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US Osha proposes further changes to beryllium standard

The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha) has opened a consultation on a just-released proposed rule, aimed at revising the beryllium standard for general industry.

The changes are designed to clarify the standard, and to simplify or improve compliance with it.

The proposal would revise several paragraphs, including those on:

  • definitions;
  • methods of compliance;
  • personal protective equipment;
  • hygiene areas and practices;
  • housekeeping;
  • medical surveillance;
  • hazard communication; and
  • recordkeeping.

It also seeks to replace the existing Appendix A on suggested controls with a version that concentrates on operations for establishing beryllium work areas.

Comments must be submitted by 9 February.

Osha says the proposal "satisfies a settlement agreement with stakeholders that had concerns about some of the provisions in the 2017 beryllium final rule". It estimates the changes will affect 50,500 general industry workers.

The beryllium standard has been subject to a number of delays because of changes and will take effect on 12 December. Osha says that while this latest rulemaking is pending, compliance with the standard as modified by the proposal will be accepted as such.

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