OSHA has amended its existing general industry standard for occupational exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds to clarify certain provisions and simplify or improve compliance. The revisions in this final rule are designed to maintain or enhance worker protections overall by ensuring that the rule is well understood and compliance is more straightforward. The final rule became effective on September 14, 2020.
Key Provisions of the Beryllium Standards for General Industry, Construction, and Shipyards:
- Set a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium of 0.2 µg/m3, averaged over 8-hours.
- Set a short-term exposure limit for beryllium of 2.0 µg/m3, over a 15-minute sampling period.
- Require 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.
- Require employers to make available medical exams to monitor exposed workers and provides medical removal protection to workers identified with a beryllium-related disease.
For more information can be found online or by contacting ISRI Safety.