OSHA Delays Beryllium Rule

March 06, 2017

OSHA announced a proposed delay in the effective date of the rule entitled Occupational Exposure to Beryllium, from March 21, 2017, to May 20, 2017.

The Federal Register announcement follows the White House memorandum, entitled "Regulatory Freeze Pending Review," issued January 20, 2017, that directed the department to undertake a review of any new or pending regulations and temporarily postpone the date that they would take effect.

The proposed delay will allow OSHA an opportunity for further review and consideration of the rule, in keeping with the White House memorandum. OSHA published the final rule on January 9, 2017, and, in response to the memorandum, previously announced the effective date would be postponed to March 21, 2017. In its review process, OSHA has preliminarily determined that it is appropriate to further delay the effective date to May 20, 2017, for the purpose of additional review into questions of law and policy.

The proposed extension of the effective date will not affect the compliance dates of the beryllium rule. Comments regarding the additional proposed extension will be accepted through March 13, 2017. Comments can be submitted on this proposal at http://www.regulations.gov or to the OSHA Docket Office (Docket No. OSHA-H005C-2006-0870).

Coumarin Considered for Addition to Carcinogen List

California’s Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has selected Courmarin (CAS Number: 91-64-5) for the Carcinogen Identification Committee’s (CIC) review for possible listing under Proposition 65. OEHHA is initiating the development of hazard identification materials on this chemical.

By this notice, OEHHA gives the public an opportunity to provide information relevant to the assessment of the evidence of carcinogenicity for coumarin. Relevant information includes but is not limited to:

  • Cancer bioassays
  • Cancer epidemiological studies
  • Genotoxicity testing
  • Other pertinent data on:
    • Pharmacokinetics
    • Biomarkers
    • Effects on biochemical and physiological processes in humans

The publication of this notice marks the start of a 45-day data call-in period, ending on Monday, April 17, 2017. The information received during this period will be reviewed and considered by OEHHA as it prepares the cancer hazard identification materials on coumarin.

This chemical was selected using the procedure described in a 2004 document entitled: “Process for Prioritizing Chemicals for Consideration under Proposition 65 by the State’s Qualified Experts.”

OEHHA selected this chemical from those prioritized by the CIC in 2011. For details, follow this link: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/public_meetings/cic101211synop.html.

Hazard identification materials for coumarin will be presented at a future meeting of the CIC for consideration of listing under Proposition 65.

Hazard identification materials are made available to the public for comment prior to the CIC’s consideration of the chemical(s) for possible listing. The availability of hazard identification materials will be announced in the California Regulatory Notice Register and on OEHHA’s website. Public comments received on these materials are sent to the CIC for its consideration prior to the meeting at which the chemical(s) will be considered for listing. OEHHA announces the time, date, location, and agenda of CIC meetings in the California Regulatory Notice Register and on its website.

You can submit relevant information responsive to this request in electronic form, rather than in paper form. Submissions transmitted by e-mail should be addressed to P65Public.Comments@oehha.ca.gov. Please include “coumarin” in the subject line. Submissions in paper form may be mailed, faxed, or delivered in person to the addresses below:

Ms. Michelle Ramirez
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
Proposition 65 Implementation
P.O. Box 4010, MS-12B
Sacramento, California 95812-4010
Fax: 916-323-2265
Street Address:
1001 I Street
Sacramento, California 95814

In order to be considered at this point in the process, the relevant information must be received at OEHHA by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 17, 2017.

First Study of BPA Levels in U.S. Factory Workers

A new study, supported by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), is the first to look at occupational exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) among manufacturing workers in the United States. Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) led the study, which appeared January 1 in the journal Annals of Work Exposures and Health. NIOSH is one of the member agencies of NTP, and the study was conducted as part of an ongoing collaboration between the two agencies.

Toolkit for Disaster Preparedness and Response Information

This 46-minute webinar demonstrates the use of the National Library of Medicine (NLM)'s Disaster Lit, which contains the often hard-to-find guidelines, white papers, trainings, and other important materials that are published in a wide range of places, and about a set of HAZMAT/CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) information tools that assist responders in the field. The NLM speaker also discusses the Emergency Access Initiative (EAI), a collaboration between NLM and publishers to provide temporary free access to full-text articles to healthcare professionals and libraries affected by disasters.

Partnership to Focus on Safety at Amherst College Construction Project

Barr & Barr, Inc., a construction management company, and OSHA have signed a strategic partnership to enhance workplace safety and health during the construction of Amherst College's New Science Center.

Under the partnership, Barr & Barr will develop a safety and health plan that will serve as a benchmark for project subcontractors, setting out requirements and goals to meet or exceed. Qualified safety and health representatives will administer the plan. Its elements will include quarterly safety stand-downs; weekly meetings with subcontractors to discuss project safety issues; reviews of upcoming work; comprehensive analyses of job hazards; and an annual evaluation of the partnership.

OSHA, an agency in the U.S. Department of Labor, will review and continually evaluate the plan and help ensure that effective training is available and delivered. OSHA representatives also will attend monthly safety and health meetings.

"Our common goal is to ensure a safe and healthful working environment at the construction site and for this project. Partnerships bring together recognized best workplace practices and create success," said Mary Hoye, OSHA's area director in Springfield.

"We are delighted to enter into this partnership with OSHA for the Amherst College New Science Center. It is our belief that this partnership agreement will enhance the entire team efforts to provide state-of-the-art safety programs, and will be a major benefit to the men and women building the project," said Stephen Killian, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Barr & Barr.

The $195 million project involves the construction of a four-story, 250,000 square-foot building that will house laboratories classrooms and office space. The partnership, signed in January 2017, is scheduled to last through the project's conclusion, estimated for August 2018.

OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program helps encourage, assist and recognize voluntary partner efforts to eliminate serious workplace hazards Area employers and employees with questions about this and other OSHA cooperative programs can call OSHA's Springfield Area Office at 413-785-0123.

Highly Infectious Disease Exercise Planning Tools

The National Ebola Training and Education Center (NETEC) and ASPR’s Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (ASPR TRACIE) are partnering on a webinar featuring jurisdictions with first-hand experience developing special pathogen exercise materials and executing related exercises. The tools to be discussed will range from discussion-based exercise templates to drill, functional, and full-scale exercise templates that end users can use to develop special pathogen drills and exercises. The speakers will share exercise planning and execution tips and take questions from webinar participants. The webinar will take place Tuesday, March 7, 2017, from 2:00–3:00 PM EST.

AGC of Michigan and MIOSHA Continue Alliance to Protect Workers

The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Michigan and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) renewed an alliance for a fourth time to foster safer and more healthful workplaces across the state.

"The AGC of Michigan has been a long-time partner in workplace safety and health,” said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman. “MIOSHA is appreciative of their willingness to continue this cooperative relationship and applauds their commitment to improved worker safety.”

The alliance formalizes a working relationship between the AGC and MIOSHA to provide members and others with information, guidance and access to training resources that ensure worker protections.

“AGC of Michigan is proud of the partnership we have built with MIOSHA to ensure our members have all of the resources they need to continue to keep their workplaces safe,” said Damian Hill, president of AGC of Michigan. “Our renewed alliance will continue to keep our contractors focused on achieving zero lost work time due to accidents as we work toward a goal of eliminating injuries and work-related health problems altogether.”

The purpose of this alliance is to protect the safety and health of AGC members, as well as work with employers and management to improve safety in the workplace. Alliances enable organizations committed to workplace safety and health to collaborate with MIOSHA to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. They are open to all groups, including trade or professional associations, businesses, labor organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies.

There are many benefits to participating in an alliance with MIOSHA. Through this program, organizations will:

  • Build trusting, cooperative relationships
  • Network with others committed to workplace safety and health
  • Exchange information about best practices
  • Leverage resources to maximize worker safety and health protection

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