Lansing, MI, September 20th, 2018 -- Last month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule to extend the compliance date for specific ancillary requirements of the general industry beryllium standard to December 12, 2018.
According to OSHA, “This extension affects provisions for methods of compliance, beryllium work areas, regulated areas, personal protective clothing and equipment, hygiene facilities and practices, housekeeping, communication of hazards, and recordkeeping. This compliance date extension does not affect the compliance dates for other requirements of the general industry beryllium standard. OSHA has determined that the extension will maintain essential safety and health protections for workers while the agency prepares a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to clarify certain provisions of the beryllium standard that would maintain the standard’s worker safety and health protections, and address employers’ compliance burdens.”
Key provisions of the final rule still include:
Reducing the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over 8-hours.
Establishing a new short term exposure limit for beryllium of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air, over a 15-minute sampling period.
Requiring employers to use engineering and work practice controls (such as ventilation or enclosure) to limit worker exposure to beryllium; providing respirators when controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limiting worker access to high-exposure areas; developing a written exposure control plan; and training workers on beryllium hazards.
Requiring employers to make medical exams available to monitor exposed workers and providing medical removal protection benefits to workers identified with a beryllium-related disease.
“Helping companies, institutions, and government agencies comply with the latest revisions to the final rule, while protecting workers from beryllium exposure, are Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs),” said Jeffrey Miller, PhD, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “CIHs are uniquely qualified due to their knowledge of OSHA regulations and limiting exposure to beryllium, beryllium compounds, and other potential exposure hazards. These professionals are trained in risks assessments; air sampling and instrumentational analysis; engineering controls and ventilation; health risk analysis and hazard communication; work environments and industrial processes; administrative controls; and personal protective equipment. This expertise safeguards workers, communities, the environment, and helps to protect employers against noncompliance concerns and penalties.”
To learn more about the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®, the Certified Industrial Hygienist® credential, or to locate a CIH® to perform industrial hygiene services, please visit www.ABIH.org, email abih@ABIH.org, or call (517) 321-2638.
About the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®
Since 1960, ABIH®, a not-for-profit corporation, has been the world's largest organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. ABIH® is the premier credentialing body responsible for ensuring high-quality certification including education, experience, examination, certification maintenance, and ethics enforcement. Currently, more than 6900 people in 32 countries are certified to use the CIH® credential. ABIH® also administers the Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP®) credential for established environmental practitioners and the Environmental Professional In-Training (EPI) designation for early-career practitioners.