The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today published a final rule revising the beryllium standards for construction and shipyards. The final rule includes changes designed to clarify the standards and simplify or improve compliance. These changes maintain protection for workers while ensuring that the standard is well understood and compliance is simple and straightforward.
The final rule amends the following paragraphs in the beryllium standards for construction and shipyards: Definitions, Methods of Compliance, Respiratory Protection, Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment, Housekeeping, Hazard Communication, Medical Surveillance, and Recordkeeping. OSHA has removed the Hygiene Areas and Practices paragraph from the final standards because the necessary protections are provided by existing OSHA standards for sanitation.
The effective date of the revisions in this final rule is September 30, 2020. OSHA began enforcing the new permissible exposure limits in the 2017 beryllium standards for construction and shipyards in May 2018. OSHA will begin enforcing the remaining provisions of the standards on September 30, 2020. The final standard will affect approximately 12,000 workers employed in nearly 2,800 establishments in the construction and shipyard industries. The final standards are estimated to yield $2.5 million in total annualized cost savings to employers.
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 help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.