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Beryllium standard enforcement pushed back to May

New Jersey employers may know that OSHA's new beryllium standard will not take effect until May 11. The reason for the delay is that negotiations are still occurring to settle lawsuits related to the rule. For those in the shipyard and construction industries, enforcement of the .2 micrograms per cubic meter of air per eight hours standard will not be enforced until May. The same is true with the 2 microgram limit per 15-minute sample period.

Beryllium is typically used to make electronics, and too much exposure to the material can lead to chronic beryllium disease and lung cancer. According to OSHA, roughly 62,000 workers are exposed to it each year. The new standards are expected to prevent 90 deaths per year from beryllium-related disease. Companies that are not in compliance with the new standards may receive a notice from OSHA as well as an offer to help get into compliance.

The new beryllium rule was published in January 2017, and it went into effect in May 2017. OSHA had planned to start enforcing all elements of the rule on March 12. In June 2017, the Trump administration had proposed rules that would eliminate provisions related to housekeeping and personal protective equipment in the shipyard and construction industries.

Those who are exposed to toxic chemicals or other dangerous substances may develop chronic illnesses. These illnesses may make it impossible to work on a regular basis or at all. Therefore, workers who develop these health issues may be entitled to compensation. This may make it easier to pay medical bills as well as to make up for some of the wages lost while away from work. An attorney may help an individual pursue any and all compensation that he or she may be entitled to.

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