OSHA announced in a press release a proposed rule to revise the beryllium standard for general industry. A public inspection version of the proposed rule is available – it will be published in the Federal Register on Dec. 11, 2018. Comments are due by Feb. 9, 2019.
The proposed changes are designed to clarify the standard, and to simplify or improve compliance. The proposed rule would amend selected paragraphs of the standard, including “Definitions,” “Methods of Compliance,” “Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment,” “Hygiene Areas and Practices,” “Housekeeping,” “Medical Surveillance,” “Hazard Communication,” and “Recordkeeping.” It would also remove the existing Appendix A, which lists suggested controls, and replace it with a new Appendix A, Operations for Establishing Beryllium Work Areas.
The proposal satisfies a settlement agreement with stakeholders that had concerns about some provisions in the 2017 beryllium final rule. The proposed rule would affect approximately 50,500 workers in general industry, and is estimated to yield minor net cost savings to employers. OSHA expects the proposed changes would provide employees with equivalent safety and health protections to the current standard.