Performance Monitoring option:
The performance option gives employers flexibility to determine the 8-hour TWA and the 15-minute short-term exposure for each employee based on any combination of air monitoring data or objective data that can accurately characterize employee exposures to airborne beryllium.
Objective data is information that demonstrates employee exposure to airborne beryllium associated with a particular product or material or a specific process, task, or activity. The data must reflect workplace conditions that closely resemble or could result in higher exposures than the processes, types of material, control methods, work practices, and environmental conditions in the employer’s current operations.
Examples of objective data are information such as:
- Air monitoring data from industry-wide surveys;
- Calculations based on the composition of a substance;
- Area sampling results and exposure mapping profile approaches; and
- Historical air monitoring data collected by the employer.
Employers choosing the performance option must:
- Conduct the exposure assessment before work begins;
- 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, 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 is challenging, such as when tasks are performed only occasionally.
The performance option gives employers flexibility for characterizing the exposures of all employees. 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.
Under the performance option, employers can characterize employee exposure within a range to account for exposure variability.
Examples of Using Objective Data to Conduct Exposure Assessments under the Performance Option
- Industry-wide surveys of typical tasks or operations, which include well-documented procedures for measuring exposures and methods for controlling dust, could be used by employers to characterize employee exposures where employees perform tasks consistent with those described in the survey.
- Historical air monitoring data collected by the employer 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.
Source: Adapted from OSHA’s - Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for General Industry and Maritime
Note: Although the standard permits the use of objective data when performing an exposure assessment, it is prudent to collect air samples from jobs/tasks processing beryllium-containing materials from your specific shop environment, to verify the proper exposure judgements are being made.
Safety Fact Sheets and Process Specific Control Summaries provide guidance on specific process related controls and airborne beryllium exposure risks. Click the following link for more information: