On March 2, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it will begin enforcement of the final rule on occupational exposure to beryllium
in general, shipyard and construction industries on May 11, 2018. According to an OSHA news release
, the enforcement date was previously set for March 12, 2018, but this new timeframe aims to ensure stakeholders are aware of their obligations and compliance to the final rule.
Specifically, the OSHA memorandum for regional administrators
OSHA has been in extensive settlement discussions with several parties who have filed legal actions challenging the general industry standard. In order to provide additional time to conclude those negotiations, we have decided to delay enforcement of the general industry standard by 60 days until May 11, 2018. Furthermore, to ensure employers have adequate notice before OSHA begins enforcing them, as well as in the interest of uniform enforcement and clarity for employers, we have decided to also delay enforcement of the PEL and STEL in the construction and shipyard standards until May 11, 2018. No other parts of the construction and shipyard beryllium standards will be enforced without additional notice. In the interim, if an employer fails to meet the new PEL or STEL, OSHA will inform the employer of the exposure levels and offer assistance to assure understanding and compliance. No provisions of the beryllium final rule may be enforced until May 11, 2018.
OSHA issued a final rule on beryllium exposure on Jan. 9, 2017. The construction industry was included in the final rule in an expansion of the proposed rule, which focused on general industry. The final rule points directly to the construction task of abrasive blasting operations that use slags that contain trace amounts of beryllium. More information on the final rule can be found on OSHA's website
On June 27, 2017, OSHA issued a proposed rule
to revoke the ancillary provisions of the final rule for the construction and shipyard sectors included in the January 2017 final rule, but retain the permissible exposure limit of .2 micrograms per cubic meter of air as an eight-hour weighted average and the short-term exposure limit of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air, which is fifteen minutes. ABC submitted comments
on the proposed rule on Aug. 28, 2017, and commented as a member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition
According to the Trump administration’s 2017 Fall Unified Agenda for Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions
, OSHA plans to publish a final rule
to revoke the ancillary provisions for these two sectors in September 2018.