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July 10, 2017
Oregon OSHA adopts federal beryllium rule

On January 9, 2017, federal OSHA adopted final rules for beryllium for general industry, construction, and maritime. Before these rules, the only specific rule for beryllium was an airborne permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 2 micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3). With the adoption of these rules, federal OSHA lowered the PEL from 2 µg/m3 to 0.2 µg/m3, and instituted an action level of 0.1 µg/m3. These rules require an exposure assessment, with periodic monitoring under certain circumstances, requires engineering and work practice controls to reduce exposure levels, institutes a written exposure control plan, requires provisions for regulating employee access to certain areas, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, and employee training and information.

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Oregon OSHA combined the requirements of the general industry and construction rules into one set of rules applicable to both industries and also updated the air contaminants rules for general industry and construction to reflect the new beryllium rules.

The Agency held two public hearings in June 2017, and did not receive any comments at the hearing. One written comment in support of the rule was received.

These Oregon OSHA rules, adopted July 7, 2017, go into effect March 12, 2018.

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