OSHA has recently updated their standards regarding beryllium. The substance is often used in aerospace, electronics, energy, telecommunication, medical, and defense industries. While the metal is important, it is also highly toxic and dangerous for workers to inhale. It causes a number of health issues when inhaled, most notably lung cancer and CBD (Chronic Beryllium Disease), both of which can cause lifelong complications or death.
With this in mind, OSHA has proposed new regulations on how to handle the metal.
According to OSHA, the new rules are as follows:
The rule reduces the amount of the metal allowed to be in the air over 8 hours. It also establishes a limit for exposure to the metal over this limit. Additionally, employers must do everything they can to prevent excessive metal from becoming airborne.
Limited access to high-exposure areas. Employers must provide respiratory protection and protective clothing for workers if those areas must receive access.
Employers must have a written exposure control plan and provide workers with training.
Lastly, Employers must provide medical examinations for exposed workers. If a worker receives a diagnosis with a health effect related to the metal, employers must offer workplace accommodations for the worker.
These rules will directly protect workers who frequently have to interact with the metal and OSHA speculates it will save the lives of 90 workers from beryllium related diseases and prevent 46 new cases of chronic beryllium disease once its takes effect.
While these new rules will only affect a small amount of the working population, it will still, in all likelihood, save lives. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.
To learn more about new regulations, visit the American Medical Compliance website.