The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) confirmed in a memorandum May 11 that it will begin enforcing certain requirements of the final rule on occupational exposure to beryllium in the general industry, construction and shipyard sectors effective immediately. Those requirements include the permissible exposure limits in the general industry, construction and shipyard standards, as well as 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. 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.
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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education and assistance.
For more information on the provisions, visit www.osha.gov.