OSHA Extends Beryllium Enforcement for General Industry

OSHA has announced a delay in enforcing certain requirements of the final rule on occupational exposure to beryllium in general industry to August 9, 2018. These requirements include beryllium work areas, regulated work areas, methods of compliance, personal protective clothing and equipment, hygiene areas and practices, housekeeping, communication of hazards, and recordkeeping.

It’s important to note that enforcement timelines vary for other general industry requirements, and some requirements in the General Industry, Construction and Shipyard industries are currently in effect. OSHA issued an Interim Enforcement Memorandum on May 9, 2018 to provide its compliance officers with guidance on federal enforcement of the beryllium standards. The memorandum clarifies that as of May 11, 2018, OSHA is only enforcing the following provisions of the beryllium standards:

  • PELs in the general industry, construction and shipyard standards
  • General industry exposure assessment
  • General industry respiratory protection
  • General industry medical surveillance
  • General industry medical removal

OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on June 1, 2018 to extend the compliance dates of remaining requirements until December 12, 2018. The extension gives OSHA time to complete another planned NPRM intended to clarify the standard and simplify compliance. March 11, 2019 continues to be the enforcement deadline for change rooms and showers, and March 10, 2020 is the deadline for complying with engineering controls requirements.

For the general industry, OSHA also recently issued a direct final rule (DFR) in May 2018 to clarify provisions affecting trace amounts of beryllium materials in general industry workplaces, and – more specifically – the definition of a beryllium work area, as well as other terms in the standard affected by that change. Since the agency received no significant adverse comments on the DFR, it became effective on July 6, 2018.

Let VelocityEHS | MSDSonline Help!

The VelocityEHS | MSDSonline chemical management solutions help employers meet compliance obligations for the HazCom components of the beryllium standard by ensuring employees have access to GHS-formatted SDSs, labels and hazard training. Our award-winning MSDSonline HQ and HQ RegXR Accounts provide 24/7 mobile-enabled, employee right-to-know access to the industry’s leading database of SDSs, and feature built-in GHS workplace labeling capabilities, including workplace label integrations with Brady, Avery and Graphic Products DuraLabel printers.

The VelocityEHS Risk Analysis tool can help streamline the identification of areas where exposure to beryllium may occur, as well as assignment and tracking of follow-up actions. And if you want an easier way to schedule and conduct inspections needed to comply with the housekeeping requirements of the rule, try our Audit & Inspections solution. With the right tools, you’ll be better prepared for OSHA’s beryllium rule and take your safety performance to the next level.