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

Clemco Industries Corp.


Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


OSHA Proposes Beryllium Rule Delay

Monday, March 6, 2017

More items for Health & Safety
More items from North America

Comment | More

Federal workplace-safety officials have proposed pushing back the effective date for a new rule on exposure to beryllium, citing a presidential memorandum calling for a temporary freeze on new regulations.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Wednesday (March 1) that it hopes to postpone the effective date for its final rule entitled “Occupational Exposure to Beryllium,” to May 20. The proposal was published Thursday (March 2) in the Federal Register.

Blasting operation
OSHA

The rule points out that some abrasives used in blasting contain trace amounts of beryllium that, in blasting operations, could potentially exceed the action level.

The effective date was originally scheduled for March 10, but was delayed until March 21 shortly after President Donald J. Trump took office, in response to the “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” memorandum issued by Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

In Wednesday’s press release, the agency said that during the initial review process, “OSHA has preliminarily determined that it is appropriate to further delay the effective date to May 20, 2017, for the purpose of additional review into questions of law and policy.”

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.

New Limits

The new beryllium rule reduces the eight-hour permissible exposure limit for airborne beryllium from 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter, a limit that applies to all industries. It also establishes a short-term exposure limit or 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter over a 15-minute sampling period.

Reince Priebus
Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The effective date was delayed in response to the “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” memorandum issued by President Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

For the construction and maritime industries, the rule applies when materials being used contain greater than 0.1 percent beryllium by weight. Employers using materials with a lesser beryllium content are exempt, “if the employer has objective data demonstrating that employee exposure to beryllium will remain below the action level of 0.1 μg/m3, as an eight-hour time weighted average, under any foreseeable conditions.”

The rule points out that some abrasives used in blasting contain trace amounts of beryllium that, in blasting operations, could potentially exceed the action level. The OSHA website’s frequently-asked-questions section on the rule addresses materials with trace amounts of beryllium, offering some guidance on how employers can determine whether their operations might exceed the action level for beryllium.

Compliance Dates Remain the Same

The proposed delay does not, as it stands, affect compliance dates for the new rule. Compliance dates for most aspects of the rule remain at one year from the original effective date, in this case, March 12, 2018, according to OSHA. Parts of the rule that require changes like change rooms, showers and engineering controls have compliance dates up to three years after the original effective date.

The delay is not official yet, and is subject to public comment. The comment period extends until March 13. Comments can be submitted via Regulations.gov, the government’s electronic rulemaking portal, or via mail. Mailing instructions are available here.

Industry Response

The Abrasive Blasting Manufacturers Alliance, which petitioned OSHA not to apply the new rule to the construction and maritime industries, applauded the move to delay its effective date.

“As written, the rule unnecessarily impacts all abrasive blasting media, despite the fact that beryllium exposure has not caused a single incidence of harm in the history of our industry," said the ABMA's Mark Mummert. "Moving forward, we will continue to call on OSHA to remove construction and maritime settings from the scope of the beryllium rule and focus on the rule’s original intent: regulating human exposure to beryllium alloy manufacturing.”

The United Steelworkers, which represents shipyard workers in addition to workers in other industries who deal with beryllium, worked closely with OSHA and beryllium supplier Materion Brush Inc. on the creation of the rule.

Michael J. Wright, director of Safety, Health and Environment for USW, says the union is looking at the delay as temporary. 

"We frankly don't think it's necessary, but we're assuming that the delay is benign," Wright told PaintSquare News. Wright said he understands the extra time will be used to create further educational materials and to make "some very minor changes in the rule," which he says is "routinely done."

"We're also being vigilant against further delay, or delay of the compliance date," Wright said.

The USW, which represents workers at Newport News Shipbuilding, the country's largest shipyard, is in favor of the rule applying to the maritime and construction industries, Wright said. He said that abrasives that contain trace amounts of beryllium can be used safely, but proper protection must be used.

"We believe it's possible to use these slags safely," he said. "You can use personal protection, and you can arrange the blasting operation so that people outside the operation don't inhale the dust."

He also noted that if the maritime and construction industries were not covered by the new rule, the union would seek to bar those operations from using any substance that contains beryllium. "If they're not required to use them safely, we don't want them to use them at all," he said.

   

Tagged categories: Abrasive blasting; Abrasives; Beryllium; Government; Health and safety; OSHA; President Trump; Regulations; Safety; Surface preparation

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Bullard
 
Bullard Made in the USA
 
 

 
SABRE Autonomous Solutions
 
Quality
 
The ALPHA1 provides a consistent finish day-in
day-out; job to job.
 

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

 
Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
 
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
 
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.
 

 
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
 

 
Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
 
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
 
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.
IndustrialVacuum.com
 

 
US Minerals
 
Blast with the best
 
The most effective blasting media on the market, Black Diamond hits harder and cleans faster.
 

 
Modern Safety Techniques
 
Modern Safety Techniques
 
With our unique LTCat, we can help to provide clean, safe breathing air to your workers. Take a look at our Breathing Air Systems, we supply at least twice as much charcoal as our competitors! Modern
 

 
Graco Inc.
 
Graco EcoQuip 2: Experience the Difference
 
While others claim their equipment is the same, none of them compare to Graco’s EcoQuip 2™ Vapor Abrasive® blasting line. Visit graco.com/ecoquip to learn more.
 

 
Sky Climber, LLC
 
Solutions in Suspended Access
 
Safely reach workspaces regardless of size or purpose with our full line of Hoists, modular Platforms, and versatile Workcages.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

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   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us