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OSHA Proposes to Revoke Provisions of the Beryllium Rule for Construction, Shipyard Workers

Posted on June 27, 2017

OSHA today issued a proposed rule to revoke certain provisions of its new beryllium rule for the construction and shipyard industries. The rule went into effect in May, following two delays.

There are three beryllium standards — one for general industry, one for shipyards, and one for construction. The new proposed rule affects the standards for shipyards and construction only. The general industry standard remains unchanged.

It retains the new permissible exposure limit (PEL) and short-term exposure limits (STEL) set in the final rule. However, it proposes to revoke the ancillary provisions, specifically “exposure monitoring, regulated areas (and competent person in construction), a written exposure control plan, protective equipment and work clothing, hygiene areas and practices, housekeeping, medical surveillance, medical removal, and worker training.”

As the reason for its decision, the agency cited evidence that beryllium exposure in the industries is limited to abrasive blasting in construction, abrasive blasting in shipyards, and welding in shipyards, and noted that OSHA already has standards applicable to these applications.

The proposed rule is open for comments through August 28, and OSHA will not enforce the current shipyard and construction standards while the new rule is being considered.

Click here to read the new proposed rule and submit comments. To read some early reactions to the new proposed rule, check out this article in Safety+Health Magazine.