Safety and OSHA News

OSHA delays effective date of new beryllium rule

Employers will have some additional time to comply with the new beryllium rule. 

OSHA has decided to delay the effective date of its beryllium rule from March 21, 2017 to May 20, 2017.

The additional 60 days is in line with a White House memo, “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,” issued Jan. 20, 2017. The memo directs federal agencies to review any new or pending regulations and temporarily postpone their effective dates.

The delay will allow OSHA to further review and consider the rule.

OSHA published the final beryllium rule on Jan. 9, 2017.

Employers have one year from the effective date to implement most of the standard’s provisions. Some exceptions: Change room and shower requirements begin two years after the effective date; engineering control requirements begin three years after the effective date.

The rule reduces the eight-hour permissible exposure limit from the previous 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³) to 0.2 µg/m³. The rule also establishes a short-term exposure limit of 2.0 µg/m³ over a 15-minute sampling period. The previous exposure limit for beryllium was established 40 years ago.

The new rule also faces a court challenge. Materion Corp., the U.S.’s largest producer of beryllium, has filed a petition in federal court seeking review of the new standard. Two other companies have filed similar petitions.

This post was updated to reflect OSHA’s decision to go ahead with its proposed delay of the rule.

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