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OSHA publishes changes to beryllium standard, weighting system


The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Monday published a proposed rule on occupational exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds in construction and shipyards by delaying the compliance deadlines for nearly all provisions of the standards to Sept. 30, 2020.

OSHA says it plans to adopt the beryllium standards for construction and shipyards “by more appropriately tailoring the requirements of the standards to the exposures in these industries,” according to the statement issued Friday.

In the proposed final rule, OSHA “does not implement the proposal to revoke all of the standards’ ancillary provisions, but extends the compliance dates for the ancillary provisions to September 2020 to account for OSHA’s new proposal to revise or remove specific provisions, and maintains enforcement of the permissible exposure limit on beryllium,” according to the statement.

OSHA on Friday also announced the implementation of a new weighting system to assess workplaces for safety.

The OSHA weighting system for fiscal year 2020, last updated in 2015, will be based on an evaluation of the existing criteria and a working group’s recommendations regarding improvements to the existing weighting system, rather than the current enforcement weighting system that weighs certain inspections based on the time taken to complete the inspection or, in some cases, the impact of the inspection on workplace safety and health, according to a statement.

The new system “reinforces OSHA’s balanced approach to occupational safety and health (i.e., strong and fair enforcement, compliance assistance and recognition) and will incorporate the three major work elements performed by the field: enforcement activity, essential enforcement support functions (e.g., severe injury reporting and complaint resolution), and compliance assistance efforts,” according to the statement. 









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