OSHA Revises Beryllium Standards
A final rule published by OSHA in the
Federal Register
on Aug. 31 revises the agency’s beryllium standards for construction and shipyards. According to OSHA, the revisions are intended to tie the standards’ requirements to exposures in the two industries, “simplify or improve compliance,” and clarify requirements concerning materials that contain only trace amounts of beryllium. The rule went into effect on Sept. 30. OSHA’s changes concern topics as varied as methods of compliance, respiratory protection, personal protective clothing and equipment, housekeeping, hazard communication, medical surveillance, and recordkeeping. The agency has removed a paragraph describing requirements for hygiene areas and practices, having determined that the agency’s existing standards for sanitation provide comparable protections for workers. The final rule also adds a definition for “beryllium sensitization” as “a response in the immune system of a specific individual who has been exposed to beryllium,” and modifies existing definitions for “chronic beryllium disease (CBD),” “CBD diagnostic center,” and “confirmed positive.” It eliminates the definitions of “emergency” and “high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.” A detailed explanation of OSHA’s revisions is available in the
Federal Register