Events and News

OSHA Issues Final Rule for Beryllium

January 10, 2017

On January 9, 2017, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule to limit workers’ exposure to beryllium. The final rule reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an eight-hour time-weighted average. It also establishes a short-term exposure limit of 2 micrograms per cubic meter of air over a sampling period of 15 minutes. Metalcasting facilities utilizing beryllium face new requirements for assessing exposure and will have to minimize worker exposure through respiratory protection, personal protective clothing and equipment, housekeeping, medical surveillance, hazard communication and recordkeeping.

The final rule replaces a standard that is over four decades old and becomes effective March 10, 2017. The standard does provide staggered compliance dates, including allowing employers one year to bring exposure limits within the new boundaries, two years to furnish changing rooms and showers and three years to enact engineering controls.

A copy of OSHA’s beryllium rule is available here - https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/09/2016-30409/occupational-exposure-to-beryllium.  For further information, contact Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington office, ssalmon@afsinc.org