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Summary of requirements
  • Employers whose work involves beryllium must assess their employees’ exposure level, reduce the PEL to acceptable limits, train workers, establish a written exposure control plan, follow proper hygiene practices, implement medical surveillance, and more.

The employer must:

  • Assess the airborne exposure of each employee who is or may reasonably be expected to be exposed to airborne beryllium
  • Reduce the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over eight hours.
  • Establish and implement a written exposure control plan that identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers, including but not limited to procedures to restrict access to work areas where high exposures may occur.
  • Designate an administrator to implement the written exposure control plan.
  • Provide engineering and work practice controls to reduce exposure levels.
  • Provide hygiene areas and practices including proper housekeeping.
  • Offer medical surveillance/medical exams at no cost to employees.
  • Train employees initially and annually on health hazards, the exposure control plan, personal protective equipment, and additional topics.
  • Keep records of air monitoring data, objective data, and medical surveillance.

The 2020 revisions to the standard:

  • Established an action level of a concentration of airborne beryllium of 0.1 micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) calculated as an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA).
  • Reduces the PEL for beryllium to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over eight hours.
  • Established a short-term exposure limit for beryllium of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air, over a 15-minute sampling period.
  • Requires employers to:
    • Use engineering and work practice controls (such as ventilation or enclosure) to limit worker exposure to beryllium.
    • Provide respirators when controls cannot adequately limit exposure.
    • Develop a written exposure control plan.
    • Train workers on beryllium hazards.
    • Make available medical exams to monitor exposed workers and provides medical removal protection benefits to workers identified with a beryllium-related disease.