U.S. Department of Labor Proposes to Revise Beryllium Standard for General Industry

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a proposed rule to revise the beryllium standard for general industry. The proposed changes are designed to clarify the standard, and to simplify or improve compliance with the standard. The proposed rule would amend selected paragraphs of the standard, including “Definitions,” “Methods of Compliance,” “Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment,” “Hygiene Areas and Practices,” “Housekeeping,” “Medical Surveillance,” “Hazard Communication,” and “Recordkeeping.” It would also remove the existing Appendix A, which lists suggested controls, and replace it with a new Appendix A, Operations for Establishing Beryllium Work Areas. Comments, hearing requests, and other information must be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. Read the Federal Register notice for submission details. Comments must be submitted by 9 February 2019. The enforcement date for the provisions affected by this proposal is 12 December 2018. While this rulemaking is pending, compliance with the standard as modified by this proposal will be accepted as compliance. The proposal satisfies a settlement agreement with stakeholders that had concerns about some of the provisions in the 2017 beryllium final rule. The proposed rule would affect approximately 50,500 workers employed in general industry, and is estimated to yield minor net cost savings to employers. OSHA expects the proposed changes would provide employees with equivalent safety and health protections to the current standard.

U.S OSHA, 10 December 2018 ; http://www.osha.gov