OSHA Plans to Propose Revisions to Ancillary Requirements of Beryllium Standard
OSHA has proposed to extend the compliance date for certain ancillary requirements of its general industry beryllium standard to Dec. 12, 2018. According to the agency’s press release, the extension would apply to all processes, operations, or areas where workers may be exposed to materials containing beryllium that fall under the scope of the general industry standard. The extension is intended to allow OSHA time to complete a notice of proposed rulemaking to clarify specific provisions of the beryllium standard. The Federal Register notice states that the NPRM is also intended to “simplify compliance, while in all cases maintaining a high degree of protection from the adverse health effects of beryllium exposure.” An OSHA memo issued on May 9 states that the ancillary requirements affected by this rulemaking would not be enforced until June 25, 2018. OSHA plans to propose revisions to the standard that include modifying certain definitions, including a list of operations that trigger the requirement for beryllium work areas. The agency is also considering modifying the disposal and recycling provisions to clarify that items designated for disposal must be in containers that prevent the release of beryllium under ordinary conditions rather than sealed, impermeable containers. OSHA’s proposal does not affect the compliance date for the permissible exposure limits, exposure assessment, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, or medical removal protection provisions under the standard.