OSHA Reschedules Hearing On Beryllium Rule

An OSHA hearing originally scheduled for this week on a proposed rule on occupational exposure to the chemical beryllium has been pushed back to March 21, according to the agency.

The March hearing will bring together stakeholders to participate in the rulemaking process by providing oral testimony and documentation for a final rule, according to OSHA.

The proposed “general industry” rule reduces the allowed workplace exposure to beryllium by 90 percent, matching union-industry negotiated model standards for decreasing risk of exposure to the chemical that causes chronic beryllium disease and increases lung cancer risk.

OSHA first proposed the rule on Aug. 6, 2015, with the aim of better shielding workers in all industries but the construction and shipping industries. OSHA is gathering more data before developing standards tailored to those two sectors.

OSHA chief David Michaels said last year that the union-industry led standard helped clear the path for the OSHA beryllium rule. OSHA is holding the public hearing at the request of the Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society, according to the agency. – Joshua Higgins (jhiggins@iwpnews.com)