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Beryllium Worker Protection


The Beryllium Worker Protection Model (BWPM) developed over time is the heart of Be Responsible and is based on eight elements that are to be embraced by management and workers alike.


It is obvious that keeping beryllium out of the lungs is of utmost importance.  However, it is difficult to reach definitive conclusions regarding the contribution of each of the other model elements toward disease prevention.  It is likely that the use of all elements has contributed to and reinforced the success in the others.  The comprehensive nature of exposure control rather than quantitative achievement in any one component drives this model.

This model demonstrates that industrial hygiene concepts developed for the control of general toxins in relatively high concentrations (mg/m3) need significant modification when applied to very low concentrations (< 1 μg/m3) of airborne particles.  The application of this model may also prove useful in controlling exposures to other materials with low occupational exposure limits or with materials where health risks are suspected, but yet to be defined (nanoparticles).  It is understood that this model is not a one size fits all approach and that end users may need all or only part of this model in their workplace.

The success of this model supports the hypothesis that exceptional beryllium safety performance can be achieved by a combination of operating manager ownership of safety, a disciplined use of the beryllium worker protection model and active worker involvement.

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