OSHA Proposes Revisions to Beryllium Standard for General Industry
A proposed rule issued by OSHA in December would modify provisions of the agency’s beryllium standard for general industry. Provisions for methods of compliance, personal protective clothing and equipment, hygiene areas and practices, housekeeping, medical surveillance, hazard communication, and recordkeeping are among those that OSHA is proposing to change. The agency is also proposing to change or add six terms to the standard’s definitions, including “beryllium sensitization,” “beryllium work area,” “CBD diagnostic center,” “chronic beryllium disease,” “confirmed positive,” and “dermal contact with beryllium.”  In a press release, OSHA states that these changes “are designed to clarify the standard, and to simplify or improve compliance with the standard.”  In late October, an item on OSHA’s regulatory agenda indicated the agency’s plans to propose revisions to its general industry standard on occupational exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds. The agency explained that the action was in response to stakeholder feedback and to resolve pending litigation.  “[The] proposed changes would maintain safety and health protections for workers and are designed to enhance worker protections overall by ensuring that the rule is well understood and compliance is more straightforward,” OSHA states in the Federal Register notice announcing its proposal. While the proposed rulemaking is pending, compliance with the general industry standard as modified by OSHA’s proposal will be accepted as compliance with the standard. Compliance obligations affected by this rulemaking began on Dec. 12, 2018. OSHA will accept comments on its proposal until Feb. 9, 2019. For more information, see OSHA’s press release and the Federal Register notice.