OSHA has published a final rule revising the 2017 beryllium standards for construction and shipyards.
The rule takes effect Sept. 30, 2020. Enforcement of the 2017 permissible exposure limits for beryllium began in May 2018.
OSHA has amended these paragraphs in the final rule for construction and shipyards:
- Methods of Compliance
- Respiratory Protection
- Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment
- Hazard Communication
- Medical Surveillance, and
OSHA has removed the Hygiene Areas and Practices paragraph from the final rule because protections are provided by existing OSHA standards for sanitation.
The agency says the amendments will clarify the final rule and make compliance easier.
The goal is to tailor the construction and shipyard standards to the exposures in these industries because of partial overlap between the beryllium standard requirements and other OSHA standards.
OSHA says employees in the construction and shipyard industries are exposed to materials with significantly lower beryllium content than in general industry.
Sections of the construction and shipyard beryllium standards are revised to address skin contact to material containing trace quantities of beryllium.
The final rule for these two industries aims to protect workers from the effects of skin contact due to airborne exposure only.
Just three days before releasing the revisions to the final rule, two industry groups announced a settlement with OSHA to clarify that, for normal construction operations, exposure to common construction materials won’t be covered by the beryllium rule.