U.S. Department of Labor Proposes to Revise Beryllium Standard for General Industry

 

This article was originally published by OSHA here. 

 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued a proposed rule to revise the beryllium standard for general industry. The proposed changes are designed to clarify the standard, and to simplify or improve compliance with the standard.

The proposed rule would amend selected paragraphs of the standard, including "Definitions," "Methods of Compliance," "Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment," "Hygiene Areas and Practices," "Housekeeping," "Medical Surveillance," "Hazard Communication," and "Recordkeeping." It would also remove the existing Appendix A, which lists suggested controls, and replace it with a new Appendix A, Operations for Establishing Beryllium Work Areas.

Comments, hearing requests, and other information must be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. Read the Federal Register notice for submission details. Comments must be submitted by February 9, 2019. The enforcement date for the provisions affected by this proposal is December 12, 2018. While this rulemaking is pending, compliance with the standard as modified by this proposal will be accepted as compliance.

The proposal satisfies a settlement agreement with stakeholders that had concerns about some of the provisions in the 2017 beryllium final rule. The proposed rule would affect approximately 50,500 workers employed in general industry, and is estimated to yield minor net cost savings to employers. OSHA expects the proposed changes would provide employees with equivalent safety and health protections to the current standard.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

 

As a follow-up, OSHA published the proposed rule to revise the beryllium general industry standard in the Federal Register on Dec. 11, 2018.  In addition, OSHA has issued a memorandum with updated interim enforcement guidance for enforcing the beryllium standards.  This memorandum continues previous interim guidance for those provisions of the beryllium standards (general industry, construction, and shipyard) that OSHA began enforcing on May 11, 2018, and adds interim guidance for certain provisions of the general industry standard with a compliance date of December 12, 2018.