By Kathleen Rest, Union of Concerned Scientists
Quick recap: I have previously written (here, here) about OSHA’s efforts to delay implementation of its final, protective standard for workers exposed to beryllium. The delays follow decades of work, a lengthy rule-making process, and solid scientific evidence. Despite this, in June and in response to pressure from the construction and shipyard industries, OSHA decided to (once again) solicit stakeholder comments on whether its final beryllium rule should extend protections to workers in these two industries. (Like there hadn’t already been ample time and opportunity—but I won’t go there.)
SOS! The comment period closes on Monday, Aug 28th.
As many workers and families know all too well, beryllium is a very dangerous material. It’s a carcinogen and the cause of chronic beryllium disease, a devastating illness. There’s no real rescue from this slow, incurable, and often fatal lung disease.
Please take a minute to send in a comment and let OSHA know that weakening this protection for construction and shipyard workers IS NOT OK. They should not do it. These workers need and deserve this protection.
Comments must be received by Monday, August 28, at 11:59 pm. Here is information on how to submit your comment.
You must include the line below that lists the agency name and the docket number. (You can put that in the RE: line).
I am submitting this comment on OSHA Docket No. OSHA-H005C-2006-0870, Occupational Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds in Construction and Shipyard Sectors.
Here is some possible language, though I encourage you to add and make it your own.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Docket No. OSHA- H005C-2006-00870
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20210
I strongly oppose every provision of OSHA’s new proposal that revokes the ancillary provisions for the construction and ship yard sectors that OSHA had already adopted on January 9, 2017. The Agency must not revoke any of the provisions promulgated in the final rules on January 9, and they must assure that the full standards are implemented as published. Adopting any of the provision in this new proposal would lead to more death and disease among exposed shipyard and construction workers. I strongly oppose this proposal and its mission to create a two tiered system of protection for workers exposed to beryllium. OSHA must move forward and implement the rules as promulgated.
Your Name Here
Sign and date
Public comment is a critical component of our democracy. Please take a moment to weigh in on this one. And remind OSHA that their FIRST (and statutory) priority is the protection of workers’ health and safety, not the protection and preference of the industry in question.