SMALL ENTITY COMPLIANCE GUIDE
FOR BERYLLIUM IN GENERAL INDUSTRY

Occupational Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor

May 2021

www.osha.gov

This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It does not alter or determine compliance responsibilities, which are laid out in OSHA standards and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to comply with safety and health standards and regulations promulgated by OSHA or by a state with an OSHA-approved state plan. In addition, the Act's General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1), requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

Section 11(c)(1) of the Act provides that "No person shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this Act or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding or because of the exercise by such employee on behalf of himself or others of any right afforded by this Act." Reprisal or discrimination against an employee for reporting an incident, injury, or workplace violation, or for participating in medical surveillance would constitute a violation of Section 11(c) of the OSH Act.

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide is intended to help small businesses understand and comply with OSHA's 2020 final rule for beryllium in general industry, which became effective on September 14, 2020 (the "2020 final rule"). OSHA uses the term "general industry" to refer to all industries not included in agriculture, construction or maritime. Employers in general industry are regulated by OSHA's general industry standards, directives and standard interpretations.

Employees exposed to beryllium are at risk of developing serious adverse health effects including Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD) and lung cancer. This guide describes many of the steps that general industry employers are required to take to protect their employees from the hazards associated with exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds. Employers in construction and shipyards should refer to the respective small entity compliance guides specific to their industry.

This guide does not replace the Beryllium standard for general industry, which can be found at 29 CFR § 1910.1024.1 The employer must refer to the standard to ensure that it is in compliance with all of OSHA's beryllium requirements. Please note that OSHA's requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. This Beryllium General Industry Small Entity Compliance Guide does not create new or additional requirements but rather explains the requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances. This Beryllium General Industry Small Entity Compliance Guide may be affected when the agency updates a standard, a legal decision impacts a standard, or changes in technology affect the interpretation. To assure that you are using the correct information and guidance, please consult OSHA's website at www.osha.gov. Administrative interpretations, letters of interpretation, and memos regarding the Beryllium standard for general industry may be viewed at https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/interlinking/standards/1910.1024.

What is Beryllium?

Beryllium is a lightweight but extremely strong metal that is valued for its many advantageous properties. Beryllium, by itself or when combined with other chemicals to form many compounds and alloys, has many industrial uses. For example, beryllium-copper alloys are used to make switches in automobiles, computers, radar, satellite, and telecommunications equipment because of their electrical and thermal conductivity, hardness, and good corrosion resistance. Beryllium alloys are also used in automotive electronics, computer components, home appliance parts, and dental appliances. Beryllium oxide is used to make ceramics for electronics, microwave oven components, military vehicle armor, laser structural components and automotive ignition systems because of its beneficial properties of heat conductivity, high strength and hardness and good electrical insulation. For more information see Section IV (Chemical Properties and Industrial Uses) of OSHA's 2017 final rule Occupational Exposure to Beryllium (82 FR 2470) and OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Page for beryllium.

Scope – Paragraph (a) of the Standard

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) covers most private sector employers in the U.S. OSHA health standards apply to four major industry categories: general industry (29 CFR §1910); construction (29 CFR §1926); maritime (shipyards, marine terminals, longshoring (29 CFR §1915)); and agriculture (29 CFR §1928). As discussed in the Introduction, this guide applies to general industry employers only.

The Beryllium standard applies to all occupational exposures to beryllium in all forms, compounds, and mixtures in general industry with the exemptions below.

Exemptions to coverage of the Beryllium standard for general industry

  1. The standard does not apply to articles that contain beryllium and that the employer does not process.
    An article is defined in the OSHA Hazard Communication standard (HCS) (§1910.1200(c)) as a manufactured item other than a fluid or particle that has the following attributes:
    • The item is formed to a specific shape or design during manufacture;
    • The item has end-use function(s) dependent in whole or in part upon its shape or design during end use; and
    • The item, under normal conditions of use, does not release more than very small quantities (minute or trace amounts), and does not pose a physical hazard or health risk to employees.

For example, items or parts containing beryllium that employers assemble where the physical integrity of the item is not compromised are unlikely to release beryllium (e.g., inserting a semiconductor wafer into an electronic device). These items would be considered articles that are exempt from the scope of the standard. Similarly, finished or processed items or parts containing beryllium that employers are simply packing in containers or affixing with shipping tags or labels are unlikely to release beryllium. These items would also come within the exemption. By contrast, if an employer performs operations such as machining, grinding, cutting, sanding, or other processes that physically alter an item, these operations would not fall within the exemption because they involve processing of the item.

  1. The standard also does not apply to employee exposure to materials containing less than 0.1 percent beryllium by weight where the employer has objective data demonstrating that employee exposure to beryllium will remain below the action level as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) under any foreseeable conditions.

Employers may rely on material, use, process and air concentration information that indicates that the use or handling of a beryllium-containing material cannot, under any foreseeable conditions, release concentrations of beryllium at or above the action level (AL) of 0.1 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) as an 8-hour TWA. OSHA interprets the phrase "any foreseeable conditions" as meaning situations that can be reasonably anticipated. For example, annual maintenance of equipment during which exposures could exceed the action level would be a situation that is generally foreseeable. OSHA notes that coverage under the standard is determined without regard to the use of engineering controls.

If the only beryllium-containing material in an employer's facility contains less than 0.1 percent beryllium by weight and the employer has objective data demonstrating that only one process in the facility can release beryllium in excess of the action level, then the standard applies only in locations where that particular process can release beryllium in excess of the action level. The employer can use their objective data indicating that exposures will not reach the action level in other locations within the facility to show that the standard does not apply in that part of the facility.

See FAQs: "What is objective data" and "How can objective data be used to determine where the beryllium standard applies to employers who handle or use materials containing less than 0.1% beryllium by weight?" in Appendix II for more information.

Definitions – Paragraph (b) of the Standard

Definitions are included in the standard to describe the meaning of terms used in the regulatory text. A selection of key definitions in the Beryllium standard are shown below. A complete set of definitions in the Beryllium standard may be viewed at 29 CFR § 1910.1024.

In the Beryllium standard for general industry:

Action level means a concentration of airborne beryllium of 0.1 micrograms per cubic meter of air (mg/m3) calculated as an 8‑hour time‑weighted average (TWA).

Airborne exposure and airborne exposure to beryllium means the exposure to airborne beryllium that would occur if the employee were not using a respirator.

Beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT) means the measurement of blood lymphocyte proliferation in a laboratory test when lymphocytes are challenged with a soluble beryllium salt.

Beryllium sensitization means a response in the immune system of a specific individual who has been exposed to beryllium. There are no associated physical or clinical symptoms and no illness or disability with beryllium sensitization alone, but the response that occurs through beryllium sensitization can enable the immune system to recognize and react to beryllium. While not every beryllium-sensitized person will develop chronic beryllium disease (CBD), beryllium sensitization is essential for development of CBD.

See FAQ: "What is beryllium sensitization?" in Appendix II for more information. Additional information and resources on beryllium sensitization are also provided in the Health Effects subpage of OSHA's Safety and Health Topics webpage for beryllium.

Beryllium work area means any work area where materials that contain at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight are processed either:

  1. During any of the operations listed in Appendix A of this standard; or
  2. Where employees are, or can reasonably be expected to be, exposed to airborne beryllium at or above the action level.

See Table A.1 in 29 CFR § 1910.1024, Appendix A. and FAQs pertaining to beryllium work areas in Appendix II of this document for more information.

CBD diagnostic center means a medical diagnostic center that has a pulmonologist or pulmonary specialist on staff and on-site facilities to perform a clinical evaluation for the presence of chronic beryllium disease (CBD). The CBD diagnostic center must have the capacity to perform pulmonary function testing (as outlined by the American Thoracic Society criteria), bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), and transbronchial biopsy. The CBD diagnostic center must also have the capacity to transfer BAL samples to a laboratory for appropriate diagnostic testing within 24 hours. The pulmonologist or pulmonary specialist must be able to interpret the biopsy pathology and the BAL diagnostic test results.

See FAQs pertaining to CBD diagnostic centers in Appendix II for more information.

Chronic beryllium disease (CBD) means a chronic granulomatous lung disease caused by inhalation of airborne beryllium by an individual who is beryllium sensitized.

See FAQ: "What is Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD)?" in Appendix II for more information.

Confirmed positive means that the person tested has had two abnormal BeLPT test results, an abnormal and a borderline test result, or three borderline test results, obtained from tests conducted within a three-year period. It also means the result of a more reliable and accurate test indicating a person has been identified as having beryllium sensitization.

See the Health Effects subpage of OSHA's Safety and Health Topics webpage for beryllium for additional information and resources on testing for beryllium sensitization.

Contaminated with beryllium and beryllium-contaminated mean contaminated with dust, fumes, mists, or solutions containing beryllium in concentrations greater than or equal to 0.1 percent by weight.

Dermal contact with beryllium means skin exposure to:

  1. Soluble beryllium compounds containing beryllium in concentrations greater than or equal to 0.1 percent by weight;
  2. Solutions containing beryllium in concentrations greater than or equal to 0.1 percent by weight; or
  3. Visible dust, fumes, or mists containing beryllium in concentrations greater than or equal to 0.1 percent by weight. The handling of beryllium materials in non-particulate solid form that are free from visible dust containing beryllium in concentrations greater than or equal to 0.1 percent by weight is not considered dermal contact under the standard.

See FAQs pertaining to dermal contact with beryllium in Appendix II for more information.

Emergency means any occurrence such as, but not limited to, equipment failure, rupture of containers, or failure of control equipment, which may or does result in an uncontrolled and unintended release of airborne beryllium that presents a significant hazard.

High‑efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter means a filter that is at least 99.97 percent efficient in removing particles 0.3 micrometers in diameter.

Objective data means information, such as air monitoring data from industry-wide surveys or calculations based on the composition of a substance, demonstrating airborne exposure to beryllium associated with a particular product or material or a specific process, task, or activity. The data must reflect workplace conditions closely resembling or with a higher airborne exposure potential than the processes, types of material, control methods, work practices, and environmental conditions in the employer's current operations.

See FAQs: "What is objective data" and "How can objective data be used to determine where the beryllium standard applies to employers who handle or use materials containing less than 0.1% beryllium by weight?" in Appendix III for more information.

Physician or other licensed health care professional (PLHCP) means an individual whose legally permitted scope of practice (i.e., license, registration, or certification) allows them to independently provide or be delegated the responsibility to provide some or all of the health care services required by paragraph (k) of this standard.

Regulated area means an area, including temporary work areas, where maintenance or non-routine tasks are performed, where an employee's airborne exposure exceeds, or can reasonably be expected to exceed, either the time-weighted average (TWA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) or short-term exposure limit (STEL).

Permissible Exposure Limits – Paragraph (c) of the Standard

The Beryllium standard has both an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) and a short-term exposure limit (STEL).

Employers must ensure that their employees' exposure to beryllium does not exceed either the PEL or the STEL.

  • The PEL for beryllium is 0.2 µg/m3 as an 8-hour TWA. This means that over the course of any 8-hour work shift, exposures can fluctuate, but the average exposure to beryllium cannot exceed 0.2 μg/m3 over this time period.
  • The STEL for beryllium is 2.0 µg/m3 over a 15-minute period. This means that over the course of any 15-minute period during the work shift, exposure to beryllium, as measured by air monitoring, must not exceed 2.0 µg/m3.

Additional information on assessing employee exposure and compliance with the PEL and STEL can be found in the Exposure Assessment section of this guide.

Both the PEL and the action level are expressed as TWA exposures. TWA measurements account for variable exposure levels over the course of a work shift by averaging periods of higher and lower exposures. The TWA exposure for an 8-hour work shift is calculated using the following formula:

TWA = (Ca Ta + Cb Tb . . . Cn Tn) ÷ 8

Where:

  • TWA is the time-weighted average exposure for the work shift;
  • C is the concentration during any period of time (T) where the concentration remains constant; and
  • T is the duration in hours of the exposure concentration (C).

For example, suppose that an employee is exposed to beryllium in an 8-hour workday as follows:

Two hours exposure at 0.1 µg/m3
Two hours exposure at 0.03 µg/m3
Four hours exposure at 0.2 µg/m3

Entering this information in the formula produces the following:

(2 x 0.1) + (2 x 0.03) + (4 x 0.2) ÷ 8 hours = 0.1325 µg/m3

The employee's TWA exposure in this example is 0.1325 µg/m3 which is above the action level of 0.1 µg/m3, but below the TWA PEL of 0.2 µg/m3.

Note: Given the short timeframe over which compliance with the STEL is assessed (a 15-minute period), the STEL is not expressed as a TWA. Short-term exposure may be established with a single 15-minute sample taken when exposures are expected to be the highest.

Exposure Assessment- Paragraph (d) of the Standard

Employers must assess the 8-hour TWA exposure and the 15-minute short-term exposure for each employee who is or may reasonably be expected to be exposed to airborne beryllium. The purposes of assessing employee exposures include:

  • identifying where exposures are occurring;
  • helping the employer select control methods and ensuring those methods are effective;
  • preventing employees from being exposed above the 8-hour TWA PEL or 15-minute STEL, and identifying where exposure to beryllium meets or exceeds the 8-hour TWA action level;
  • providing employees with information about their exposure levels; and
  • allowing the employer to give the medical personnel performing medical examinations information about employee exposures.

If the exposure assessment reveals that employees are exposed above either the TWA PEL or the STEL, the employer must take further steps to reduce these exposures to protect their workers (see Methods of Compliance - Paragraph (f) of the Standard in this guide).

Employers can choose between two options for assessing exposures: the scheduled monitoring option and the performance option.

Scheduled Monitoring Option

The scheduled monitoring option lets employers know when and how often to perform exposure monitoring to measure employee exposures (see schedule below). When following the scheduled monitoring option, employers must make sure that:

  • Results represent the employee's TWA exposure to beryllium over an eight-hour workday (full-shift sample);
  • Samples collected represent the employee's highest expected 15-minute exposure to beryllium during the work shift in operations that are likely to produce airborne exposure above the STEL;
  • Samples are collected from the employee's breathing zone; and
  • Samples are collected outside respirators so that they represent the exposure that would occur without the use of the respirator.

Employers are required to perform initial exposure monitoring to determine each employee's exposure, using one or more personal breathing zone air samples for the 8-hour TWA exposure. Employers using the scheduled monitoring option must conduct initial monitoring as soon as work begins so that they are aware of exposure levels and where control measures are needed.

Under the scheduled monitoring option, just as under the performance option (see below), employers must correctly characterize each employee's exposure to beryllium.

Exposure monitoring must include, at a minimum, one full-shift sample taken for each job classification, in each work area, and on each shift. Exposure monitoring must also include, at a minimum, one 15-minute sample measured in operations that are likely to produce airborne exposures about the STEL for each work shift, for each job classification, and in each work area. Characterizing each employee's exposure may involve monitoring all exposed employees or a smaller number of employees whose exposures can then represent those of other employees ("representative sampling").

Representative sampling is allowed when several employees perform the same job on the same shift in the same work area. Representative sampling involves monitoring the employee or employees reasonably expected to have the highest airborne exposure to beryllium (for example, the employee closest to an exposure source). This exposure is then assigned to the other employees in the group who perform the same tasks on the same shift and in the same work area. For example, characterizing each employee's short-term exposure may be accomplished by taking a 15-minute sample when short term exposure is expected to be highest during operations and job tasks involving beryllium exposure and assigning that exposure to represent each employee involved in that operation or job task.

See FAQ: "Does the beryllium standard require employers to conduct exposure monitoring for the same task during each work shift in which it is performed?" in Appendix II for more information.

How Often Must Employers Monitor under the Scheduled Monitoring Option?

The frequency with which an employer must monitor employee exposures depends on the airborne exposure levels found as a result of initial monitoring and, thereafter, on any further monitoring performed, as follows:

  • If the initial monitoring indicates that employee exposures are below the action level and at or below the STEL, then no further monitoring is required.
  • If the most recent monitoring reveals employee exposures at or above the action level but at or below the TWA PEL, the employer must repeat 8-hour TWA monitoring within six months of the most recent 8-hour TWA monitoring.
  • If the most recent monitoring reveals employee exposures above the TWA PEL, the employer must repeat 8-hour TWA monitoring within three months of the most recent 8-hour TWA monitoring.
  • If the most recent monitoring reveals employee exposures above the 15-minute STEL, the employer must repeat 15-minute monitoring within three months of the most recent 15-minute exposure monitoring.
  • When two non-initial 8-hour TWA monitoring results taken consecutively, at least 7 days apart but within 6 months of each other, are below the action level, employers may stop 8-hour TWA monitoring for employees represented by those results, as long as no changes occur that could reasonably be expected to result in new or additional exposures at or above the action level.
  • When two non-initial short-term monitoring results taken consecutively, at least 7 days apart, are below the 15-minute STEL, employers may stop the 15-minute sampling for employees represented by those results, as long as no changes occur that could reasonably be expected to result in new or additional exposures above the STEL.

Performance Option

The performance option gives employers flexibility to assess the 8-hour TWA exposure and the 15-minute short-term exposure for each employee based on any combination of air monitoring data and objective data that can accurately characterize employee exposures to beryllium.

Air monitoring data are any results of air monitoring that the employer has done to meet the requirements of the standard.

Objective data means information, such as air monitoring data from industry-wide surveys or calculations based on the composition of a substance, demonstrating airborne exposure to beryllium associated with a particular product or material or a specific process, task, or activity. The data must reflect workplace conditions closely resembling or with a higher airborne exposure potential than the processes, types of material, control methods, work practices, and environmental conditions in the employer's current operations.

See FAQs: "What is objective data?" and "How can objective data be used to determine where the beryllium standard applies to employers who handle or use materials containing less than 0.1% beryllium by weight?" in Appendix II for more information.

Examples of objective data are information such as:

  • Air monitoring data from industry-wide surveys;
  • Calculations of exposure based on the composition of a substance;
  • Area sampling results and exposure mapping profile approaches; and
  • Historical air monitoring data.

Examples of Using Objective Data to Conduct Exposure Assessments under the Performance Option

  1. Industry-wide surveys of typical tasks or operations, which include well-documented procedures for measuring exposures and methods for controlling release of beryllium particulate, could be used by employers to characterize employee exposures where employees perform tasks consistent with those described in the survey.
  2. Historical data, which are air monitoring results collected at any time before the effective date of the standard, could be used to assess employee exposures if the employer can show that the data were collected during work operations and conditions that are consistent with the processes, types of material, control methods, work practices, and environmental conditions in the employer's current operations.

Using these types of exposure data in the performance option, employers can characterize employee exposure within a range to account for exposure variability. Employers can also use these data to show that exposures exceed the PEL by a certain level (e.g., greater than the PEL but less than 10 times the PEL) after using all feasible engineering and work practice controls (see Methods of Compliance – Paragraph (f) of the Standard in this guide). In this example, the employer would then know that providing respiratory protection with an assigned protection factor (APF) of at least 10 (protective up to 10 times the PEL), as specified in OSHA's Respiratory Protection standard under its Assigned Protection Factors paragraph (29 CFR § 1910.134(d)(3)(i)(A)), would be sufficient to reduce workers' exposures to or below the PEL.

Employers choosing the performance option must:

  • Conduct the exposure assessment before work begins so that employers are aware of exposure levels and where control measures are needed;
  • Reassess exposures whenever a change in production, process, control equipment, personnel, or work practices may reasonably be expected to result in new or higher exposures at or above the action level of 0.1 µg/m3, or when the employer has any reason to believe that new or additional exposures at or above the action level have occurred;
  • Be able to demonstrate that employee exposures have been accurately characterized; and
  • Make sure that the exposure assessment reflects the exposures of employees on each shift, for each job classification, in each work area.

The performance option may be especially useful when measuring employee exposures on a periodic schedule is challenging, such as for tasks that are performed only occasionally.

OSHA considers exposures to be accurately characterized when they reflect the exposures of employees on each shift, for each job classification, in each work area. The performance option gives employers flexibility to determine how to do this. For example, instead of conducting air monitoring on two employees who perform the same job on different shifts, the employer could determine that there are no differences in exposure between those two employees, and characterize the exposure of the second employee based on the air monitoring results of the first employee.

OSHA notes that, in order to conduct an exposure assessment before work begins, this option allows the employer some flexibility to assess the 8-hour TWA exposure of each employee on the basis of any combination of air monitoring data or objective data (including historical data for exposure levels) sufficient to accurately characterize each employee's exposure to beryllium. The employer is responsible for ensuring that the data accurately characterizes employee exposure.

Switching between Exposure Assessment Options. An employer may switch from the scheduled monitoring option to the performance option, and may use air monitoring data generated during repeated scheduled monitoring as objective data under the performance option, provided the data are sufficient to accurately characterize employee exposures. This may be useful in certain workplaces (e.g., for beryllium operations that are intermittent, variable, and of short duration) or in beryllium operations where conditions do not normally change and periodic monitoring would provide little information and no added protection for employees (e.g., abrasive blasting operations that greatly and consistently exceed the PEL). See related OSHA's Letter of Interpretation dated March 21, 2019, on Monitoring Options Under OSHA's Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard.

Reassessment of Exposure

Under either the scheduled or the performance option, the employer must reassess exposure whenever a change in production, process, control equipment, personnel, or work practices may reasonably be expected to result in new or additional exposure to beryllium at or above the action level or STEL, or when the employer has any reason to believe that new or additional exposure at or above the action level or STEL has occurred. For example, reassessment would be required when a material used in a process is replaced by a material with a higher beryllium content because the change could reasonably be expected to result in higher exposures to beryllium.

Employers do not have to conduct additional monitoring simply because a change has occurred, so long as the change is not reasonably expected to result in new or additional exposures to beryllium at or above the action level or STEL. For example, reassessment is not required when a product is replaced with another product that has lower beryllium content, in the same process.

Methods of Sample Analysis

Employers must make sure that all air samples taken to meet the requirements of the Beryllium standard are analyzed by a laboratory that can measure beryllium to an accuracy of plus or minus 25 percent within a statistical confidence level of 95 percent for airborne concentrations at or above the action level. The standard does not specify a particular method of sampling and analysis that must be used to measure employee exposures to beryllium. There are presently a number of methods to measure beryllium at the action level and short-term exposure limit with at least the required degree of accuracy. Examples of acceptable methods of monitoring and analysis include OSHA method 1023 "Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) Instrumentation" and NIOSH Method 7704, "Beryllium in Air by Field-Portable Fluorometry," which are fully validated sampling and analytical methods to measure beryllium exposures.

See FAQ: "Are the air sampling methods used to detect and measure beryllium reliable?" in Appendix II for more information. Also see the Exposure Evaluation and Controls subpage of OSHA's Safety and Health Topics webpage for beryllium for additional information and resources on methods for exposure monitoring.

Employee Notification

Employers must notify each employee whose airborne exposure is represented by an exposure assessment conducted in accordance with paragraph (d) of the standard within 15 working days of completing it. "Each employee whose airborne exposure is represented" means each employee whose exposures were measured, each employee whose exposures were represented by other employees' exposure measurements and each employee whose exposure assessments were based on objective data. The 15-day period for notification starts when:

  • An employer following the performance option finishes the exposure assessment; or
  • An employer following the scheduled monitoring approach receives the laboratory results.

Employers must either notify each employee whose airborne exposure is represented by the results of that assessment individually, in writing, or post the results in an appropriate location that is accessible to each of the employees whose airborne exposure is represented by the results of that assessment.

Exposures can be characterized and reported as a range (for example, between the action level and the PEL), but must reflect exposures that would occur if the employee were not using a respirator.

Whenever an exposure assessment indicates that airborne exposure is above the TWA PEL or STEL, the employer must describe in the written notification the corrective action being taken to reduce airborne exposure to or below the exposure limit(s) exceeded where feasible corrective action exists but had not been implemented when the monitoring was conducted. Corrective actions include additional or enhanced engineering and work practice controls. However, if engineering controls are not feasible or the employer needs more than 15 days to identify the appropriate engineering controls, respiratory protection is the corrective action that would be described in the written notification. (See Respiratory Protection - Paragraph (g) of the Standard section of this guide.)

Observation of Monitoring

The employer must provide an opportunity to observe any exposure monitoring required by the standard to each employee whose airborne exposure is measured or represented by the monitoring and each employee's representative(s). When observation of monitoring requires entry into an area where the use of personal protective clothing or equipment (which may include respirators) is required, the employer must provide the observer with appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment. The employer must provide the protective clothing and equipment at no cost to the observer, and make sure that each observer uses such clothing or equipment. The employer must also ensure that each observer follows all other applicable safety and health procedures.

If the observer does not need to enter an area requiring the use of protective clothing or equipment in order to effectively observe monitoring (for example, if monitoring can be viewed from outside the hazardous areas), no protective clothing or equipment would be needed.

Beryllium work areas and regulated areas - Paragraph (e) of the standard

Paragraph (e) includes requirements for two types of work areas: beryllium work areas and regulated areas.

Beryllium Work Area (BWA)

The BWA is a new concept not previously used in an OSHA health standard. The purpose of a BWA is to establish a demarcated area in which workers and other persons authorized to be in the area are made aware of the potential for beryllium exposure and must take certain precautions accordingly.

Employers must establish and maintain a BWA for any work area where materials that contain at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight are processed:

  1. In any of the operations listed in Appendix A, Table A.1—Operations for Establishing Beryllium Work Areas Where Processing Materials Containing At Least 0.1 Percent Beryllium by Weight

or

  1. Where employees are, or can reasonably be expected to be, exposed to airborne beryllium at or above the action level.

Employers should review Table A.1 in Appendix A of the Beryllium standard for general industry, to determine if any operations listed are being performed in their workplace involving materials containing 0.1 percent beryllium by weight or greater. In addition, the employer must establish and maintain a BWA for those areas where exposures at or above the action level can reasonably be expected, even if no operation listed in Appendix A is ongoing. Employers can use the results of their exposure assessment to evaluate employees' beryllium exposures from any operations involving materials that contain at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight and are not listed in Appendix A. (See section Exposure Assessment- Paragraph (d) of the Standard.)

If a BWA is required, the employer must identify each BWA through signs or any other methods that adequately establish and inform each employee of the boundaries of each beryllium work area. Demarcating (marking off) the boundaries of a BWA alerts workers and other persons that they are entering an area with potential for beryllium exposure.

Establishment of a BWA triggers additional requirements in other sections of the standard. Please refer to the following sections of this guide for further information: Methods of compliance – Paragraph (f) of the Standard (Written exposure control plan and Engineering and work practice controls); Hygiene Areas and Practices – Paragraph (i) of the Standard (dermal contact in BWAs); Housekeeping – Paragraph (j) of the Standard (surfaces in BWAs); and Communication of hazards – Paragraph (m) of the Standard (location(s) of BWAs).

See FAQ: "What is a beryllium work area?" in Appendix II for more information.

Regulated Areas

A regulated area is a workplace area where employees are, or can reasonably be expected to be, exposed to airborne beryllium at levels above the TWA PEL or STEL. The standard requires employers to establish, demarcate, and limit access to regulated areas. The employer must also provide respirators in accordance with paragraph (g) of the standard and other personal protective equipment in accordance with paragraph (h) of the standard, and make sure they are used by employees. If an employee representative enters the regulated area to observe exposure monitoring, the employer must also provide the representative with an appropriate respirator and PPE under paragraph (d) of the standard.

The purpose of a regulated area is to ensure that employees know that airborne beryllium levels are likely to exceed the TWA PEL or STEL within the regulated area; restrict the number of employees who could be exposed above the PEL by requiring the employer to mark areas where exposures are or are likely to be higher than the PEL; and ensure that employees who enter are properly protected.

Identifying regulated areas

Employees' exposure assessments can be used to determine where regulated areas are required and to identify the boundaries of these areas. For example, employers can use any combination of personal samples (air samples collected near the employee's breathing zone), or objective data such as exposure mapping and real-time measurements to establish regulated areas.

Employers are required to establish regulated areas in temporary work areas where maintenance or non-routine tasks are performed and exposure exceeds the TWA PEL or STEL. Once the maintenance or non-routine tasks are completed and the exposure in the area no longer exceeds the TWA PEL or STEL, the regulated area designation can be removed. Examples of such situations include ventilation ductwork repairs, machinery and equipment maintenance, or intermittent or periodic work operations.

Regulated areas and BWAs

Although the regulated area requirement is triggered by exposure at or above the TWA PEL or STEL, the separate BWA requirement applies to all operations appearing in Appendix A, regardless of level of exposure, and in any other operations with reasonably expected exposure above the action level, so long as the materials being processed contain at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight. Because exposure above the PEL necessarily constitutes exposure above the action level, most regulated areas (triggered on the PEL) will also be BWAs (triggered on the action level), unless the materials being processed contain less that 0.1 percent beryllium by weight. Accordingly, all requirements for BWAs usually apply to regulated areas, but requirements specific to regulated areas only apply to BWAs where exposures exceed the TWA PEL or STEL.

Demarcation and warning signs

Regulated areas must be distinguished from the rest of the workplace in a manner that adequately establishes and alerts employees of the boundaries of the regulated area. The standard does not specify how employers are to demarcate regulated areas. Warning signs, barricades, lines and textured flooring, or other methods may be appropriate. Whatever methods are chosen must effectively warn employees not to enter the area unless they are authorized, and then only if they are using proper protective equipment, such as respirators.

Regardless of how the employer demarcates the regulated area, employers are required to display a warning sign at each approach to a regulated area so that each employee is able to read and understand the signs and take necessary protective steps before entering the area. These warning signs must be legible and readily visible, and must bear the following information:

DANGER

REGULATED AREA

BERYLLIUM

MAY CAUSE CANCER

CAUSES DAMAGE TO LUNGS

AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY

WEAR RESPIRATORY PROTECTION AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT IN THIS AREA

The signs show employees that they are entering a regulated area, and the content of the sign ensures the employee will know the hazards associated with the area, as well as the need for respiratory protection and other forms of PPE in the regulated area.

Access to regulated areas

Employers must limit access to regulated areas to:

  • Persons the employer authorizes or requires to be in a regulated area to perform work duties. This includes persons whose work involves or is near beryllium producing processes, but may also include maintenance and repair personnel, management, quality control engineers, or other employees if their job duties require them to be in the regulated area;
  • Persons entering a regulated area as designated representatives of employees for the purpose of exercising the right to observe exposure monitoring procedures under the exposure assessment provision of this standard; and
  • Persons authorized by law to be in a regulated area (e.g., OSHA enforcement personnel).

This access restriction limits the number of persons who may enter into or walk or drive vehicles through areas where exposures exceed the PEL. Therefore, it protects employees who would otherwise be exposed above the PEL or STEL when needlessly spending time in or passing through the regulated area.

Providing Respirators and Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment (PPE) in Regulated Areas

Paragraph (e) of the general industry standard requires the employer to provide and ensure the use of the appropriate respirator and PPE to any employees who enter regulated areas, regardless of their work activities or the amount of time they spend inside. In addition, as noted in the previous section, Exposure Assessment – Paragraph (d) of the Standard, when an employee representative must enter a regulated area to observe exposure monitoring, paragraph (d) of the standard requires that the employer provide the observer with appropriate PPE (which may include a respirator) and ensure that it is used. Requiring all employees and representatives to wear respirators and appropriate PPE in a regulated area ensures that they are protected. The employer must provide and ensure that each employee entering a regulated area uses respiratory protection in accordance with paragraph (g) of the standard and personal protective clothing and equipment in accordance with paragraph (h) of this standard. The selection and use of each respirator must meet the requirements for respiratory protection under the Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR §1910.134).

Methods of Compliance – Paragraph (f) of the Standard

The methods of compliance section of the Beryllium standard for general industry contains provisions covering methods for reducing employee exposure to beryllium through the use of a written exposure control plan and engineering and work practice controls. The Beryllium standard requires employers to use engineering and work practice controls to reduce airborne beryllium exposures and allows employers to rely on respirator use (in addition to those controls) only when feasible engineering controls cannot reduce exposures to acceptable levels, consistent with the hierarchy of controls discussed at the end of this section.

Written Exposure Control Plan (WECP)

All employers covered by the standard must develop and implement a written exposure control plan. Below is a list of what the employer must include in each section of the written exposure control plan, with general examples of the types of information that could be included and sample entries for tasks conducted at a machine shop.

The plan must include information on all jobs and operations that could expose employees to beryllium in three lists:

  • A list of operations and job titles reasonably expected to involve airborne exposure to or dermal contact with beryllium;
  • A list of operations and job titles reasonably expected to involve airborne exposure at or above the action level; and
  • A list of operations and job titles reasonably expected to involve airborne exposure above the TWA PEL or STEL.

Examples of Operations and Job Titles

Operations and Job Titles with airborne exposure to or dermal contact with beryllium

  • Deburring (grinding): Alloy part is machined to remove imperfections.
  • Abrasive sawing: Beryllium alloy metal stock cut to size.
  • Cleanup of work areas after machining of beryllium alloy materials is complete.

Operations and Job Titles with airborne exposure at or above the Action Level

  • Cleanup of work areas after machining of beryllium alloy materials is complete.
  • Deburring (grinding): Alloy part is machined to remove imperfections.
  • Abrasive sawing: Beryllium alloy metal stock cut to size.

Operations and Job Titles with airborne exposure above the TWA PEL or STEL

  • Deburring (grinding): Alloy part is machined to remove imperfections.
  • Abrasive sawing: Beryllium alloy metal stock cut to size.

In the Beryllium standard for general industry, Appendix A, Table A.1, provides a list of operations that, where performed under the circumstances described in the column heading above the particular operations, trigger the requirement for a beryllium work area. Employers can use the information in Table A.1 of Appendix A when developing the required lists of operations and job titles for the written exposure control plan. However, employers must ensure that any operations or job titles in their facility reasonably expected to involve airborne exposure to or dermal contact with beryllium are included in their written exposure control plan, even if they do not appear in Appendix A, Table A.1.

The plan must describe procedures used to limit accumulation and spread of beryllium-containing material, including:

  • Procedures for minimizing cross-contamination of surfaces, equipment, clothing, materials, and articles within BWAs;
  • Procedures for keeping surfaces as free as practicable of beryllium (housekeeping); and
  • Procedures for minimizing the migration of beryllium from BWAs to other locations within or outside the workplace

See FAQ: "How does OSHA define ‘as free as practicable'?" in Appendix II for more information.

Employers must ensure that the procedures listed in their WECP are consistent with the requirements of the Beryllium standard. For example, employers' housekeeping procedures for minimizing cross-contamination, cleaning surfaces, and minimizing beryllium migration must comply with the requirements of paragraph (j)(2) ("Cleaning Methods") of the general industry Beryllium standard. As shown in the examples below, the WECP may include descriptions of the housekeeping methods that should be used to limit employee exposure to airborne beryllium during cleaning; cleaning methods that should not be used to clean beryllium-contaminated areas (including dry sweeping, brushing, or compressed air); and special instructions if dry sweeping or brushing must be used because other methods that minimize the likelihood and level of airborne exposure are not safe or effective to use.

Example procedures for minimizing cross-contamination within BWAs

  • Provide each work station in a BWA or regulated area with a dedicated supply of wet-cleaning materials for cleaning surfaces and small areas (e.g., sponges, wiping cloths, water). Replenish wet-cleaning supplies and replace water at the conclusion of each work shift involving beryllium, and as needed during shifts. Do not transfer wet-cleaning supplies between workstations.
  • Use only HEPA-filtered vacuums and wet-cleaning in BWAs and regulated areas. Do not use brooms or compressed air in BWAs and regulated areas. These methods cause resuspension of beryllium in the air, contaminating nearby surfaces and increasing nearby workers' exposure to beryllium.

Example procedures to keep surfaces free of beryllium

  • Clean surfaces in BWAs and regulated areas by HEPA-filtered vacuuming at the conclusion of each work shift. After vacuuming at the conclusion of each day's final work shift involving beryllium, wet clean surfaces in the BWA or regulated area using either a wet sponge for small surfaces or a water hose for large surfaces such as floors.
  • Use wet sponging to clean up small accumulations of dust in BWAs and regulated areas during the work shift (i.e., amounts that are too small to form a pile when wiping). Larger dust accumulation must first be cleaned using a HEPA-filtered vacuum.
  • Perform weekly inspections of plant areas outside of BWAs and regulated areas, using wipe sampling to verify that surfaces are free of detectable beryllium. Where beryllium is found on surfaces outside of BWAs and regulated areas, clean the surfaces in the work area by HEPA-filtered vacuuming and/or wet cleaning using either a wet sponge for small surfaces or a water hose for large surfaces such as floors.

Example procedures to minimize migration of beryllium out of BWAs

  • Don disposable foot coverings and PPE when entering BWAs and remove when exiting; provide receptacles and post instructions at entry points.
  • Tools and equipment needed in BWAs and regulated areas should remain in those areas. If items used in BWAs or regulated areas must be removed, clean their surfaces using a HEPA-filtered vacuum or other means that do not disperse beryllium into the air.

Finally, the plan must provide information about engineering controls, work practices, and personal protective clothing and equipment used to limit employee exposure to airborne beryllium. The plan must include:

  • A list of engineering controls, work practices, and respiratory protection required by paragraph (f)(2) of the standard;
  • A list of personal protective clothing and equipment required by paragraph (h) of the standard; and
  • Procedures for removing, laundering, storing, cleaning, repairing, and disposing of beryllium-contaminated personal protective clothing and equipment, including respirators.

Employers must ensure that their procedures for removal, storage, cleaning and disposal of beryllium-contaminated PPE are consistent with the requirements of the PPE and hygiene provisions of the standard (see, e.g., paragraphs (h)(2), (h)(3), (i)(4)(ii)).

Example engineering controls

  • The grinding machine is outfitted with a local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system to remove airborne dust from the source and capture the dust in a bag house.
  • The sawing operation is enclosed and maintained at negative pressure.
  • Water is misted onto parts being machined or cut.

Example work practices

  • Check that hood is properly positioned at the source of airborne dust generation.
  • Ensure that LEV is operating.
  • Ensure enclosure is under negative pressure by measuring pressure in the enclosure daily.

Example description of respiratory protection requirements

  • Powered air purifying respirators with P100 filters are required for entry into enclosed sawing operation room.
  • Respiratory protection is required by employees working to address an emergency situation such as equipment failure, rupture of containers, or failure of control equipment in a BWA. Employees not needed to address the emergency must leave the affected area.
  • Respiratory protection is required during maintenance work performed on LEV.
  • See respiratory protection program for information on respirator requirements for situations such as spills or maintenance.

Example description of PPE requirements

  • Personal protective clothing must be worn before entering the sawing operation room.
  • Personal protective clothing must be worn when conducting any cleanup operations in BWAs.
  • Personal protective clothing must be worn during maintenance work performed on LEV.

Example description of PPE removal and storage requirements

  • All personal protective clothing and equipment must be removed at the end of the work shift, at the completion of any task involving beryllium, or when it becomes visibly contaminated with beryllium, whichever comes first.
  • Personal protective clothing and equipment must be stored in the separate lockers provided for this purpose.
  • Always keep personal items and clothing in the lockers provided for this purpose to prevent cross-contamination of these items.
  • Do not remove beryllium-contaminated personal protective clothing or equipment from the workplace.

Yearly Review of Written Exposure Control Plans

A written exposure control plan is only effective if it is accurate and up to date. The Beryllium standard requires employers to review and evaluate the effectiveness of the written exposure control plan at least once a year and update it as necessary. For example, the employer might have bought a new type of equipment or asked employees to conduct a new task involving exposure and that information needs to be included in the written exposure control plan.

The employer must review the plan and update it, if appropriate, when:

  • Any change in production processes, materials, equipment, personnel, work practices, or control methods results, or can reasonably be expected to result, in new or additional airborne exposure to beryllium;
  • The employer is notified that an employee is eligible for medical removal, referred for evaluation at a CBD diagnostic center, or shows signs or symptoms associated with airborne exposure to or dermal contact with beryllium; or
  • The employer has any reason to believe that new or additional airborne exposure is occurring or will occur.

Availability of Written Exposure Control Plans

Employers must make a copy of the written exposure control plan available to each employee covered by the standard, their designated representative, and representatives from OSHA or NIOSH, upon request (see paragraphs (f)(1)(iii) and (n)(5) of the Beryllium standard and 29 CFR §1910.1020(e), Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records).

Engineering and Work Practice Controls

Employers must use engineering and work practice controls to reduce and keep employee exposure to beryllium to or below the TWA PEL of 0.2 µg/m3 and the 15-minute STEL of 2 µg/m3, unless the employer can demonstrate that such controls are not feasible. The employer must not rotate employees to different jobs to achieve compliance with the PELs.

If feasible engineering and work practice controls are not able to reduce employee exposures to or below the PEL and STEL, employers must still use all feasible controls to reduce exposures to the lowest possible level and then use respiratory protection in addition to those controls.

The main types of engineering controls for preventing airborne beryllium exposure include:

  • Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) – LEV is an air movement system of hoods, ducts, fans, filtration, and exhaust that is used to capture airborne beryllium at or near the point of generation to keep it from getting into the surrounding air where employees are located.
  • Isolation – Isolation involves separating the operation involving beryllium exposure from employees not directly involved in the operation from airborne beryllium by enclosing operations or processes so that the airborne beryllium generated does not get into the surrounding air where employees are located. Enclosure typically includes a dedicated ventilation system to remove the airborne beryllium.
  • Wet methods – Wet methods involve applying a wetting agent (i.e., water, foam) at the point of airborne beryllium generation to keep it from getting into the air. An example is a grinding operation that delivers water or metalworking fluid at the point of contact to suppress any airborne beryllium.

Work practice controls involve performing a task in a way that reduces the likelihood, or level of exposure. Work practice controls are often used with engineering controls to protect employees. Employees must know how to use the appropriate work practices to minimize exposures. Examples of work practice controls include:

  • Inspecting and maintaining engineering controls to prevent or fix malfunctions that would result in increased exposures;
  • Ensuring wet method controls apply the wetting agent at the point of dust generation;
  • Properly positioning local exhaust hoods at the exposure source to capture emissions and to prevent other air movements (i.e., cooling fans) from interfering with the operation of the hoods; and
  • Scheduling work so that tasks that involve high exposures are performed when no other employees are in the area.

As indicated above, for each operation in a BWA that releases airborne beryllium, the employer must ensure that at least one of the following controls is in place to reduce airborne exposure:

  • Material and/or process substitution;
  • Isolation, such as ventilated partial or full enclosures;
  • Local exhaust ventilation, such as at the points of operation, material handling, and transfer; or
  • Process control, such as wet methods and automation.

An employer is exempt from using one of these controls to the extent that:

  • The employer can establish that such controls are not feasible; or
  • The employer can demonstrate that airborne exposure is below the action level, using no fewer than two representative personal breathing zone samples taken at least seven days apart, for each affected operation.

See FAQ: "How can beryllium exposures be controlled to keep exposures at or below the new PEL?" in Appendix II for more information. Also see the Exposure Evaluation and Controls subpage of OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Page for beryllium for more information and resources on controlling beryllium exposures.

Why the Hierarchy of Controls?

Reducing exposures through the primary use of engineering and work practice controls is known as the hierarchy of controls, and it is a long-standing OSHA policy. Advantages of engineering controls are:

  • They control beryllium particles at the source, thus minimizing exposures to all persons in the immediate and surrounding work area;
  • They are reliable, predictable, and provide consistent levels of protection to a large number of employees;
  • Their operation can be monitored; and
  • They are generally less prone to human error and wearer resistance than is the use of personal protective equipment, such as respirators.

Under the hierarchy of controls, respirators can be another effective way to protect employees. However, respirators may be less practical or effective than engineering controls for the following reasons:

  • They must be selected for each worker, fitted, occasionally refitted, and regularly maintained (including replacing filters and other parts as necessary) and the wearer must regularly be trained in their proper use.
  • Employees have to consistently and correctly use properly fitted respirators but may resist wearing them because respirators can be uncomfortable, especially in hot weather.
  • Respirators may put a physical strain on employees' bodies as a result of the respirator's weight and because they increase breathing resistance. Employees with some health conditions cannot wear respirators because the physical strain of wearing the respirator increases their risk of illness, injury, and even death.
  • Respirators can create safety concerns because they interfere with workers' ability to hear, see, smell, and communicate.
  • Respirators only protect the employees wearing them.

Even when engineering and work practice controls cannot reduce exposure levels to or below the PEL, those controls must be used to reduce exposures to the lowest level feasible. This reduction in exposure levels benefits employees by reducing the required protection factor of the respirator, and thus increasing the choices of respirators that can be used. For example, if feasible engineering controls reduce exposures from 50 times to less than 10 times the PEL, employers could provide approved half-mask respirators with an APF of 10 that may be lighter and easier to use compared to full-facepiece respirators.

For additional information on the hierarchy of controls, see OSHA's Hazard Prevention and Control webpage.

Respiratory Protection - Paragraph (g) of the Standard

Employers must comply both with the respiratory protection requirements of the Beryllium standard and with OSHA's general Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR §1910.134). They must provide respiratory protection at no cost to the employee and ensure that each employee uses respiratory protection:

  • During periods necessary to install or implement feasible engineering and work practice controls where airborne exposure to beryllium exceeds, or can reasonably be expected to exceed, the TWA PEL or STEL;
  • During non-routine operations, such as maintenance and repair activities, when engineering and work practice controls are not feasible and airborne exposure exceeds, or can reasonably be expected to exceed, the TWA PEL or STEL;
  • During operations for which the employer has implemented all feasible engineering and work practice controls but the controls are not sufficient to reduce exposures to levels to or below the TWA PEL or STEL;
  • During emergencies; and
  • When an employee who is eligible for medical removal under paragraph (l)(1) of the Beryllium standard chooses to remain in a job with airborne exposures at or above the action level.

Where respirator use is required, employers must implement a respiratory protection program in accordance with the Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR §1910.134). The respiratory protection program requires employers to provide respirators which are applicable and suitable for the purpose of protecting employees from the hazardous beryllium exposure. See the Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respiratory Protection Standard for information on the requirements of that standard.

Paragraph (g) of the Beryllium standard for general industry also requires that the employer provide a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) at no cost to the employee instead of a negative pressure respirator when:

  • Respiratory protection is required by the standard;
  • An employee entitled to such respiratory protection requests a PAPR; and
  • The PAPR provides adequate protection to the employee

The employee may select any form of the PAPR (half mask, full facepiece, helmet/hood, or loose fitting facepiece) as long as it is used in compliance with the Respiratory Protection standard and provides adequate protection for the employee. It is often more advantageous for employees to select a PAPR over a negative pressure respirator due to the reliability and comfort of PAPRs, reduced interference with work processes, and superior protection, especially for employees who cannot obtain a good face fit with a negative pressure respirator.

Voluntary Use of Respirators

Employers may provide respirators at the request of employees or let employees use their own respirators when respirators are not required under the Beryllium standard. See the Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respiratory Protection Standard for information about employer responsibilities when employees voluntarily wear respirators.

Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment (PPE) - Paragraph (h) of the Standard

Employers must provide appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment (PPE) as specified in the Beryllium standard and in OSHA's Personal Protective Equipment standards (29 CFR §1910, Subpart I), at no cost to the employee. The employer is also required to ensure that employees use the PPE provided and follow a number of specified practices to ensure that PPE is used and handled in a manner that is protective of employee health. For purposes of the Beryllium standard, personal protective clothing and equipment is only that clothing and equipment that serves to protect employees from beryllium exposures. Clothing, tools, or other apparatus that do not protect employees from beryllium exposure are not considered personal protective clothing and equipment under the Beryllium standard, although they may constitute PPE for purposes of a different OSHA standard.

Provision and Use

Employers are required to provide and ensure that employees use appropriate PPE:

  • Where airborne exposures to beryllium exceeds or can reasonably be expected to exceed the PEL or STEL; or
  • Where there is a reasonable expectation of dermal contact with beryllium.

Where the criteria above are met, the employer must select the PPE needed to protect employees from beryllium exposures. The type of PPE needed will depend on the potential for exposure and the conditions of use in the workplace. Examples of PPE that may be necessary to protect employees include, but are not limited to, gloves, aprons, coveralls, foot coverings, hair or head coverings, and goggles. The employer must exercise reasonable judgment in selecting clothing and equipment that is suitable for protecting employees from beryllium exposures. To effectively protect an employee from beryllium exposure, in some instances, only gloves may be necessary whereas in other situations, such as when an employee is performing abrasive blasting activities, more extensive PPE is needed, such as coveralls and protection for the head and neck. OSHA has issued a booklet, Personal Protective Equipment (OSHA publication 3151, available at http://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3151.pdf) that provides more information on assessment of workplace hazards and selection of appropriate protective clothing and equipment.

Removal and Storage

Employers must ensure that:

  • Each employee removes all beryllium-contaminated PPE at the end of each work shift, at the completion of all tasks involving beryllium, or when PPE become visibly contaminated with beryllium, whichever comes first;
  • Each employee removes beryllium-contaminated PPE as specified in the written exposure control plan required under paragraph (f)(1) of the standard;
  • Each employee stores and keeps beryllium-contaminated PPE separate from street clothing and that the storage facilities prevent cross-contamination as specified in the written control plan required under paragraph (f)(1) of the standard;
  • No employee removes beryllium-contaminated PPE from the workplace, except for employees authorized to do so for the purposes of laundering, cleaning, maintaining, or disposing of beryllium-contaminated PPE at an appropriate location or facility away from the workplace; and
  • When PPE required by the standard is removed from the workplace for laundering, cleaning, maintenance, or disposal, it is stored and transported in sealed bags or other closed containers that are impermeable and are labeled in accordance with paragraph (m)(3) of the Beryllium standard and the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR §1910.1200).

As stated above, the employer must ensure that employees remove all beryllium-contaminated PPE at the end of each work shift, at the completion of all tasks involving beryllium, or when PPE becomes visibly contaminated with beryllium, whichever comes first. For example, if employees perform work tasks involving beryllium exposure for the first two hours of a shift, and then perform tasks that do not involve beryllium exposure for the remainder of the shift, they must remove their beryllium-contaminated PPE after the exposure period (in this case, after the first two hours of the shift). If, however, employees are performing tasks involving beryllium exposure intermittently throughout the day and it does not become visibly contaminated, they may wear the same PPE until the completion of their shift. This requirement is intended to limit the duration of employees' exposure and to limit the potential for beryllium on protective clothing to reach areas of the workplace where exposures would not otherwise occur. The employer must also ensure that each employee removes the beryllium-contaminated PPE according to the instructions specified in the written exposure control plan required under paragraph (f)(1) of the standard.

The employer must ensure that beryllium-contaminated PPE is kept separate from street clothing. The storage facilities used for beryllium-contaminated PPE must prevent cross-contamination by the methods included in the written control plan required under paragraph (f)(1) of this standard.

The employer must not allow any employee to remove beryllium-contaminated PPE from the workplace, except if authorized for laundering, cleaning, maintaining, or disposing of beryllium-contaminated PPE at an appropriate location or facility away from the workplace. These requirements are intended to ensure that clothing contaminated with beryllium is not transferred to street clothes or carried to employees' cars and homes, which would increase the employee's exposure and could expose other individuals to beryllium.

When beryllium-contaminated PPE is removed for laundering, cleaning, maintenance, or disposal, it must be stored and transported in sealed bags or other closed containers that are impermeable. Each immediate container of contaminated clothing, equipment, and materials contaminated with beryllium must be labeled in accordance with paragraph (m)(3) of the Beryllium standard for general industry and the hazard communication standard (29 CFR §1910.1200).

In general, the hazard communication standard requires that each container of hazardous chemicals leaving the workplace include a label that indicates the identity of the hazardous chemicals in the container, appropriate hazard warnings, and the name and address of a responsible party who can provide additional information on the hazardous chemicals. The use of proper containers and labeling practices in storage and transport of beryllium-contaminated PPE serves to minimize contamination of the workplace and ensure that employees who later handle these items are protected.

The words "sealed" and "impermeable" are interpreted in terms of the materials in the container. For example, if the material is contaminated with beryllium-containing dust, the container must not allow the escape of the dust under conditions of ordinary handling. If the material includes beryllium-containing liquids, it must not leak.

See FAQs: "What are impermeable bags and containers?" and "Does the use of dissolvable bags for removing beryllium-contaminated work clothing and PPE from the workplace for laundering and cleaning meet the requirements of the beryllium standard?" in Appendix II for more information.

Cleaning and Replacement

Employers must ensure that:

  • All reusable PPE required by the Beryllium standard is cleaned, laundered, repaired, and replaced as needed to maintain its effectiveness;
  • Beryllium is not removed from PPE by blowing, shaking, or any other means that disperses the beryllium into the air; and
  • All persons or business entities who launder, clean, or repair the PPE required by the Beryllium standard are informed of the potentially harmful effects of exposure to beryllium and that the PPE must be handled in accordance with the requirements of the standard.

The requirement for employers to ensure that all reusable PPE is cleaned, laundered, repaired, and replaced as needed to maintain its effectiveness is intended to ensure clothing and equipment continues to serve its intended purpose of protecting employees. The standard does not specify how often clothing and equipment must be cleaned, repaired, or replaced. The appropriate time intervals may vary widely based on the types of clothing and equipment used and the exposures throughout the work shift. The obligation of the employer to keep the clothing and equipment in the condition necessary to perform its protective functions can be met, for example, by conducting inspections to identify protective work clothing and equipment requiring repair or replacement to effectively protect employees from beryllium exposure.

The removal of beryllium from PPE by blowing, shaking, and other means that disperses beryllium into the air or onto an employee's body is prohibited. Such actions would result in increased risk to employees from unnecessary exposure to beryllium. Employers may use air showers. The use of air showers would not violate the prohibitions on cleaning methods that disperse beryllium into the air or onto an employee's body, as long as the air showers are equipped with properly-functioning HEPA-filtered ventilation and employees wear respirators while in the air shower.

The requirement to inform in writing those who launder or clean beryllium-contaminated PPE of the potentially harmful effects of beryllium exposure is intended to ensure that employees who clean or launder beryllium-contaminated PPE are aware of the associated hazards so that they can take appropriate protective measures, and are aware of their responsibility to comply with the Beryllium standard in handling these items. For example, the hazard warnings required on labels for containers of beryllium-contaminated PPE, as specified by paragraph (m)(3) of the Beryllium standard for general industry, would be sufficient to inform launderers and cleaners of the potentially harmful effects of beryllium if supplemented by an additional statement indicating that the PPE must be handled in accordance with the requirements of the Beryllium standard.

Hygiene Areas and Practices - Paragraph (i) of the Standard

Employers must provide adequate hygiene facilities and ensure that employees comply with basic hygiene practices that serve to minimize exposure to beryllium. The Beryllium standard for general industry includes requirements for change rooms, washing facilities, and showers; requirements for ensuring that beryllium exposure in eating and drinking areas is minimized; and a prohibition on certain practices that may contribute to beryllium exposure.

General Requirements

For employees working in a beryllium work area or who can reasonably be expected to have dermal contact with beryllium, employers must:

Provide readily accessible washing facilities in accordance with both the Beryllium standard and the sanitation standard (29 CFR § 1910.141) to

  • Remove beryllium from the hands, face, and neck; and
  • Ensure that the employees who have dermal contact with beryllium wash any exposed skin at the end of the activity, process, or work shift prior to eating, drinking, smoking, chewing tobacco or gum, applying cosmetics, or using the toilet.

These provisions are intended to ensure that beryllium is removed from all exposed skin. Washing diminishes the period of time that beryllium is in contact with the skin, removes any residual beryllium contamination, and protects against further exposure.

Change Rooms

If employees are required by the Beryllium standard to wear PPE, and are also required by the employer to remove their personal clothing, the employer must provide those employees with a designated change room in accordance with both the Beryllium standard and the sanitation standard (29 CFR §1910.141).

This means where employees must change out of their street clothes to use PPE required by the standard, change rooms must be provided. The change rooms must be equipped with separate storage facilities (e.g., lockers) for PPE and for street clothes, and these facilities must prevent contamination of street clothes. Preventing contamination of street clothing limits exposures that would otherwise occur after the work shift ends and avoids potential contamination of employees' cars and homes. Change rooms also provide privacy to employees while they change their clothes.

Change rooms are only required where removal of street clothes is necessary. For example, in a workplace where gloves are the only protective clothing used, change rooms are not necessary. Similarly, if employers provide disposable protective clothing that can be worn over street clothes, rather than requiring employees to change out of their street clothes, change rooms would not be required.

Showers

Employers must:

  • Provide showers in accordance with the Sanitation Standard (29 CFR §1910.141), where (1) airborne exposure exceeds or can reasonably be expected to exceed the TWA PEL or STEL; and (2) employee's hair or body parts other than hands, face, and neck can reasonably be expected to become contaminated with beryllium.
  • Ensure that each employee showers at the end of the work shift or work activity if (1) the employee reasonably could have had airborne exposure to beryllium above the TWA PEL or STEL; and (2) the employee's hair or body parts other than hands, face, and neck could reasonably have become contaminated with beryllium.

This means that when the above conditions are met, employees must shower immediately after work activities involving beryllium exposure have been completed for the day. For example, if employees perform work activities involving beryllium exposure that meet the requirements for showers for the first two hours of a work shift, and then perform activities that do not involve exposure, they should shower after the exposure period to avoid increasing the duration of exposure, potential of accidental ingestion, and contamination of the work area from beryllium residue on their hair and body parts other than hands, face, and neck. If, however, employees are performing tasks involving exposure intermittently throughout the day, this provision is intended to require them to shower after the last task involving exposure, not after the completion of each such task.

Eating and Drinking Areas

In workplaces where beryllium is present, the employer must ensure that:

  • Beryllium-contaminated surfaces in eating and drinking areas are free as practicable of beryllium;
  • No employees enter any eating or drinking area with beryllium-contaminated PPE unless, prior to entry, it is cleaned, as necessary, to be free as practicable of beryllium by methods that do not disperse beryllium into the air or onto an employee's body; and
  • Eating and drinking facilities provided by the employer are in accordance with the Sanitation Standard (29 CFR §1910.141).

As noted in Definitions – Paragraph (b) of the Standard, the term beryllium-contaminated means contaminated with dust, fumes, mists, or solutions containing beryllium in concentrations greater than or equal to 0.1 percent by weight. Thus, whenever an employer allows employees to consume food or beverages at a worksite where beryllium is present, the employer must ensure that eating and drinking areas and surfaces are maintained as free as practicable of materials that are at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight. Employers are also required to ensure that employees do not enter eating and drinking areas wearing PPE that is contaminated with materials containing at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight, unless the PPE is properly cleaned beforehand. The employer may use any method to remove surface beryllium from PPE, as long as that method does not disperse beryllium into the air or onto an employee's body. For example, a HEPA-filtered vacuum may be used to remove beryllium contamination from an employee's clothing prior to entering the eating and drinking area. Finally, the facilities provided to employees must be maintained in accordance with the Sanitation Standard (29 CFR §1910.141).

See FAQ: "How does OSHA define ‘as free as practicable'?" in Appendix II for more information.

Prohibited Activities

To eliminate unnecessary exposures in regulated areas, employers must ensure that no employee eats, drinks, smokes, chews tobacco or gum, or applies cosmetics in regulated areas.

Housekeeping – Paragraph (j) of the Standard

The Beryllium standard includes requirements for housekeeping measures. Proper housekeeping measures are important because they minimize additional sources of exposure to beryllium that engineering controls are generally not designed to address. The housekeeping provision addresses general housekeeping requirements, cleaning methods, and disposal of materials contaminated with beryllium.

General Requirements

Employers must ensure that:

  • All surfaces in beryllium work areas and regulated areas are maintained as free as practicable of beryllium in accordance with the written control plan required under paragraph (f)(1) and the cleaning methods required under paragraph (j)(2) of the standard; and
  • All spills and releases of beryllium-containing material are cleaned up promptly in accordance with the written control plan required under paragraph (f)(1) and the cleaning methods required under paragraph (j)(2) of the standard.

This means that beryllium deposited on surfaces such as ledges, equipment, and floors should be removed as soon as practicable to prevent it from becoming airborne and to minimize the likelihood that skin contact will occur. Spills should be rapidly contained and cleaned up without delay.

See FAQ: "How does OSHA define ‘spills'?" in Appendix II for more information.

Cleaning Methods

Cleaning methods such as dry sweeping, dry brushing, and use of compressed air can cause beryllium dust to get into the air and be inhaled by employees. Therefore, the Beryllium standard limits the use of these cleaning methods to prevent unnecessary exposures to employees.

Surfaces in beryllium work areas and regulated areas must be cleaned by HEPA-filtered vacuuming or other methods that minimize exposure to beryllium. Other acceptable cleaning methods include wet methods, such as wet sweeping or wet scrubbing. Dry methods (e.g., dry shoveling, dry sweeping, and dry brushing) are generally prohibited because of the potential for dispersal of beryllium into the air. Employers are only allowed to use dry methods in cases where HEPA-filtered vacuuming or other methods that minimize the likelihood of exposure to beryllium are not safe or effective.

Use of compressed air for cleaning surfaces is also generally inappropriate because of the potential for dispersal of beryllium into the air. Compressed air must not be used for cleaning surfaces unless it is used in conjunction with a ventilation system designed to capture the dust made airborne by the compressed air.

In a very limited number of cases, cleaning methods such as wet sweeping or HEPA-filtered vacuums may not be safe or effective. When wet methods or HEPA-filtered vacuuming would not be effective, would cause damage, or would create a hazard in the workplace, the employer is not required to use these cleaning methods. However, even in cases where one of those cleaning methods may not be safe or effective, employers could often use another acceptable method for cleaning. For example, if it is not feasible to wet sweep near electrical equipment, a HEPA-filtered vacuum could be used for cleaning. Therefore, situations in which no acceptable cleaning methods can be used are expected to be very rare.

In those rare cases where the employer needs to use cleaning methods such as dry sweeping, dry brushing, or compressed air, the employer must be able to show why cleaning methods that decrease employee exposures are not feasible. In addition, the employer must provide and ensure that each employee uses respiratory protection and PPE in accordance with paragraphs (g) and (h) of the standard when employees use dry sweeping, dry brushing, or compressed air to clean beryllium-contaminated surfaces.

Cleaning equipment must be handled and maintained in a manner that minimizes the reentry of beryllium into the workplace. HEPA-filtered vacuum equipment must be cleaned and maintained carefully to avoid unnecessary exposures to beryllium. Filters must be changed when needed, and the contents of the bags must be disposed of properly to avoid unnecessary beryllium exposures.

Disposal, Recycling, and Reuse of Contaminated Materials

Employers must ensure that, with the exception of intra-plant transfers:

  • Materials being transferred for disposal, recycling, or reuse that contain at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight or are contaminated with beryllium are labeled in accordance with paragraph (m)(3);
  • Materials designated for disposal that contain at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight or are contaminated with beryllium are cleaned to be as free as practicable of beryllium or placed in enclosures that prevent the release of beryllium-containing particulate or solutions under normal conditions of use, storage, or transport, such as bags or containers; and
  • Materials designated for recycling or reuse that contain at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight or are contaminated with beryllium are cleaned to be as free as practicable of beryllium or placed in enclosures that prevent the release of beryllium containing particulate or solutions under normal conditions of use, storage, or transport, such as bags or containers.

Thus, when transporting materials for disposal, recycling, or reuse that contain at least 0.1 percent beryllium or are beryllium-contaminated, the employer may, for example, wrap a pallet in plastic to create a barrier between employees and beryllium-contaminated waste, scrap, or debris, or may transport them in a sealed barrel. Alternatively, the employer may clean the material to be as free as practicable of beryllium. Regardless of which approach the employer takes, the materials must be labeled in accordance with the requirements of OSHA's Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR §1910.1200) and paragraph (m)(3) of the Beryllium standard.

Medical Surveillance – Paragraph (k) of the Standard2

The fundamental purpose of medical surveillance is to detect and eliminate the underlying causes of observed health effects from workplace hazards such as beryllium exposure. Medical surveillance programs can identify if an employee has any condition, such as beryllium sensitization, chronic beryllium disease (CBD), or an underlying health condition that might make him or her more sensitive to beryllium exposure or determine the employee's fitness to use respirators.

In addition, medical surveillance programs can contribute to the success of workplace health and safety programs by identifying potential problem areas and verifying the effectiveness of existing control and prevention programs.

OSHA requires employers to offer medical surveillance to employees when certain conditions are met (see below "Which Employees Must be Offered Medical Surveillance"), however, worker participation is voluntary.

The standard specifies which employees must be offered medical surveillance, when and how often the medical examinations must be offered, and what the examinations must include, including specific tests. In addition, the standard requires that employees be offered any additional test deemed appropriate by the physician or other licensed health care professional (PLHCP) conducting the examination. The standard also specifies the information that the employer must give to the PLHCP who conducts the examinations and the information that the employer must ensure that the PLHCP provides to the employee and employer.

All medical examinations and procedures required by the standard must be performed by a PLHCP or licensed physician. Medical surveillance must be provided at no cost to employees, and at a reasonable time and place. If getting the medical examination requires the employee to travel away from the worksite, the employer is required to cover the cost of travel. The employer must also pay employees for time spent traveling and taking medical examinations.

Which Employees Must be Offered Medical Surveillance

Employers must make an initial or periodic medical examination available to any employee who is or is reasonably expected to be exposed above the action level of 0.1 μg/m3 for more than 30 days in a year; who shows signs or symptoms of CBD or other beryllium-related health effects; who was exposed to beryllium during an emergency; or whose most recent written medical opinion required by paragraph (k)(6) or (k)(7) of the standard recommends periodic medical surveillance.

Frequency of Medical Examinations

Employers must offer medical examinations:

  • Within 30 days of meeting the following criteria (see Appendix I for complete details of medical surveillance requirements):
    • Determining that an employee is (or is reasonably expected to be) exposed at or above the action level for more than 30 days per year, unless the employee has had an exam within the past 2 years
    • An employee shows signs and symptoms of CBD or other beryllium-related health effects
  • At least every two years after the initial examination if the employee continues to meet the criteria for medical surveillance.
  • At the termination of employment for each employee who meets any of the criteria in paragraph (k)(1)(i), unless the employee has been provided an exam 6 months prior to termination. Any employee who has not received an examination since being exposed during an emergency must be provided an examination at the termination of employment.

When an employee qualifies for medical surveillance due to exposure during an emergency:

  • If that employee has not received a medical examination within the previous two years pursuant to paragraph (k)(1)(i) of the standard (i.e., due to exposure over the action level for more than 30 days per year), then the employee must be offered an examination within 30 days after exposure in the emergency; or
  • If that employee has received a medical examination within the previous two years pursuant to paragraph (k)(1)(i), then the employee must be offered an examination at least one year but no more than two years after exposure in the emergency.

Each employee must be offered a beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT) at the initial medical examination and every two years thereafter unless they are confirmed positive (see paragraph (k)(3)(ii)(E) in Appendix I), regardless of whether the employee continues to meet the criteria for medical surveillance.

Contents of the Examination

The employer must ensure that the PLHCP conducting the examination advises the employee of the risks and benefits of participating in the medical surveillance program and the employee's right to opt out of any or all parts of the medical examination.

A medical examination provided under the Beryllium standard consists of:

  • A medical and work history, with emphasis on past and present airborne exposure to and dermal contact with beryllium, smoking history, and any history of respiratory system dysfunction (for example, signs and symptoms of respiratory disease like shortness of breath, cough, wheezing);
  • A physical examination with emphasis on the respiratory system;
  • A physical examination for skin rashes;
  • Pulmonary function (spirometry) tests, performed in accordance with the guidelines established by the American Thoracic Society, including forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV);
  • A BeLPT3 (or another equivalent test);
  • Any other tests deemed appropriate4 by the PLHCP. In particular, employers must offer a low dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan (generally used for detecting lung cancer) when recommended by the PLHCP after considering the employee's history of exposure to beryllium along with other risk factors, such as smoking history, family medical history, sex, age, and presence of existing lung disease.

Employees who are at risk of developing beryllium-related diseases must be offered medical surveillance and the required tests are the minimum tests needed to diagnose those diseases. More tests may also be needed to address an employee's medical complaint or a finding related to beryllium exposure, such as abnormal lung function. Therefore, the standard gives the PLHCP the flexibility to order additional tests they deem appropriate. Employers must make those tests ordered by the PLHCP available to the employee.

Information the Employer Must Provide to the PLHCP

The employer must ensure that the examining PLHCP has a copy of the standard and must provide the PLHCP with:

  • A description of the employee's former and current duties as they relate to beryllium airborne exposure or dermal contact;
  • The employee's former and current of airborne exposure to beryllium;
  • A description of any personal protective equipment, including respirators used by the employee, including when and for how long the employee has used that equipment; and
  • Information from records of employment-related medical examinations previously provided to the employee and currently within the control of the employer, after obtaining written consent from the employee.

The Licensed Physician's Written Medical Report for the Employee

The employer must ensure that the licensed physician provides and explains the results of the medical examination to the employee and gives the employee a written medical report within 45 days of each medical examination performed, including BeLPTs provided to employees who are not enrolled in other aspects of medical surveillance (see paragraph (k)(3)(ii)(E) of the Beryllium standard for general industry).5 Only the employee receives this written medical report, the employer does not receive a copy. However, because the employer must ensure that the employee receives a dated copy of the licensed physician's written medical report within 45 days of the medical examination, the employer should request confirmation from the licensed physician that the report has been sent to the employee within the 45-day timeframe. The report must contain:

  • A description of the medical examination results, including any medical condition(s) that may place the employee at increased risk from further airborne exposure to beryllium (such as beryllium sensitization or CBD) and any medical conditions related to airborne beryllium exposure that require further evaluation or treatment;
  • Any recommendations on the employee's use of PPE or respirators; and
  • Any recommended limitations on the employee's airborne beryllium exposure.

If the employee is confirmed positive for beryllium sensitization or diagnosed with CBD (or if the licensed physician otherwise deems it appropriate) the written report must also contain a physician referral for an evaluation at a CBD diagnostic center,6 a recommendation that the employee continue periodic medical surveillance and a recommendation that the employee be given medical removal from airborne exposure to beryllium, as described in paragraph (l) of the standard.

The Licensed Physician's Written Medical Opinion for the Employer

The employer must obtain a written medical opinion from the licensed physician within 45 days of the medical examination (including any follow-up BeLPTs required by paragraph (k)(3)(ii)(E)). The written opinion must contain only the following information:

  • The date of the examination;
  • A statement that the examination has met the requirements of the Beryllium standard;
  • Any recommended limitations on the employee's use of respirators, protective clothing, or equipment;
  • A statement that the PLHCP has explained the results of the medical examination to the employee, including any tests conducted, any medical conditions related to airborne exposure that require further evaluation or treatment, and any special provisions for use of personal protective clothing or equipment;
  • Any recommended limitations on the employee's airborne exposure to beryllium, if the employee provides written authorization;
  • A referral to a CBD Diagnostic Center, if the employee has been confirmed positive for beryllium sensitization or CBD or if the licensed physician otherwise deems it appropriate, and if the employee also gives written authorization;
  • A recommendation for continued periodic medical surveillance, if the employee has been confirmed positive for beryllium sensitization or diagnosed with CBD and the employee provides written authorization; and
  • A recommendation for medical removal from airborne exposure to beryllium (paragraph (l) of the standard), if the employee has been confirmed positive for beryllium sensitization or CBD and gives written authorization;

The purpose of the employee written authorization requirement is to enhance employee privacy and encourage employees to participate in medical surveillance by minimizing fears about retaliation or discrimination based on medical findings.

CBD Diagnostic Center

The employer must provide an evaluation at no cost to the employee at a CBD diagnostic center that is mutually acceptable to both employer and employee. The examination must be scheduled within 30 days of, and must occur within a reasonable time of, the employer receiving a physician's written medical opinion recommending referral to a CBD diagnostic center or the employee presenting to the employer a physician's written medical report recommending referral to a CBD diagnostic center or indicating that the employee has been confirmed positive or diagnosed with CBD. After receiving the initial clinical evaluation at the CBD diagnostic center, the employee may choose to have any subsequent medical examination as described in paragraph (k)(7)(ii)7 performed at a CBD diagnostic center mutually agreed upon by the employer and the employee, and the employer must provide such examinations at no cost to the employee.

Medical Removal- Paragraph (l) of the Standard

Medical removal is included as a protective, preventive health mechanism that is intended to work in concert with the medical surveillance provision. Medical removal is an important means of protecting employees who have been confirmed positive for beryllium sensitization (see Definitions for further details), or developed CBD, from further exposure.

Which Employees Must be Offered Medical Removal

Medical removal applies to workers with airborne exposure to beryllium at or above the action level who have been diagnosed with CBD or confirmed positive, or who have received a physician's recommendation for removal from exposure to beryllium as required under the medical surveillance provision of this standard.

One of three types of written documentation must be provided to employers in order to receive medical removal:

  • A written medical report indicating a confirmed positive finding or CBD diagnosis;
  • A written medical report recommending removal from airborne exposure to beryllium (in accordance with paragraphs (k)(5)(v) or (k)(7)(iii) of the standard); or
  • A written medical opinion recommending removal from airborne exposure to beryllium (in accordance with paragraphs (k)(6)(v) or (k)(7)(iv) of the standard).

Employer Obligations

If an employee is eligible for medical removal, the employer must provide the employee's choice of the following:

  • Removal from exposure at or above the action level; or
  • Remaining on the job with respiratory protection, provided in accordance with paragraph (g) of the standard and used whenever the employee is exposed to beryllium at levels at or above the action level.

If the employee chooses removal, the employer must move the employee to an available comparable job where beryllium exposure is below the action level, if the employee is qualified or can be trained within one month. The employer must maintain for six months from the time of removal, the employee's base earnings, seniority, and other rights and benefits that existed at the time of removal.

If comparable work is not available, then the employer must maintain the employee's base earnings, seniority, and other rights and benefits that existed at the time of removal for six months or until such time that comparable work becomes available, whichever comes first.

Under the medical removal provision for the standard the employee's earnings can be diminished by the amount of compensation from a publicly or employer-funded compensation program or receives income from another employer made possible by virtue of the employee's removal.

Communication of Hazards – Paragraph (m) of the Standard

Employers must train and inform employees covered by the Beryllium standard about beryllium hazards and the methods the employer uses to limit their exposures to those hazards. Employers must cover the cost of training and must pay employees for the time spent in training. For employees exposed to beryllium, the Beryllium standard also requires chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers to comply with all requirements of OSHA's general hazard communication standard (HCS), 29 CFR § 1910.1200, as described in the text box below.

OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard

Employers must also comply with OSHA's Hazard Communication standard (HCS), 29 CFR § 1910.1200. The HCS requires employers to inform employees about hazardous chemicals in the workplace, such as beryllium and beryllium compounds, through their written hazard communication programs. Written hazard communication programs must describe how requirements for container labels, safety data sheets (SDSs), and employee training will be met. As part of their hazard communication program for beryllium, employers must address at least these health hazards: lung cancer, lung effects (CBD and acute beryllium disease), beryllium sensitization, skin sensitization, and skin, eye, respiratory tract irritation.

Under the HCS, employers must:

  • Inform employees about the general requirements of the HCS, as well as where and how they can view the written hazard communication program, lists of hazardous chemicals, and SDSs, which must be readily available to employees.
  • Train employees on how the presence or release of hazardous chemicals in the work area is detected; in the case of beryllium, this could include methods the employer uses to measure exposures, such as air sampling or objective data.
  • Train employees on the details of the workplace-specific hazard communication program developed by the employer, such as container labels, the workplace labeling system, SDSs (including the order in which the information is presented), and how employees can get and use hazard information.

See OSHA's HAZARD COMMUNICATION: Small Entity Compliance Guide for Employers that Use Hazardous Chemicals [OSHA Publication # 3695] for more information on preparing a written hazard communication program and employer requirements for labeling, SDSs, and training.

Training

The standard requires employers to provide information and training in accordance with the HCS (29 CFR §1910.1200(h)), to each employee who has, or can reasonably be expected to have, airborne exposure to or dermal contact with beryllium,

In addition, the beryllium standard requires the employer to ensure that employees who are, or can reasonably be expected to be, exposed to airborne beryllium can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following:

  1. The health hazards associated with airborne exposure to and dermal contact with beryllium, including the signs and symptoms of CBD.
  2. The written exposure control plan, with emphasis on the location(s) of beryllium work areas, including any regulated areas, and the specific nature of operations that could result in airborne exposure, especially airborne exposure above the TWA PEL or STEL.
  3. The purpose, proper selection, fitting, proper use, and limitations of personal protective clothing and equipment, including respirators.
  4. Applicable emergency procedures.
  5. Measures employees can take to protect themselves from airborne exposure to and dermal contact with beryllium, including personal hygiene practices.
  6. The purpose and a description of the medical surveillance program required by paragraph (k) of the standard including the risks and benefits of each test to be offered.
  7. The purposes and a description of the medical removal protection provided under paragraph (l) of the standard.
  8. The contents of the standard.
  9. The employee's right to access to records under OSHA's Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records standard (29 CFR §1910.1020).

The Beryllium standard does not specify how training is to be provided. Classroom instruction, video presentations, informal discussions, written materials, or other methods may be appropriate. The employer may select whatever methods are most effective in a specific workplace. The employer must also make a copy of the Beryllium standard and its appendix readily available at no cost to each employee and designated employee representative(s). For example, the employer could allow employees to view a printed or electronic copy in a reasonable location.

In order for employees to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the training subjects, training must be done in a manner and language that employees understand. This may mean, for example, providing materials, instruction, or assistance in Spanish rather than English for Spanish-speaking employees who do not understand English, and using methods other than printed reading materials if the employee is not able to read.

To ensure that employees understand the material presented during training, it is critical that trainees have the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers if they do not fully understand the material that is presented to them. When videotape presentations or computer-based programs are used, employers should consider having a qualified trainer available to address questions after the presentation or providing a telephone hotline so that trainees will have direct access to a qualified trainer. Employers can determine if employees know and understand the training topics through discussion of the required training subjects, written tests, or oral quizzes.

Employers must ensure that employees who are, or can reasonably be expected to be, exposed to airborne beryllium can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of each of the various topics in paragraph (m)(4)(ii) of the Beryllium standard. However, the level of detail should be tailored to the specific needs of the employee. For example, employers must inform all employees who are, or can reasonably be expected to be, exposed to airborne beryllium about the purpose, selection, fit, use, and limitations of PPE generally. But if employees are required to actually wear PPE, the employer must provide detailed information on these aspects, including the type of PPE required, donning and doffing procedures, and specific limitations of the PPE (such as breakthrough times).

Additionally, to ensure that employees do not inadvertently enter beryllium work areas and regulated areas, all employees who may be exposed to airborne beryllium must be trained on the locations and the specific nature of the operations that can cause beryllium exposure. Employees who are assigned to work in those areas must also understand which particular operations could result in exposures above the PEL or STEL, when those exposures are likely to occur, and the specific measures employees need to take to protect themselves.

Similarly, for medical surveillance, all employees covered under this standard must be trained on the purpose of the medical surveillance program, be given at least a general description of the program, and provided an overview of the benefits and risks of the tests available under the medical surveillance program. If the employee is or may become eligible for medical surveillance, the employer must provide additional details concerning the medical surveillance requirements, including specific details on the tests to be offered in the medical surveillance program, the procedures for scheduling an appointment, and the kind of information to expect in the report that will be received by the employee.

The employer must provide, and ensure the employee understands, an appropriate level of detail on each of the requirements of the standard and should tailor the training to each employee depending on what provisions of the standard are applicable to the employee based on that employee's work and job responsibilities.

Some additional examples of information that employers must explain, if appropriate to an employee's beryllium exposures, are: the known health hazards associated with exposure to airborne beryllium, including the signs and symptoms of CBD and lung cancer, and the health hazards of dermal contact with beryllium, such as developing beryllium sensitization or contact dermatitis. Employers must also explain the contents of the written exposure control plan so that employees have a complete understanding and knowledge of what is in it. Additionally, employers must explain methods workers can use to protect themselves from airborne exposure and dermal contact, including specific work practices (e.g., housekeeping practices, such as using a HEPA vacuum or wetting down dust before sweeping it up, proper disposal of contaminated materials) and personal hygiene practices (e.g., change rooms, showers, eating and drinking room). Finally, employers must explain the purpose of medical removal protection and describe the medical removal protection program, in addition to the medical surveillance program discussed above.

When Must Employees be Trained?

Employees must be trained at the time they are assigned to a position involving exposure to beryllium and must repeat the training annually. When a workplace change (such as changes in equipment, tasks, or procedures) results in new or higher airborne exposure that exceeds, or can reasonably be expected to exceed, either the TWA PEL or the STEL, the employer must provide additional training to those employees affected by the change in airborne exposure.

Warning Signs for Regulated Areas

At each approach to a regulated area, employers must post warning signs that each employee is able to read and understand. Signs must be legible and readily visible, and must include the following wording:

DANGER

REGULATED AREA

BERYLLIUM

MAY CAUSE CANCER

CAUSES DAMAGE TO LUNGS

AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY

WEAR RESPIRATORY PROTECTION AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT IN THIS AREA

Warning Labels

Employers must label each immediate container of clothing, equipment, and materials contaminated with beryllium. The labels must have the following wording, at a minimum:

DANGER

CONTAINS BERYLLIUM

MAY CAUSE CANCER

CAUSES DAMAGE TO LUNGS

AVOID CREATING DUST

DO NOT GET ON SKIN

As shown above, OSHA has provided required wording for labels and regulated area signs. However, OSHA intended the format of the signs and labels to be performance-oriented. For example, since CBD is the primary health concern, an employer may want to list the warning "Causes Damage to the Lungs" before the warning "May Cause Cancer".

Recordkeeping- Paragraph (n) of the Standard

Records can demonstrate employer compliance with the standard and can assist in diagnosing and identifying workplace-related illnesses. Therefore, employers are required to make and keep accurate records of air monitoring data and objective data used to assess employee exposures to beryllium under the standard, as well as records of medical surveillance and training.

Air Monitoring Data

Employers must make and keep an accurate record of all air monitoring performed to comply with the Beryllium standard. The record must indicate:

  • The date of the measurement for each sample taken;
  • The task monitored;
  • The sampling and analytical methods used and evidence of their accuracy;
  • The number, duration, and results of samples taken;
  • The type of personal protective equipment, including respirators, worn by monitored employees at the time of monitoring; and
  • The name and job classification of all employees represented by the monitoring, indicating which employees were actually monitored.

The employer must ensure that exposure records are maintained and made available in accordance with the Records Access standard (29 CFR § 1910.1020).

Objective Data

When an employer relies on objective data to comply with the Beryllium standard, the employer must make and keep an accurate record of the objective data. The record must include at least:

  • The data relied upon;
  • The beryllium-containing material in question;
  • The source of the objective data;
  • A description of the process, task, or activity on which the objective data were based; and
  • Any other data relevant to the process, task, activity, material, or airborne exposures on which the objective data are based.

The employer must ensure that objective data are maintained and made available in accordance with the Records Access standard (29 CFR§ 1910.1020).

Medical Surveillance

The employer must make and keep an accurate record for each employee who is provided medical surveillance under the standard. The record must include the following information about the employee:

  • Name and job classification;
  • A copy of all licensed physicians' opinions for each employee; and
  • A copy of the information that the employer provided to the PLHCP under paragraph (k)(4) of the Beryllium standard.8

Training

At the completion of any training required by the standard, employers must prepare a record of the training that includes:

  • The name and job classification of each employee trained,
  • The date the training was completed, and
  • The topic of the training.

Employers are required to keep this record for three years after the completion of the training.

The Beryllium standard does not require the use of social security numbers (SSNs) for medical, training, or air monitoring data records. The standard also does not require employers to delete SSNs from existing records or use an alternative employer identifier. Thus, the standard gives employers the option to continue using SSNs, to use an alternative employee identifier system, or to forego using unique employee identifiers in place of SSNs in their records.

Keeping and Making Medical Records Available

Exposure and medical records must be kept and made available to employees, their representatives, and OSHA in accordance with OSHA's Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records regulation.

OSHA's Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records Regulation

A separate OSHA regulation, Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records, 29 CFR § 1910.1020, addresses requirements for maintaining exposure and medical records. In general, exposure records (including air monitoring and objective data) must be kept for at least 30 years, and medical records must be kept for at least the duration of employment plus 30 years. It is necessary to keep these records for extended periods because diseases caused by beryllium exposure, such as CBD, often cannot be detected until several decades after exposure. However, if an employee works for an employer for less than one year, the employer does not have to keep the medical records after employment ends, as long as the employer gives those records to the employee.

Transfer of Records

Employers must comply with the requirements involving transfer of records set forth in the Records Access standard (29 CFR § 1910.1020) with respect to all records required by the Beryllium standard. Under § 1910.1020(h), whenever an employer is ceasing to do business, the employer must transfer all such records to the successor employer. The successor employer shall receive and maintain these records. If there is no successor employer to receive and maintain the records, the employer shall notify affected current employees of their rights of access to records at least three (3) months prior to the cessation of the employer's business.

Appendix I: Recommended Exposure Control Measures for Beryllium Operations

Appendix II - Frequently Asked Questions

This appendix contains selected Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to the Beryllium standard for general industry. The full list of FAQs for beryllium can be found at https://www.osha.gov/beryllium.

What is beryllium?

Beryllium is a lightweight but extremely strong metal used in the aerospace, electronics, energy, telecommunications, medical, and defense industries. Beryllium-copper alloys are widely used because of their electrical and thermal conductivity, hardness, and good corrosion resistance. Beryllium oxide is used to make ceramics for electronics and other electrical equipment because of its heat conductivity, high strength and hardness and good electrical insulation. Fly ash (a byproduct of coal-fired power plants) and various abrasive blasting materials, such as slags, garnet, silica sand, and crushed glass, may also contain trace amounts of beryllium (considerably <0.1% by weight).

How can exposure to beryllium affect workers' health?

Inhaling airborne beryllium can cause a lung disease called chronic beryllium disease (CBD). Occupational exposure to beryllium has also been linked to lung cancer. However, CBD is the primary health risk for beryllium workers. In the preamble, OSHA states that there is greater uncertainty regarding the lung cancer risk estimates than for the CBD risk estimates.

Who is at risk from exposure to beryllium?

Around 62,000 workers are exposed to beryllium on the job. Exposures occur when beryllium and beryllium-containing materials are processed in a way that releases airborne beryllium dust, fume, or mist into the workplace air. Worker exposures to beryllium can occur in settings such as foundry and smelting operations; fabricating, machining, and grinding beryllium metal and alloys; beryllium oxide ceramics manufacturing; and dental lab work.

In addition to the operations described above, the final rule covers operations involving trace amounts of beryllium (< 0.1 percent by weight) where workers may nevertheless be exposed to beryllium above the action level. Workers at fossil fuel-fired power plants may encounter beryllium in certain plant processes. Additionally, in the construction and shipyard industries, abrasive blasters and support personnel may be exposed to beryllium present in trace amounts in abrasive blasting materials and/or in the surfaces being blasted. In these operations, beryllium exposure may occur as a result of high dust levels generated despite the low beryllium content of the blasting materials or the surfaces.

What is Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD)?

CBD is a chronic granulomatous9 lung disease caused by inhalation of airborne beryllium by an individual who is beryllium-sensitized. OSHA's definition of chronic beryllium disease provides a general understanding of the term; it is not intended to provide the criteria for the diagnosis of CBD.

In the early stages of CBD, an individual may not experience any symptoms. However, over time, symptoms may develop including shortness of breath with physical activity, dry cough that will not go away, fatigue, night sweats, chest and joint pain, or loss of appetite.

Due to the variability in presentation of CBD symptoms and progression of the disease examining physicians have discretion to select the appropriate tests for the individual patient. Diagnostic tests to identify CBD may include a BeLPT, pulmonary function testing, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) (with evidence of immune cell infiltrates), and transbronchial biopsy. The BeLPT, like any diagnostic test, can yield false negative or false positive results, and physicians should be aware that BeLPT test results can sometimes be negative even in people with known CBD. There is no known cure for CBD, however, treatment may include corticosteroids, oxygen, and other means to ease symptoms or slow disease progression. For more information, please see https://www.osha.gov/beryllium/health-effects.

What is beryllium sensitization?

Beryllium sensitization (BeS) is the activation of the body's immune response to beryllium, which can result from inhalation or skin exposure to beryllium dust, fume, mist or solutions. Once a worker is sensitized to beryllium, any subsequent inhalation exposure to beryllium puts them at risk of developing chronic beryllium disease (CBD). Beryllium sensitization is essential for development of CBD; however, not every beryllium-sensitized person will develop CBD.

Because there may be no physical or clinical symptoms, illness, or disability associated with beryllium sensitization, the standard requires that specialized testing be provided to certain beryllium-exposed workers to determine whether a worker has developed an immunological sensitivity to beryllium. (See paragraph (k) of the beryllium standards for general industry, construction, and shipyards for more information on workers' medical surveillance eligibility.)

The beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT) is used to determine if an individual has an immunological sensitivity to beryllium. It is a recognized diagnostic test for measuring the immune response to beryllium (i.e., establishing beryllium sensitization), although some sensitized individuals may not be "confirmed positive" for beryllium sensitization by BeLPT testing. For purposes of the beryllium standards, individuals with either two abnormal BeLPT test results, an abnormal and a borderline test result, or three borderline test results are considered to be "confirmed positive" for beryllium sensitization and must be offered further evaluation to determine if they also have CBD.

What industries will be affected by the rule?

The main industries affected include:

  • Beryllium Production
  • Beryllium Oxide Ceramics and Composites
  • Nonferrous Foundries
  • Secondary Smelting, Refining, and Alloying
  • Precision Turned Products
  • Copper Rolling, Drawing, and Extruding
  • Fabrication of Beryllium Alloy Products
  • Welding
  • Dental Laboratories
  • Construction and Shipyards (Abrasive blasting)
  • Fossil Fuel-fired Electric Power Generation

Are materials with trace amounts of beryllium included in the rule?

OSHA's general industry beryllium standard includes an exemption for materials containing less than 0.1 percent beryllium by weight but with the qualifier that an employer claiming this exemption must have objective data demonstrating that employee exposure to beryllium will remain below the action level of 0.1 micrograms of beryllium per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) under any foreseeable conditions. See "Are there exemptions to this rule?" and "How can objective data be used to determine where the beryllium standard applies to employers who handle or use materials containing less than 0.1 percent beryllium by weight?" for a discussion of OSHA's interpretation of "any foreseeable conditions" and a discussion of how employers can determine if they are covered under the standard.

For example, for an abrasive blasting material that contains 2 ppm (0.0002%) beryllium by weight, the final action level of beryllium of 0.1 µg/m3 would be exceeded in a blasting operation only when total dust concentrations exceed 50 mg/m3, a level that is over 3 times higher than the current PEL of 15 mg/m3 for PNOCs (particles not otherwise classified) as listed in 29 CFR 1910.1000 (Table Z-1- Limits for Air Contaminants). In this particular situation, if the employer has objective data that shows that exposures during an operation are consistently below the PEL for PNOCs of 15 mg/m3, or even up to 3 times the PEL for PNOCs, then beryllium exposures would not exceed the action level under any foreseeable conditions and this operation would be exempt from the beryllium standards.

How were small businesses included in the design and evaluation of the rule?

OSHA consulted with small businesses through the normal Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) process and as part of its extensive analysis of the impacts on small businesses.

Before issuing its proposed beryllium rule, OSHA convened a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel in accordance with SBREFA. After issuing the proposed rule, OSHA gave members of the public, including small businesses, the opportunity to express their concerns about the rulemaking through written comments, testimony at a public hearing, and submission of data and post-hearing briefs. OSHA considered all information it received from the SBREFA panel, in addition to comments and testimony on the proposed rule, to inform the final rule and evaluate its impacts on small businesses.

How can beryllium exposures be controlled to keep exposures at or below the new PEL?

Employers must use engineering and work practice controls as the primary way to keep exposures at or below the PEL.

  • Engineering controls include using process isolation, ventilated enclosures, or local exhaust ventilation to keep beryllium from being dispersed throughout a work area.
  • Examples of work practices to control beryllium exposures include keeping surfaces clean by using a HEPA-filtered vacuum or by wetting down dust before sweeping it up. See the "How does OSHA define ‘as free as practicable'" section for further information.
  • If engineering and work practice controls cannot keep exposures at or below the PEL, employers must provide respiratory protection to affected employees.

Why can't beryllium workers just wear respirators all the time?

Respirators are not as protective as engineering controls, and they aren't always as practical either. Unless respirators are selected for each worker, individually fitted, periodically refitted, and regularly maintained, and unless filters and other parts are replaced as necessary, workers will not be protected from beryllium exposure. In many cases, workers using only respirators would also have to wear more extensive and expensive protection.

Even when respirators are selected, fitted, and maintained correctly, they must be worn consistently and correctly by workers to be effective. Respirators can also be uncomfortable, especially in hot weather, and cannot be used by some workers.

When is an employer required to provide a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR)?

The employer must provide a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) instead of a negative pressure respirator when all of the following are met: (1) respiratory protection is required by the beryllium standard; (2) an employee entitled to such respiratory protection requests a PAPR; and (3) the PAPR provides adequate protection to the employee.

Are the air sampling methods used to detect and measure beryllium reliable?

Yes, worker exposures to beryllium at the new PEL, STEL, and action level can be reliably measured using existing sampling and analytical methods.

  • OSHA has carefully reviewed the available scientific literature and expert testimony contained in the rulemaking record on the ability of modern sampling and analytical methods to reliably measure beryllium at the new PEL, STEL, and action level.
  • OSHA and NIOSH methods for analyzing beryllium are able to measure concentrations at the new PEL and action level with acceptable precision.

What is objective data?

Objective data means information, such as air monitoring data from industry-wide surveys or calculations based on the composition of a substance, demonstrating airborne exposure to beryllium associated with a particular product or material or a specific process, task, or activity. The data must reflect workplace conditions closely resembling or with a higher airborne exposure potential than the processes, types of material, control methods, work practices, and environmental conditions in the employer's current operations.

In the beryllium standard, OSHA defines objective data as information, such as air monitoring data from industry-wide surveys or calculations based on the composition of a substance, demonstrating airborne exposure to beryllium associated with a particular product or material or a specific process, task, or activity. The data must reflect workplace conditions closely resembling or with a higher airborne exposure potential than the processes, types of material, control methods, work practices, and environmental conditions in the employer's current operations.

Employers may rely on material, use, process, and air concentration information that indicates that the use or handling of a beryllium-containing material cannot, under any foreseeable conditions, release concentrations of beryllium at or above the action level (AL) of 0.1 µg/m3 as an 8-hour TWA. OSHA interprets the phrase "any foreseeable conditions" as meaning situations that can be reasonably anticipated. For example, annual maintenance of equipment during which exposures could exceed the action level would be a situation that is generally foreseeable. Similarly, the failure of ventilation systems is foreseeable, so this exemption does not apply where exposures below the action level are only expected or achieved because of the use of ventilation.

How can objective data be used to determine where the beryllium standard applies to employers who handle or use materials containing less than 0.1 percent beryllium by weight?

Employers can develop objective data from the air monitoring results of industry-wide surveys (e.g., conducted by trade associations for use by their members, from stewardship programs operated by manufacturers for their customers, from workers' compensation insurance carriers, etc.) to show that similar operations and conditions in their workplaces do not expose employees to beryllium at or above the action level. Employers can also develop objective data using historical air monitoring data from a variety of sources, such as similar operations on different shifts, similar operations in other facilities within the same industry, and similar operations in comparable industries. For example, the beryllium content of fly ash in coal-fired power plants is low enough that if an employer ensures exposures from fly ash cannot exceed the PEL for total dust (particles not otherwise regulated), then that data, along with information about the beryllium content of the fly ash, will be sufficient to show beryllium exposures will not exceed the action level.

Does the beryllium standard require employers to conduct exposure monitoring for the same task during each work shift in which it is performed?

OSHA has included a performance option for exposure monitoring because it provides employers flexibility to assess the 8-hour TWA and STEL exposure for each employee on the basis of any combination of air monitoring data or objective data sufficient to accurately characterize employee exposures to beryllium.

OSHA considers exposures to be accurately characterized when they reflect the exposures of employees on each shift, for each job classification, in each work area. However, under the performance option, the employer has flexibility to determine how to achieve this. For example, under this option an employer could determine that there are no differences between the exposure of an employee in a certain job classification who performs a task in a particular work area on one shift and the exposure of another employee in the same job classification who performs the same task in the same work area on another shift. In that case, the employer could characterize the exposure of the second employee based on the first employee's exposure.

What is a beryllium work area (BWA)?

A BWA is a work area where the general industry rule requires special protections for workers who may be exposed from processes that release beryllium. Specifically, the beryllium standard for general industry defines beryllium work area to mean any work area where materials that contain at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight are processed either:

(1) During any of the operations listed in Appendix A of this standard; or

(2) Where employees are, or can reasonably be expected to be, exposed to airborne beryllium at or above the action level.

Due to the nature of the processes and materials used in general industry versus construction and shipyards, only the beryllium standard for general industry requires BWAs.

Establishing a BWA ensures that employees and other persons are aware of the potential presence of airborne beryllium in a BWA. Employers are required to identify and demarcate areas within general industry facilities that meet the criteria identified above so that necessary control measures can be implemented. These requirements are designed to reduce workers' airborne exposure below the action level, and, in conjunction with other provisions such as the written control plan, hygiene, and housekeeping requirements, to minimize the transfer of beryllium to other areas of the facility.

When and where is an employer required to establish a beryllium work area (BWA)?

Beryllium work areas (BWAs) are required only in general industry. Under the beryllium standard for general industry, an employer must establish a BWA in any work area where materials that contain at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight are processed either:

  1. During any of the operations listed in Appendix A of the standard; or
  2. Where employees are, or can reasonably be expected to be, exposed to airborne beryllium at or above the action level (0.1 µg/m3 as an 8-hour time-weighted average).

Appendix A to the beryllium standard for general industry contains Table A.1, which includes a list of operations that, when performed with materials containing at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight, are known to generate airborne beryllium. Where any of these operations or processes in Table A.1 are performed under the circumstances described in the column heading above the particular operations, the requirements to establish a BWA apply, regardless of the concentration of the airborne beryllium released.

Although Table A.1 identifies the beryllium-containing materials that were "generally" used in beryllium metal alloy operations and beryllium composite operations as of the most recent revision to the standard, the table is not limited to those materials alone, i.e., to materials containing just <10% or >10% by weight of beryllium, as indicated by two of the column headings, "Beryllium metal alloy operations (generally <10% beryllium by weight)" and "Beryllium composite operations (generally >10% beryllium by weight)." As stated above, the BWA requirement is triggered whenever one of the listed operations is performed on a material containing at least 0.1% beryllium by weight. For example, a beryllium composite operation involving a material with 5% beryllium would be considered included in Table A.1. (See 85 FR at 42600).

A BWA must also be established where materials that contain at least 0.1 percent beryllium by weight are processed in any fashion if exposures can reasonably be expected to exceed the action level. Thus, for example, if an operation involves materials containing at least 0.1% beryllium by weight, but that operation is not listed in Table A.1, an employer is still required to establish a BWA if exposures from that operation can reasonably be expected to exceed the action level. Also, if two operations involving materials with at least 0.1% beryllium by weight combine to create airborne beryllium exposures above the action level in a work area, the employer must establish a BWA there, regardless of whether each operation would individually create exposures below the action level.

Which requirements of the beryllium standard for general industry apply once a beryllium work area (BWA) is established?

The beryllium standard for general industry requires employers to establish, maintain, and demarcate the BWA according to the criteria specified in the standard (paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (2)). The establishment of a BWA also triggers several additional requirements to minimize both airborne and dermal exposures. These requirements include establishing and maintaining a written exposure control plan (paragraphs (f)(1)(i)(D) and (F)); implementing engineering and work practice controls (paragraph (f)(2)(ii)) and certain hygiene (paragraphs (i)(1) and (2)) and housekeeping (paragraphs (j)(1)(i) and (2)) practices; and providing employee training (paragraph (m)(4)(ii)(B)).

Several requirements in the beryllium standard for general industry are triggered where an employee has, or can be reasonably expected to have, dermal contact with beryllium such as in a BWA, where operations listed in Appendix A, Table A.1 and those that can be reasonably expected to generate exposure at or above the action level, are performed on materials containing at least 0.1% beryllium by weight (see the preamble to the July 14, 2020 final rule (85 FR at 42609) for additional discussion). These include provisions in paragraph (f), Written exposure control plan; paragraph (h), Personal protective clothing and equipment (PPE); paragraph (i), Hygiene areas and practices; paragraph (k), Medical surveillance; and paragraph (m), Communication of hazards.

For compliance with the PPE requirements, OSHA expects employers to assess workers' PPE needs for each BWA, as required by paragraph (f)(1) of the beryllium standard and OSHA's general PPE standards (29 CFR subpart I), and to provide their employees with appropriate PPE. Employers should also note that PPE requirements to protect against dermal exposure to beryllium may apply outside of BWAs. The standard requires employers to provide and ensure the use of appropriate PPE whenever there is a reasonable expectation of dermal contact with beryllium, regardless of whether or not the area is a BWA (see 83 FR at 63749).

What does "dermal contact with beryllium" mean?

The beryllium standard for general industry defines dermal contact with beryllium as skin exposure to: (1) soluble beryllium compounds containing beryllium in concentrations greater than or equal to 0.1 percent by weight; (2) solutions containing beryllium in concentrations greater than or equal to 0.1 percent by weight; or (3) visible dust, fumes, or mists containing beryllium in concentrations greater than or equal to 0.1 percent by weight. The definition also states that handling of beryllium materials in non-particulate solid form that are free from visible dust containing beryllium in concentrations greater than or equal to 0.1 percent by weight is not considered dermal contact under the standard. Due to the nature of the processes and materials used in general industry versus construction and shipyards, dermal contact with beryllium is defined only in the beryllium standard for general industry.

Several requirements in the beryllium standard for general industry are triggered where an employee has, or can be reasonably expected to have, dermal contact with beryllium. These include provisions in: paragraph (f), Written exposure control plan; paragraph (h), Personal protective clothing and equipment (PPE); paragraph (i), Hygiene areas and practices; paragraph (k), Medical surveillance; and paragraph (m), Communication of hazards.

The term "non-particulate" in OSHA's definition indicates the agency's intent that the beryllium materials covered by this clause are solid beryllium-containing objects with uncompromised physical integrity, which are unlikely to release beryllium that would pose a health hazard for workers (see 82 FR at 2640, 85 FR 42608).

OSHA also notes that the definition of dermal contact with beryllium would apply, and provisions triggered by dermal contact such as PPE would be required, if there is a reasonable expectation that oxidation may result in visible surface contamination with residue containing at least 0.1% by weight. Such oxidation typically occurs through manufacturing processes that heat beryllium-containing materials (for example, hot forming operations, melting, or heat treating). Where oxidization may reasonably be expected to result in visible surface contamination, an employer should follow the requirements pertaining to dermal contact with beryllium. For example, if the surface of a solid object must be heat treated, and the employer has reason to believe this will result in surface oxidation, the employer should provide workers handling that object with appropriate PPE and follow other requirements related to dermal contact with beryllium (see 85 FR 42608).

Why does the definition of dermal contact with beryllium in the general industry standard refer to the visibility of dust, fumes and mist? Do provisions of the rule triggered by airborne beryllium apply only if beryllium-containing dusts, fumes or mists are visible?

OSHA uses visibility as a clear qualitative indicator of when dermal contact with dust, fumes or mist is occurring or is reasonably anticipated to occur, so that employers can readily ascertain when to implement the provisions that are triggered by dermal contact, such as the requirement in paragraph (h) to provide employees with PPE to protect against reasonably expected dermal contact with beryllium.

At the same time, OSHA emphasizes that employers should not assess the presence of airborne beryllium by looking solely for visible indicators. Inhalation of airborne beryllium, even when not visible to the naked eye, is a risk factor for developing CBD. Accordingly, provisions triggered by the presence or reasonable expectation of airborne beryllium, such as those relating to beryllium work areas (BWAs), engineering and work practice controls, and respiratory protection, apply, regardless of whether the beryllium-containing material is visible.

A CBD diagnostic center has historically been defined as one of a few specified medical centers in the U.S. that have developed specific expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of CBD. Are there other medical facilities that are acceptable to OSHA as a CBD diagnostic center?

Yes. A CBD Diagnostic Center is any medical facility that has an on-site pulmonary specialist and on-site capability to perform the clinical evaluation necessary to diagnose CBD. In order to qualify as a CBD Diagnostic Center, the medical facility would need to be able to perform a pulmonary function test (as outlined by the American Thoracic Society criteria), perform a bronchoalveolar lavage (lung wash), and perform a transbronchial biopsy. The medical facility would also need to be able to send the lavage fluid samples to a laboratory for analysis within 24 hours of collecting the fluid. The on-site pulmonary specialist would need to be able to interpret the biopsy results, bronchoalveolar lavage diagnostic test results.

OSHA expanded the definition of CBD Diagnostic Center in the recently published beryllium standards to include more facilities across the U.S. by removing some of the more stringent criteria for these facilities, such as the proposed requirement to be able to perform a BeLPT on-site.

In the definition of a CBD diagnostic center, is OSHA requiring that every evaluation include pulmonary function testing (as outlined by the American Thoracic Society criteria), bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), and transbronchial biopsy?

No. OSHA only means that a diagnostic center must have the capabilities to perform such tests. The tests to be conducted are to be at the discretion of the examining physician with the permission of the worker.

Is OSHA suggesting that once an employee is referred to a CBD diagnostic center, the employer must continue to refer the employee to a diagnostic center if requested?

No. The need for continued referral to a diagnostic center is to be at the discretion of the examining physician(s) in agreement with the worker and employer. A worker may only need to consult a pulmonologist at a local medical facility convenient to the worker.

Does OSHA require that once an employee is referred to a CBD Diagnostic Center, the employee must continue to use the CBD diagnostic center for follow-up medical examinations required by the standard?

No. After an employee has received a clinical evaluation at a CBD diagnostic center, the employee may choose, but is not required, to have any subsequent medical examinations for which the employee is eligible under paragraph (k) of the standard performed at a CBD diagnostic center mutually agreed upon by the employer and employee. Continued evaluation at a CBD diagnostic center may be helpful for sensitized employees and employees diagnosed with CBD because specialized evaluations may be needed to determine the appropriate tests to monitor for possible progression from sensitization to CBD and to monitor the progression of CBD if it does occur. But for employees who have not been confirmed positive, an examination with a pulmonologist at a local medical facility convenient to the worker may be appropriate if more supportive follow-up is not required at that particular time.

How does OSHA define "as free as practicable"?

Under the beryllium standards, the employer is required to keep surfaces in beryllium work areas, materials designated for disposal or recycling in general industry (unless they are placed in enclosures that prevent the release of beryllium-containing particulate or solutions under normal conditions of use, storage, or transport), personal protective equipment (PPE), and eating and drinking areas as free as practicable of beryllium. The requirement to maintain surfaces as free as practicable of a regulated substance is included in other OSHA health standards, such as those for lead (29 CFR §1910.1025, 29 CFR §1926.62), chromium (VI) (29 CFR §1910.1026), and asbestos (29 CFR §1910.1001). As OSHA explained in a 2014 letter of interpretation concerning the meaning of "as free as practicable" in the hexavalent chromium standard, OSHA evaluates whether a surface is "as free as practicable" of a contaminant by the efficacy of the employer's program to keep surfaces clean. A sufficient housekeeping program for beryllium may include a routine cleaning schedule and the use of effective cleaning methods to minimize exposure from accumulation of beryllium on surfaces. The intent of the "as-free-as practicable" requirement is to ensure that accumulations of beryllium dust do not become sources of employee beryllium exposures. Therefore, any method that achieves this end is acceptable.

OSHA further intends for this term to be broad and performance-oriented, so as to allow employers in a variety of industries flexibility to decide what type of control methods and procedures are best suited to their beryllium operations, and OSHA's beryllium standard does not specify quantitative limits for the amount of beryllium on surfaces or PPE. OSHA intends to evaluate compliance based on employer efforts under the circumstances present at each facility. For example, eating and drinking areas may need more frequent cleaning than regulated areas where workers wear PPE. Work areas may also need more frequent cleaning during periods of higher production volume.

Where appropriate, based on the beryllium content of the material, employees and employers may be able to assess whether surfaces are visibly clean as a practical guide to determine the effectiveness of a housekeeping program. For example, in industries working with materials that contain more than 0.1 percent beryllium by weight, visible cleanliness may be a helpful indicator of whether a surface or PPE is as free as practicable. However, depending on the operations involved, visible cleanliness may not be necessary or appropriate as a barometer of compliance in industries that work with materials that contain less than 0.1 percent beryllium by weight. If an employer maintains a reasonable, comprehensive written exposure control plan and follows the plan, the employer would likely be considered to be in compliance with the "as-free-as-practicable" requirement.

How does OSHA define "spills"?

Under the beryllium standard, the employer is required to ensure that spills and emergency releases of beryllium are cleaned up promptly. A "spill" is an unintended and unexpected deposit of beryllium-containing material. A spill is also an "emergency" under the beryllium standard if it meets the standard's definition of that term. Fugitive beryllium-containing dust or other particulate from regular processes or operations are not considered spills.

What are impermeable bags and containers?

The words "sealed" and "impermeable" are interpreted in terms of the materials in the container. For example, if the material is contaminated with beryllium-containing dust, the container must not allow the escape of the dust under conditions of ordinary handling. If the material includes beryllium-containing liquids, it must not leak. As it relates to the production of beryllium containing metals, transfer in commerce or the handling and processing of scrap metals, OSHA intends that the enclosures selected should not allow the materials they contain to escape under normal conditions of use, storage or transport.

Does the use of dissolvable bags for removing beryllium-contaminated work clothing and PPE from the workplace for laundering and cleaning meet the requirements of the beryllium standard?

OSHA considers a bag to be impermeable if it meets two requirements:

  1. The bag must be made of material that, when closed, does not allow particles or dust to escape; and
  2. The bag must be of sufficient quality so it cannot be punctured or torn in the specific situation of its use, storage, or transport.

If the dissolvable bag meets both of these requirements, then OSHA would consider the bag to be impermeable under 1910.1024(h)(2)(v) even though the bag is designed to dissolve in agitating hot water. See OSHA's Letter of Interpretation dated November 29, 2018 on Dissolvable Laundry Bags for Personal Protective Clothing.

OSHA requires labels be consistent with the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) (29 CFR §1910.1200) and employers must label each bag and container of clothing, equipment, and materials contaminated with beryllium, and must, at a minimum, include the following on the label: "Danger, Contains Beryllium, May Cause Cancer, Causes Damage to Lungs, Avoid Creating Dust, Do Not Get On Skin." Can the employer use existing labels that contain the requisite information and comply with OSHA's Globally Harmonized System-HCS standard?

Yes. Employers may use existing labels if they are in agreement with the labeling specifications of the beryllium standard and the HCS. For transportation guidance, see the joint OSHA/DOT guidance.

What resources are available to help small businesses and other employers comply with the standards?

OSHA recognizes that most employers want to keep their employees safe and protect them from workplace hazards. We therefore provide extensive compliance assistance through our Compliance Assistance Specialists, website, publications, webinars, and training programs, many of which are geared toward small- and mid-sized employers. For beryllium, OSHA will develop a Small Entity Compliance Guide, fact sheets, and other compliance assistance resources. For more information, see the Beryllium Rulemaking webpage.

OSHA's On-site Consultation Program provides professional, high-quality, individualized assistance to small and medium-sized businesses at no cost. This service, which is provided by consultants from state agencies or universities, is separate and independent from enforcement programs in federal or state OSHA programs and provides free and confidential workplace safety and health evaluations and advice to small and medium-sized businesses. Each year, the On-site Consultation Program conducts over 26,000 cost-free visits to worksites, helping companies protect more than 3 million workers from hazards nationwide

Appendix III

  1. Workers' Rights
    Workers have the right to:
    • Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
    • Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
    • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
    • File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
    • Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.
    For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.
  2. OSHA Assistance, Services, and Programs
    OSHA has a great deal of information to assist employers in complying with their responsibilities under OSHA law. Several OSHA programs and services can help employers identify and correct job hazards, as well as improve their safety and health program.

    Establishing a Safety and Health Program.
    Safety and health programs are systems that can substantially reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and illnesses, while reducing costs to employers.

    Visit www.osha.gov/safetymanagement for more information.

    Compliance Assistance Specialists.
    OSHA compliance assistance specialists can provide information to employers and workers about OSHA standards, short educational programs on specific hazards or OSHA rights and responsibilities, and information on additional compliance assistance resources.

    Visit www.osha.gov/complianceassistance/cas or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) to contact your local OSHA office.

    No Cost On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Services for Small Business.
    OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program offers no cost and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-Site consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations.

    For more information or to find the local On-Site Consultation office in your state, visit www.osha.gov/consultation, or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

    Under the consultation program, certain exemplary employers may request participation in OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Worksites that receive SHARP recognition are exempt from programmed inspections during the period that the SHARP certification is valid.

    Cooperative Programs.
    OSHA offers cooperative programs under which businesses, labor groups and other organizations can work cooperatively with OSHA. To find out more about any of the following programs, visit www.osha.gov/cooperativeprograms.

    Strategic Partnerships and Alliances.
    The OSHA Strategic Partnerships (OSP) provide the opportunity for OSHA to partner with employers, workers, professional or trade associations, labor organizations, and/or other interested stakeholders. Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups to develop compliance assistance tools and resources to share with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.

    Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP).
    The VPP recognize employers and workers in the private sector and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health programs and maintain injury and illness rates below the national average for their respective industries.

    Occupational Safety and Health Training.
    The OSHA Training Institute partners with 26 OSHA Training Institute Education Centers at 40 locations throughout the United States to deliver courses on OSHA standards and occupational safety and health topics to thousands of students a year. For more information on training courses, visit www.osha.gov/otiec.

    OSHA Educational Materials.
    OSHA has many types of educational materials to assist employers and workers in finding and preventing workplace hazards.

    All OSHA publications are free at www.osha.gov/publications and www.osha.gov/ebooks. You can also call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) to order publications.

    Employers and safety and health professionals can sign-up for QuickTakes, OSHA's free, twice-monthly online newsletter with the latest news about OSHA initiatives and products to assist in finding and preventing workplace hazards. To sign up, visit www.osha.gov/quicktakes.

  3. OSHA Regional Offices

    Region 1
    Boston Regional Office
    (CT*, ME*, MA, NH, RI, VT*)
    JFK Federal Building
    25 New Sudbury Street, Room E340
    Boston, MA 02203
    (617) 565-9860 (617) 565-9827 Fax

    Region 2
    New York Regional Office
    (NJ*, NY*, PR*, VI*)
    Federal Building
    201 Varick Street, Room 670
    New York, NY 10014
    (212) 337-2378 (212) 337-2371 Fax

    Region 3
    Philadelphia Regional Office
    (DE, DC, MD*, PA, VA*, WV)
    The Curtis Center
    170 S. Independence Mall West, Suite 740 West
    Philadelphia, PA 19106-3309
    (215) 861-4900 (215) 861-4904 Fax

    Region 4
    Atlanta Regional Office
    (AL, FL, GA, KY*, MS, NC*, SC*, TN*)
    Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
    61 Forsyth Street, SW, Room 6T50
    Atlanta, GA 30303
    (678) 237-0400 (678) 237-0447 Fax

    Region 5
    Chicago Regional Office
    (IL*, IN*, MI*, MN*, OH, WI)
    John C. Kluczynski Federal Building
    230 South Dearborn Street, Room 3244
    Chicago, IL 60604
    (312) 353-2220 (312) 353-7774 Fax

    Region 6
    Dallas Regional Office
    (AR, LA, NM*, OK, TX)
    A. Maceo Smith Federal Building
    525 Griffin Street, Room 602
    Dallas, TX 75202
    (972) 850-4145 (972) 850-4149 Fax

    Region 7
    Kansas City Regional Office
    (IA*, KS, MO, NE)
    Two Pershing Square Building
    2300 Main Street, Suite 1010
    Kansas City, MO 64108-2416
    (816) 283-8745 (816) 283-0547 Fax

    Region 8
    Denver Regional Office
    (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT*, WY*)
    Cesar Chavez Memorial Building
    1244 Speer Boulevard, Suite 551
    Denver, CO 80204
    (720) 264-6550 (720) 264-6585 Fax

    Region 9
    San Francisco Regional Office
    (AZ*, CA*, HI*, NV*, and American Samoa,
    Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands)
    San Francisco Federal Building
    90 7th Street, Suite 2650
    San Francisco, CA 94103
    (415) 625-2547 (415) 625-2534 Fax

    Region 10
    Seattle Regional Office
    (AK*, ID, OR*, WA*)
    Fifth & Yesler Tower
    300 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1280
    Seattle, WA 98104
    (206) 757-6700 (206) 757-6705 Fax

    * These states and territories operate their own OSHA-approved job safety and health plans and cover state and local government employees as well as private sector employees. The Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New York and Virgin Islands programs cover public employees only. (Private sector workers in these states are covered by Federal OSHA). States with approved programs must have standards that are identical to, or at least as effective as, the Federal OSHA standards.
    Note: To get contact information for OSHA area offices, OSHA approved state plans and OSHA consultation projects, please visit us online at www.osha.gov or call us at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742)

  4. How to Contact OSHA
    Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions for America's workers by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov


1 For purposes of this Small Entity Compliance Guide, unless otherwise noted, references to "the Beryllium standard" or "the standard" refer only to the 2020 Beryllium standard for general industry. The 2020 Beryllium standard for general industry, which became effective on September 14, 2020, amended the previously existing general industry standard for occupational exposure to beryllium. OSHA's Federal Register notices pertaining to its beryllium rulemaking for general industry, beginning with its 2017 final rule (82 FR 2470), may be viewed at https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/interlinking/standards/1910.1024/federal_register. [Return to Text]

2 This compliance guidance highlights and explains certain medical surveillance requirements in OSHA's Beryllium standard for general industry. This guide is not comprehensive and interested parties are encouraged to review the Beryllium standard for a complete list of requirements. [Return to Text]

3 The BeLPT is a recognized diagnostic test for measuring the immune response to beryllium (i.e., beryllium sensitization). While no clinical symptoms are associated with sensitization, workers sensitized to beryllium are at risk for developing CBD and need continuing medical follow-up. CBD is diagnosed when medical screening identifies a beryllium exposure history and characteristics in the lung that indicate CBD. [Return to Text]

4 The Low-dose CT scan is generally used for diagnosing lung cancer. [Return to Text]

5 Some of the beryllium standard's medical surveillance requirements must be performed by a licensed physician. Where the standard does not specify that a task must be performed by a licensed physician, a PLHCP can perform that task. [Return to Text]

6 For purposes of the Beryllium standard, a CBD Diagnostic Center is a medical diagnostic center that has a pulmonologist or pulmonary specialist on staff and on-site facilities to perform a clinical evaluation for the presence of chronic beryllium disease (CBD). The CBD diagnostic center must have the capacity to perform pulmonary function testing (as outlined by the American Thoracic Society criteria), bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), and transbronchial biopsy. The CBD diagnostic center must also have the capacity to transfer BAL samples to a laboratory for appropriate diagnostic testing within 24 hours. The pulmonologist or pulmonary specialist must be able to interpret the biopsy pathology and the BAL diagnostic test results. [Return to Text]

7 The employer must ensure that, as part of the evaluation, the employee is offered any tests deemed appropriate by the examining physician at the CBD diagnostic center, such as pulmonary function testing (as outlined by the American Thoracic Society criteria), bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), and transbronchial biopsy. If any of the tests deemed appropriate by the examining physician are not available at the CBD diagnostic center, they may be performed at another location that is mutually agreed upon by the employer and the employee. [Return to Text]

8 These include: a description of the employee's former and current duties as they relate to airborne and dermal contact with beryllium; a description of the employee's former and current beryllium exposure levels; a description of the personal protective clothing and equipment (including respirators) used by the employee, including how long the employee has used the protective clothing and equipment; and information from records of employment-related medical examinations previously provided to the employee, currently in control of the employer, after obtaining written consent from the employee). [Return to Text]

9 A granulomatous lung formation is a focal collection of inflammatory cells (e.g., T-cells) creating a nodule in the lung (85 CFR 42602). The formation of the type of lung granuloma specific to a beryllium immune response can occur only in those with CBD (82 FR 2492–2502), and detecting these granulomas helps to distinguish CBD from other occupationally associated chronic pulmonary diseases (85 CFR 42602). [Return to Text]