OSHA Announces Delayed Enforcement of Certain Beryllium Standards

May 11, 2018
OSHA will begin enforcing certain requirements of the final rule on occupational exposure to beryllium

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) confirmed in a memorandum today that it will begin enforcing certain requirements of the final rule on occupational exposure to beryllium in general industry, construction, and shipyards on May 11, 2018. Those requirements include the permissible exposure limits in the general industry, construction, and shipyard standards; and the exposure assessment, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, and medical removal provisions in the general industry standard.

Aside from these requirements, other ancillary provisions included in the beryllium standard for general industry will not be enforced until June 25, 2018. However, under the terms of settlement agreements with petitioners who challenged the rule, the Agency plans to issue a proposal to further extend this compliance date for the ancillary provisions to Dec. 12, 2018.

Memordandum details: On January 9, 2017, OSHA published its final rule, Occupational Exposure to Beryllium, which contained expanded standards for general industry, construction, and shipyards, and included a lower 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) and permissible exposure limit (PEL), a new short term exposure limit (STEL), and an action level at half of the 8-hour TWA PEL.

On June 27, 2017, OSHA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Occupational Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds in Construction and Shipyard Sectors, to revoke the ancillary provisions of the construction and shipyard standards, but retain the PELs . All obligations, besides the ancillary provisions of the construction and shipyard standards, were to begin on March 12, 2018; except for the general industry requirements for change rooms and showers in paragraphs (i)(2) and (i)(3) that will not start until March 11, 2019; and the requirements for engineering controls in paragraph (f) that will not begin until March 10, 2020.

March 2, 2018, OSHA delayed enforcing the general industry standard, and construction and shipyard PELs, until May 11, 2018.

However, under the terms of settlement agreements reached with petitioners challenging the rule, the Agency will propose to extend the compliance dates of certain requirements until December 12, 2018. To allow time to complete that and other ongoing rulemaking proceedings, on May 11, 2018 OSHA will begin enforcing only the:

  • PELs in the general industry, construction, and shipyard standards at §1910.1024(c), §1926.1124(c), and §1915.1024(c), respectively;
  • General industry exposure assessment at §1910.1024(d);
  • General industry respiratory protection §1910.1024(g);
  • General industry medical surveillance §1910.1024(k); and
  • General industry medical removal at §1910.1024(l).

Unless it provides notice, OSHA will not enforce any other provisions contained in §1910.1024 until June 25, 2018. And, unless it provides notice OSHA will not enforce any other provisions contained in §1926.1124 or §1915.1024.

OSHA previously proposed to remove the ancillary requirements from the beryllium standards for the construction and maritime industries.  In accordance with that proposal, OSHA will enforce the permissible exposure limits, but will not enforce any other provisions for beryllium exposure in those standards unless it provides notice.

Certain compliance dates outlined in the rule remain unchanged. Enforcement of the general industry requirements for change rooms and showers will begin March 11, 2019; and requirements for engineering controls will begin March 10, 2020.

For details and clarification on the Interim Enforcement Memorandum and Notice of Delay in Enforcement for Certain Provisions of the Beryllium Standards, click here:

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