OSHA has agreed to revise language in several of its documents on beryllium dust following a settlement with multiple companies that filed lawsuits over the agency’s Beryllium Standard in 2017.
The settlement agreement, which was filed May 26, will see changes to several of the agency’s facts sheets, frequently asked questions (FAQ) documents and webpages on beryllium.
Some of the changes included in the beryllium settlement agreement involve revisions to certain sentences, removal of specific words or the addition of new sentences or paragraphs to the documents.
For example, OSHA agrees to revise the FAQ “What industries will be affected by the rule?” to remove the phrase “with slags” from the section “Construction and Shipyards (Abrasive blasting with slags).”
Another change, this time to the OSHA Fact Sheet “Protecting Workers from Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds,” involves adding, “In construction and shipyards, exposure to beryllium primarily occurs when abrasive materials that contain trace amounts of beryllium (<1% by weight) are used in abrasive blasting operations.”
There are a total of 10 such changes to eight different documents.
Further, if OSHA publishes an enforcement directive for beryllium that discusses abrasive blasting media, it will have to include this paragraph:
“Various types of abrasive blasting media may contain trace amounts of beryllium (<0.1% by weight), including slags, garnet, silica sand, and crushed glass. Also, the surfaces being blasted may contain trace amounts of beryllium. Enforcement of the Beryllium standards for abrasive blasting operations should address all sources of potential exposure, and should also address the employer’s engineering controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment. See also OSHA’s Fact Sheet on ‘Protecting Workers from the Hazards of Abrasive Blasting Materials.'”