PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

Advertisement

PaintSquare


Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


OSHA Issues Final Beryllium Rule

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

More items for Health & Safety
More items from North America

Comment | More

Federal regulators have finalized a new rule limiting workplace exposure to beryllium, a metal that is present in some blasting abrasives and has been linked to lung disease.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced its final rule Friday (Jan. 6), publishing the regulation in the Federal Register. The rule comprises three separate standards, for general industry, shipyards and construction. The construction and shipyard rules apply when materials contain greater than 0.1 percent beryllium by weight.

New Limit

The new rule reduces the eight-hour permissible exposure limit (PEL) for airborne beryllium from 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter, a limit that applies to all industries. If beryllium exposure is greater than the PEL, employers must take extra steps, including providing engineering controls, medical exams or medical surveillance.

Blasting
OSHA

Beryllium levels in abrasives are generally very low, the agency says, but because of the fine dust generated in the blasting process, it can still be dangerous. (Image does not depict requirements of new rule.)

The rule also establishes a short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter over a 15-minute sampling period.

Beryllium is a component of coal, certain rock materials, volcanic dust and soil used in several industrial applications. Breathing air containing beryllium can deposit beryllium particles in the lungs, presenting immune-system and respiratory risks. Beryllium is a known human carcinogen and can cause chronic lung disease.

Beryllium in Blasting

OSHA notes in its rule that workers performing abrasive blasting can be exposed to fine particles of beryllium when the abrasive media contains the metal, as coal and copper slag sometimes do. Beryllium levels in abrasives are generally very low, the agency says, but because of the fine dust generated in the blasting process, it can still be dangerous.

“Due to the very small amounts of beryllium in these materials, the final PEL for beryllium will be exceeded only during operations that generate excessive amount of visible airborne dust, for which engineering controls and respiratory protection are already required,” the rule states.

However, proper work practices such as temporary enclosures and maintaining appropriate distance are required at blasting sites to protect other workers in the area of the work from potential beryllium exposure.

Others at Risk

OSHA also concluded that pot tenders, helpers and cleanup workers have the potential for significant airborne beryllium exposure during abrasive blasting operations and during cleanup of spent abrasive material. Accordingly, these workers (and anyone with a potential dermal exposure) require protection under the beryllium standards.

All three rules require employers to develop written exposure control plan for minimizing cross contamination, including preventing the transfer of beryllium between surfaces, equipment, clothing, materials, and articles within beryllium work areas.

The previous 2.0 micrograms-per-cubic meter limit was established by OSHA in 1971, and, according to the agency, goes back to limits developed by the Atomic Energy Commission in 1948. The new rule was subject to numerous hearings and public comment periods, including debate as to whether blasting operations would be included.

“Due to the potential presence of beryllium in several abrasive materials and the requirements for providing PPE, housekeeping and hygiene facilities when dermal contact with beryllium is possible, this regulation could have a dramatic impact on many abrasive blast cleaning projects,” says Alison B. Kaelin, of ABKaelin LLC.

Effective and Compliance Dates

The final rule becomes effective March 10, 2017. Compliance enforcement dates will come over the next three years, depending on industry. Most provisions will be required to be in place one year after the rule’s effective date, but employers will have a longer time to implement aspects like change rooms, showers and engineering controls.

The OSHA website features a copy of the standard, frequently asked questions and guidance on medical surveillance requirements.

   

Tagged categories: Abrasive blasting; Abrasives; Beryllium; Coal slag; Department of Labor; Health and safety; OSHA; Surface preparation

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Clemco Industries Corp.
 
Maximum Dust Suppression Systems Start at $14,950
 
The system comprises proven technology and equipment with user-friendly flexibility in mind. See it in action.
 

 
SABRE Autonomous Solutions
 
Introducing the ALPHA1 Blasting Robot
 
Once installed and commissioned – simply
SCAN PLAN BLAST.
 

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
Portable Dust Collectors for Tough Environments
 
Trailer and skid-mounted models in numerous sizes, powered by electric and/or diesel. Sloped roofs, multiple dust inlets, high static, dampered fans. Lockable power & drive compartments.
 

 
Atlantic Design, Inc.
 
ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS, NOT EXCUSES
 
See our website for features of our best seller, the ADI 3500CFM 4-Pot Blast Vacuum Recycler. A smaller package with all the ADI power you need. 866.Call.ADI
 

 
W Abrasives
 
Unrivaled Expertise for your Surface Preparation
 
As the global leader in steel abrasives, W Abrasives material is the efficient and eco-friendly solution blasting with you to reach the perfect profile.
 

 
Novatek Corporation
 
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal
 
Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800
 

 
Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
 
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement
 
Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!
1(800)-252-7869
 

 
Vector Technologies Ltd.
 
The Original Performance Proven Vacuum Solutions
 
VecLoader® 616 Double Dump, Continuous Vacuum, 170 HP w/ 2,400 CFM & 28” Hg. 33% More Efficient than traditional vacuum systems! Choose Vector for the most powerful and the most reliable trailer mounted vacuums in the industry! Email us at: inquiry@vector-vacuums.com or call us at: 800-832-4010
 

 
Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
 
TIER 4 EQUIPMENT
 
We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. www.absoluteequip.com or Call 412-931-6655.
 

 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us