Scheduled Monitoring option:

The scheduled monitoring option lets employers know when and how often they must perform exposure monitoring to measure employee exposures. When following the scheduled monitoring option, employers must make sure that:

  • Results represent the employee’s TWA exposure to airborne beryllium over an eight-hour workday;
  • Samples are collected from the employee’s breathing zone; and
  • Samples are collected outside respirators so that they represent the exposure that would occur without the use of the respirator.

OSHA intends for employers using the scheduled monitoring option to conduct initial monitoring as soon as work begins so that they are aware of exposure levels and where control measures are needed.

Under the scheduled monitoring option, just as under the performance option, employers must correctly characterize each employee’s exposure to airborne beryllium.

Exposure monitoring must include, at a minimum, one full-shift sample taken for each job function in each job classification, in each work area, and on each shift. Characterizing each employee’s exposure may involve monitoring all exposed employees or a smaller number of employees whose exposures can then represent those of other employees.

Representative sampling involves monitoring the employee or employees reasonably expected to have the highest exposure to airborne beryllium (for example, the employee closest to an exposure source). This exposure is then assigned to the other employees in the group who perform the same tasks on the same shift and in the same work area.

Representative monitoring is allowed when several employees perform the same job on the same shift and under the same conditions.

How Often Employers Must Monitor under the Scheduled Monitoring Option

Under the scheduled monitoring option, how often monitoring must be done depends on the results of initial monitoring and, thereafter, any required further monitoring, as follows

  • If the initial monitoring indicates that employee exposures are below the action level, no further monitoring is required.
  • If the most recent exposure monitoring reveals employee exposures at or above the action level but at or below the PEL, the employer must repeat monitoring within six months of the most recent monitoring.
  • If the most recent exposure monitoring reveals employee exposures above the PEL, the employer must repeat monitoring within three months of the most recent monitoring.

When two non-initial monitoring results taken consecutively, at least 7 days apart but within 6 months of each other, are below the action level or STEL, employers may stop monitoring for employees represented by those results, as long as no changes occur that could reasonably be expected to result in new or additional exposures.

Source: Adapted from OSHA’s - Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for General Industry and Maritime

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