During work hours, you’re responsible for the health and well-being of your workers, so you need to keep them safe from Beryllium. A material used in aerospace, electronics, energy, telecommunication, medical and defense, inhaling this highly toxic metal puts workers at an increased risk of developing chronic beryllium disease (CBD) or lung cancer.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently finalized a set of new beryllium standards to protect your workers. Premium Staffing, Inc. — one of the Chicago employment agencies that works with employers impacted by the beryllium rule — wants to make sure you understand the importance of adhering to this new OSHA standard.
In total, OSHA estimates this new rule will save 94 workers per year from dying of beryllium-related diseases. When in full effect, it’s also expected to prevent 46 new cases of chronic beryllium disease, which really significant.
4 Ways the New OSHA Rule Protects Workers
- The PEL for beryllium is now limited to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air — averaged over eight hours — and creates a short-term exposure limit for beryllium of 2.0 µg/m3 within a 15-minute sampling period. This means you’ll need to create controls to keep excessive amounts of beryllium from going airborne when workers have the capacity to inhale it.
- Access to areas with high volumes of beryllium must be limited, necessary respiratory protection equipment must be provided and personal protective clothing is required to be on hand when a potentially dangerous level of contact is possible.
- Workers need to be in-the-know, so you must provide beryllium-specific training, assess exposures and create and enforce written exposure control plans.
- Medical examinations must be offered to certain workers who have been exposed to beryllium. If a health concern related to beryllium is noted, you’re required to offer additional measures to lower the person’s exposure to the material.
Complying With the New Beryllium Rule
OSHA understands that adapting to a new rule takes time, so you have an entire year after the effective date — March 10, 2017 — to implement most standards. After two years, you’ll need to have updates for change rooms and showers in place and modifications to your engineering control rooms must be completed after three years.
Need a little help finding the best engineering and manufacturing candidates in Chicagoland and beyond? Contact Premium Staffing, Inc. We offer fast service and cost-effective hiring, ensuring your open positions will be filled with talented professionals in no time at all.