Understanding the Beryllium Standard

Beryllium is a highly toxic element used in the construction of many products, ranging from cell phones to ship components. Typically a kind of metal, when airborne and inhaled, it poses a serious health risk and so it is one of the substances that is regulated and monitored by groups like OSHA and the EPA. Prolonged exposure to beryllium can be lethal, so these organizations take laws regarding it very seriously, and as such they are updated frequently.

A new set of rules concerning this element, known as the Beryllium Standard, are being rolled out and were already supposed to take affect on March 12 but have been pushed back until May of this year. It is extremely important to keep updated with these rules and their changes, as it can affect your workplace. They were halted originally due to backlash from businesses and stakeholders not wanting to deal with hastily implemented rules that could affect them.

According to OSHA:

On January 9, 2017, OSHA published its final rule Occupational Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds in the Federal Register. The final rule reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium to a new 8-hour time-weighted-average (TWA) PEL of 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air (μg/m3). OSHA issued three separate standards in the final rule – for general industry, for shipyards, and for construction. In addition to the revised PEL, the final rule established a new short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 2.0 μg/m3 over a 15-minute sampling period and an action level of 0.1 μg/m3 along with a number of ancillary provisions similar to those found in other comprehensive health standards.

Despite the initial controversy of the rule, it is slated to go into effect on May 11, 2018. To keep on top of this rule and any other changes in OSHA regulations, we highly advise that you take a look at our training calendar, and contact us for more information. Our primary concern is making sure all local businesses are compliant with all OSHA standards and regulations, including upcoming ones like the Beryllium Standard. Make sure you are in compliance and get in touch with us today!


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