On January 9, 2017, OSHA issued a final rule adopting a comprehensive standard for exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds. A separate standard was promulgated for general industry, construction, and shipyard industries.
When OSHA first announced its intent to promulgate a beryllium standard for construction in 2015, the scope of the standard appeared to be limited to abrasive blasting. When the final rule was issued in 2017, that scope for the construction industry was much broader. Affected stakeholders responded that they had not been provided sufficient notice and, therefore, had not had an opportunity to comment on the application of the rule to the construction industry.
As a result, OSHA announced it would enforce only the permissible exposure limits and short-term exposure limit for the construction and shipyard industries until it undertakes additional rulemaking for those industries. OSHA will not enforce any other part of the beryllium standards, such as ancillary provisions (engineering controls and medical surveillance) in construction and shipyard operations until further notice.