OSHA has published a final rule revising the beryllium standard for general industry.

The final rule includes changes that OSHA says are designed to clarify the standard, and simplify or improve compliance.

“These changes maintain protection for employees while ensuring that the standard is well understood and compliance is simple and straightforward,” OSHA said in a release.

The final standard’s compliance date is Sept. 14, 2020, although OSHA has been enforcing most of the provisions for general industry since Dec. 12, 2018.

The agency began enforcing the provisions for change rooms and showers on March 11, 2019, and engineering controls on March 10, 2020.

The agency initially proposed the changes in 2018.

OSHA said the final standard will impact approximately 50,500 workers employed in general industry and that it’s expected to provide minor net cost savings to employers.

The final rule amends these paragraphs of the beryllium standard for general industry: Definitions, Methods of Compliance, Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment, Hygiene Areas and Practices, Housekeeping, Medical Surveillance, Hazard Communication, and Recordkeeping.

Key Provisions

Key provisions of the beryllium standard for general industry include:

  • A permissible exposure limit for beryllium of 0.2 µg/m3, averaged over eight hours
  • A short-term exposure limit for beryllium of 2.0 µg/m3, over a 15-minute sampling period
  • Requirement that employers 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
  • Requirement that employers make available medical exams to monitor exposed workers and provide medical removal protection benefits to workers identified with a beryllium-related disease

For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).