OSHA's New Final Rule for Occupational Exposure to Beryllium
"OSHA has finalized a rule with new beryllium standards for general industry, construction, and shipyards. The new rule is available for public inspection and will be published in the Federal Register on Monday, January 9th. (https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2016-30409.pdf) Beryllium is a highly toxic metal and workers who inhale beryllium are at an increased risk of developing chronic beryllium disease (CBD) or lung cancer.
The final rule replaces a 40-year-old permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium, establishes a new short term exposure limit, requires employers to use engineering and work practice controls and includes a medical surveillance program.
Approximately 62,000 workers are exposed to beryllium in the aerospace, electronics, energy, telecommunication, medical, and defense industries. OSHA estimates that each year the final rule will save the lives of 94 workers and prevent 46 new cases of chronic beryllium disease.
The final rule takes effect March 10, 2017. All sectors have one year to comply with most of the requirements, two years to provide any required change rooms and showers, and three years to implement engineering controls.
Please visit OSHA’s website for more information about the rule, frequently asked questions, and compliance assistance resources: www.osha.gov/berylliumrule.
A news release is also available (https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=33627). OSHA appreciates your assistance with disseminating this information to your coworkers, temporary workers, contractors, and industry colleagues."