OSHA Issues Final Rule
OSHA has issued a final rule to prevent chronic beryllium disease and lung cancer by limiting worker exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds. It contains standards for three sectors: general industry, construction, and shipyards with these key provisions:
- Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over 8-hours.
- Establishes a new short-term exposure limit for beryllium of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air, over a 15-minute sampling period.
- Requires employers to: use engineering and work practice controls (such as ventilation or enclosure) to limit worker exposure to beryllium; provide respirators when controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high-exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan; and train workers on beryllium hazards.
- Requires employers to make available medical exams to monitor exposed workers and provides medical removal protection benefits to workers identified with a beryllium-related disease.
At this writing, OSHA has proposed a delay of the effective date from March 21 to May 20 to allow for further review in keeping with guidance from the Trump Administration issued on January 20.
The three sectors have one year from the original effective date (March 12, 2018) to comply with most of the requirements. All sectors have two years (March 11, 2019) from the original effective date to provide any required change rooms and showers and three years (March 10, 2020) from the original effective date to implement engineering controls. This ruling affects those contractors that blast clean with abrasives containing beryllium.
SSPC has established this site for our members to be able to find out the facts about the ruling and what steps must be taken to comply. Within the site you will find the OSHA fact sheet, a link to the ruling, a fact sheet put together by SSPC membership, and comments that were submitted to OSHA from the Abrasive Blasting Manufacturers Alliance. After reviewing any documents, if you have additional questions or concerns, please contact Michael Damiano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click on the links below for more information
- Evaluation of Air Sampling Methods for Abrasive Blasting (2013, PDF)
- Solubility and Chemistry of Materials Encountered by Beryllium Mine and Ore Extraction Workers (2011, PDF)
- Toxicological Profile for Beryllium (2002, PDF)
- Beryllium Sensitization, Chronic Beryllium Disease, and Exposures at a Beryllium Mining and Extraction Facility (2001, PDF)
- Lung Function, Biological Monitoring, and Biological Effect Monitoring of Gemstone Cutters Exposed to Beryls (2000, PDF)
- Evaluation of Substitute Materials for Silica Sand in Abrasive Blasting (1998, PDF)