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OSHA Updates Beryllium Standard

Jul 14, 2020

OSHA has amended its standard for occupational exposure to beryllium. The revisions will take effect Sept. 14, 2020. The revisions are meant clarify the standard and simplify the compliance process.

An important revision was addition of an appendix to help employers more clearly define a beryllium work area. A beryllium work area was previously defined as any work area that contained a process that released beryllium or any material that contained at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight. OSHA has revised this definition by providing a list of processes that produce beryllium. Any area that contains these processes, or any other process that produces 0.1 percent beryllium by weight, will be marked as beryllium work area.

OSHA also removed the requirement for an employee to receive a medical examination within 30 days of being exposed to beryllium in an emergency situation if the employee has received an examination within the last two years.

The agency also made revisions to these section of the standard:

  • definitions
  • methods of compliance
  • Personal protective clothing and equipment
  • hygiene areas and practices
  • housekeeping
  • medical surveillance
  • hazard communication
  • recordkeeping
Read the full standard. OSHA also maintains a safety and health topics page on beryllium that contains additional information on health effects, exposure evaluation and control and links to general resources.

Related links
On Demand Webinar: OSHA's General Industry Beryllium Rule - Who, What, When and Why

Real & Present Danger: The Underestimated Impact of Carcinogens in the Workplace
Background Beryllium: Statistical Tools for Using Bulk Samples to Assess Building Contamination

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