing they will be harmed by weakening or vacating the rule and that the agency is unlikely to adequately represent their interests given Administrator Scott Pruitt's past opposition.

Short Takes

If President Donald Trump can take military action to deter Syria from using chemical weapons why should EPA be able to roll back a rule limiting similar dangers from industrial accidents at home?

Chemical manufacturers and other industry groups are seeking a stay of their lawsuits challenging the Obama administration's final rule overhauling EPA's facility accident prevention program while the Trump administration weighs revisions to the rule, saying any changes EPA makes could make the litigation unnecessary.

President Donald Trump is expected to soon sign a resolution revoking the Obama administration's policy requiring federal agencies to consider worker safety and other labor law violations in procurement after the Senate narrowly approved the measure.

The Business Roundtable (BRT), which represents CEOs of many major U.S. corporations, is urging the Trump administration to overhaul the regulatory review process by requiring all new rules from OSHA and other agencies to include a retrospective review plan to reduce or eliminate courts' deference to agency interpretations of laws, and several other steps.