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OSHA proposes beryllium rule revision

Posted On: Jun. 23, 2017 12:32 PM CST

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a proposed beryllium rule that would modify standards for the construction and shipyard sectors, and announced it will not enforce the current standards on these industries without further notice.

The regulatory requirements featured in the January 2017 rule for the general industry will be unaffected by the proposal, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday in a statement.

The proposed rule would maintain the permissible exposure limit at 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter and the short-term exposure limit of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter over a 15-minute sampling period for the construction and shipyard industries. However, it will revise the application of ancillary provisions such as housekeeping and personal protective equipment included in the January rule for these industries.

“OSHA has evidence that exposure in these industries is limited to a few operations and has information suggesting that requiring the ancillary provisions broadly may not improve worker protection and be redundant with overlapping protections in other standards,” the agency said in its statement. “Accordingly, OSHA is seeking comment on, among other things, whether existing standards covering abrasive blasting in construction, abrasive blasting in shipyards and welding in shipyards provide adequate protection for workers engaged in these operations.”

The proposed rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on June 27, and OSHA will conduct a 60-day comment period.