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June 26, 2017

A Proposed Rule for Beryllium…Again

On Jan. 9, OSHA issued a final rule that established new protections for workers who are exposed to beryllium in general industry, construction and shipyards. Beryllium is a lightweight metal used primarily in specialty alloys and beryllium oxide ceramics. It also is present as a trace material in metal slags.

OSHA on June 23 announced a new proposed rule that would modify the agency’s recent beryllium standards for the construction and shipyard sectors. The proposal for shipyards and construction would maintain the requirements for exposure limits (permissible exposure limit of 0.2 ?g/m3 and short-term exposure limit of 2.0 ?g/m3), which will continue to protect workers from a serious beryllium-related lung disease known as chronic beryllium disease. However, it revises the application of what it called “ancillary” provisions such as housekeeping, medical surveillance and personal protective equipment (PPE) found in the January 2017 final standards for the construction and shipyard industries.

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