The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today published a final rule revising the beryllium standard for general industry. The final rule includes changes designed to clarify the standard, and simplify or improve compliance. These changes maintain protection for employees while ensuring that the standard is well understood and compliance is simple and straightforward.
The final rule amends the following paragraphs of the beryllium standard for general industry: "Definitions," "Methods of Compliance," "Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment," "Hygiene Areas and Practices," "Housekeeping," "Medical Surveillance," "Hazard Communication" and "Recordkeeping." It also has a new Appendix A: "Operations for Establishing Beryllium Work Areas."
The compliance date of this final standard as modified is September 14, 2020. OSHA has been enforcing most of the provisions for general industry since Dec. 12, 2018. The agency began enforcing the provisions for change rooms and showers on March 11, 2019, and engineering controls on March 10, 2020. The final standard will affect approximately 50,500 workers employed in general industry and is estimated to yield minor net 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.
Editor’s Note: Correction made to the compliance date of final rule.