OSHA rules regarding beryllium exposure now are in effect
On May 20, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began enforcing two new regulations that could affect a narrow scope of tasks a roofing contractor may perform—general industry rule 29 CFR 1910.1024 and construction rule 29 CFR 1926.1124 regarding worker exposure to beryllium.
The regulations establish a new permissible exposure limit (including a short-term exposure limit) requiring an employer to ensure no employee is exposed to an airborne concentration of beryllium exceeding 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air calculated as an eight-hour time-weighted average. The rules also establish an action level and mandate beryllium exposure assessments of workers, engineering and work practice controls, written exposure control plans, worker information, and training and medical surveillance, among other requirements.
According to OSHA, beryllium is a metal with physical properties used in numerous products within a variety of industries, including aerospace, defense, nuclear and information technology.