Beryllium-OSHA Issues Final Rule to Lower Beryllium Worker Exposure Levels and Increase Worksite Compliance Requirements

If you need assistance in compliance with the OSHA final rule on beryllium worker exposure  discussed in this article call us at 1-800-344-4414 or email us at info@atlenv.com for details and a free estimate.

Written By: Robert E. Sheriff, MS, CIH, CSP, President

April 7, 2017

 

 

OSHA extends compliance date from March 22, 2017 to May 20, 2017.  This was the result of the White House Memorandum from President Trump titled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review”.  This sends a clear signal that many OSHA and EPA regulation changes will be delayed or actually set aside.

On January 6, 2017, OSHA issued its long awaited—and expected— regulation on Beryllium.

In summary: The 8 hour PEL was reduced to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter (0.2 ug/M3) of Beryllium from 2 ug/M3. It also established a 15 minute STEL (Short Term Exposure Limit) of 2.0 ug/M3 and an Action Level of 0.1 ug/M3.

The regulations are as follows:

General Industry          29CFR1910.1024

Construction               29CFR1926.1124

Shipyards                    29CFR1915.1024

These regulations are due to go into effect on March 22, 2017 (60 days after Federal Register Publication). Provisions of the Beryllium Standard will go into effect one year after official publication—THUS MARCH 10, 2018 WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTIONS:

  1. EXCEPTION NO. 1 – CHANGE ROOM AND SHOWERS—2 YEARS—THUS MARCH 22, 2019.
  2. EXCEPTION NO. 2 – ENGINEERING CONTROLS—3 YEARS—THUS MARCH 10, 2020.

You can go to the January 9, 2017 Federal Register to obtain a full copy of the complete justification and implementation details and the Standard itself which is 942 pages long. The actual standard starts on page 856—thus a mere 86 pages long. You can also go to OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov under NEWS.

The initial and periodic monitoring requirements are similar to those of other regulations such as the lead standard 29CFR1910.1025:

  1. Sequence of follow-up monitoring if STEL or PEL is exceeded.
  2. Full containment and protective clothing and showers for a regulated area.
  3. Initial monitoring of each work task on each shift.
  4. A Written Beryllium Exposure Control Plan.
  5. Medical Surveillance if potential exposure at or above the action level for 30 days per year.
  6. Hazard Communication Training—initially and annually.
  7. Labelling.
  8. Recordkeeping.

Many of the provisions have already been implemented by organizations working with Beryllium. We can assist in developing acceptable programs, program audits, and sampling compliance at info@atlenv.com or 800-344-4414.

 

Our primary service areas for Beryllium Sampling/Testing are: NJ, NY, NYC, PA, CT, DE, MA, RI, Wash DC, WI, MD, MI, IL, VA, IN, GA, AL, NC, SC, TN, TX, OK, DC, AR, we can service most other areas of the U.S. but with some added travel charges.