Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Beryllium Worker Exposure Rule Deadlines

OSHA has issued a final rule limiting worker exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds. The rule contains standards for general industry, construction, and shipyards which take effect on May 20, 2017. Employers must comply with most elements of the rule starting March 12, 2018.

The key provisions of the rule are:
  • Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over 8-hours.
  • Establishes a new short term exposure limit for beryllium of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air, over a 15-minute sampling period.
  • Requires employers to: use engineering and work practice controls (such as ventilation or enclosure) to limit worker exposure to beryllium; provide respirators when controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high-exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan; and train workers on beryllium hazards.
  • Requires employers to make available medical exams to monitor exposed workers and provides medical removal protection benefits to workers identified with a beryllium-related disease.

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