In the February 1, 2017 Federal Register, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a delay of the effective date for its recently finalized occupational exposure to beryllium standard. The effective date is delayed from March 10, 2017 to March 21, 2017 to allow OSHA to further review the standard, in accordance with the Presidential memorandum issued January 20, 2017, postponing the effective dates of all regulations published in the Federal Register that have not yet taken effect. Although the effective date has been postponed, there are no current changes to the compliance dates in the beryllium rule.
The occupational exposure to beryllium rule, originally published in the January 9, 2017 Federal Register, consists of three separate rules for the general industry, construction, and shipyards. The eight-hour permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium will be reduced from the current 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter. OSHA is also establishing a short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter over a 15-minute sampling period. In addition to the new exposure limits, OSHA will require additional worker protections, including regulated areas, respiratory protection, personal protective clothing and equipment, medical surveillance, and training.