OSHA Changing General Industry Beryllium Rule

The direct final rule clarifies the definitions of Beryllium Work Area, emergency, dermal contact, and beryllium contamination, and it clarifies provisions for disposal and recycling and provisions that OSHA intends to apply only where skin can be exposed to materials containing at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight.

OSHA issued a direct final rule on May 4 that makes changes in the beryllium standard for general industry as it applies to processes, operations, or areas where workers may be exposed to materials containing less than 0.1 percent beryllium by weight. The direct final rule clarifies the definitions of Beryllium Work Area, emergency, dermal contact, and beryllium contamination, and it clarifies provisions for disposal and recycling and provisions that OSHA intends to apply only where skin can be exposed to materials containing at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight.

The agency said the direct final rule will become effective on July 4, 2018, unless it receives significant adverse comments by June 4.

OSHA issued its final rule on Occupational Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds on Jan. 9, 2017, issuing separate standards for general industry, shipyards, and construction. They contained a new PEL-- an eight-hour time-weighted average PEL of 0.2 μg/m3 and also a new short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 2.0 μg/m3 over a 15-minute sampling period and an action level of 0.1 μg/m3 as an eight-hour TWA.

The DFR does not affect the construction and shipyard standards, which will be addressed in a separate rulemaking, the DFR states.

It says OSHA intended to protect employees working with trace beryllium only when it caused airborne exposures of concern, but stakeholders said an unintended consequence of the final rule's revision of the trace exemption is that provisions intended to protect workers from skin contact with beryllium-contaminated material could be read to apply to materials with trace levels of beryllium. So the DFR clarifies that OSHA doesn't intend the dermal contact provisions to apply to processes, operations, or areas involving only materials containing less than 0.1 percent beryllium by weight.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2022

    June 2022

    Featuring:

    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Corporate Safety Culture Is Workplace Culture
    • HEAT STRESS
      Keeping Workers Safe from Heat-Related Illnesses & Injuries
    • EMPLOYEE HEALTH SCREENING
      Should Employers Consider Oral Fluid Drug Testing?
    • PPE FOR WOMEN
      Addressing Physical Differences
    View This Issue