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OSHA Issues New Beryllium Rule

On January 6, 2017, OSHA issued a final rule to reduce workplace exposure to beryllium. Previous standards were based on out dated studies and data, and more recent data demonstrates that serious lung disease can result from low level exposures to beryllium. General industry, construction, and shipyards are all affected by this rule.

This rule reduces the permissible exposure limit to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air and establishes a short-term exposure limit of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Implementation of additional personal protective equipment, workplace controls, medical surveillance, and training requirements are required. There are three standards contained in the final rule, which all take effect on March 10, 2017. Compliance deadlines are stipulated, and generally give employers one to three years to comply with the requirements stipulated in the standards.

Be sure to take the time to thoroughly review this final rule if beryllium or beryllium compounds are present in your workplace.

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