Over the past few months, ISRI has been updating its members on the status of OSHA’s beryllium personal exposure rule.
The rule to lower permissible workplace exposure to beryllium has been undergoing changes in a White House review. On June 26, OSHA announced a proposed rule that would modify its standard on occupational exposure to beryllium that was published on January 9, 2017. That rule consisted of three separate standards: one for general industry, one for construction, and one for shipyards. However, the new proposal would make changes to the rule for only the shipyard and construction sectors, leaving the general industry standard requirements in place. Consequently, this rule still impacts recycling operations that deal with beryllium containing scrap.
The final rule reduces the eight-hour permissible exposure limit from the previous level of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter. Above that level, employers must take steps to reduce the airborne concentration of beryllium. The rule requires additional protections, including personal protective equipment, medical exams, other medical surveillance and training, as well. It also establishes a short-term exposure limit of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter over a 15-minute sampling period.
Please visit ISRI's Regulatory Update webpage for more information about the rule, frequently asked questions, and compliance assistance resources.