OSHA Lowers Beryllium Level
Article provided by Josie Gaskey, PACA's Director of Environmental, Safety and Health
On January 6, 2017, OSHA issued a final rule lowering workplace exposure to beryllium, when inhaled through dust or fumes during processing. The beryllium rule applies to occupational exposure to beryllium in all forms, compounds, and mixtures in among others, general industry, construction, shipyards and coal-fired utilities (coal slag), lowering the eight-hour permissible exposure limit from 2.0 down to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air. When concentrations exceed those limits, employers will be required to take additional measures to protect workers. The rule becomes effective on March 21, 2017, after which employers have one year to implement most provisions. For more information, see the beryllium final rule webpage.