Beryllium Article Found in Scrap Metal Bin

Image for Beryllium Article Found in Scrap Metal Bin

Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Environmental Protection, Occupational Safety and Health, Operations, Waste Management

A beamline user was cleaning out a storage cabinet and disposing of unwanted articles in the scrap metal collection bins. They found a component they did not recognize and did not need, and disposed of it in a scrap metal bin. Although the workers had been trained in the dangers and proper handling of beryllium, they did not realize that it had a beryllium window. There was no indication that the window was beryllium. The component had been abandoned by a previous user. The beamline technicians have a good understanding of the beryllium locations, and are usually able to identify it. A technician noticed the beryllium article in the metals dumpster, and retrieved the component. It subsequently was disposed of properly. Lessons Learned: Beryllium is not easily distinguishable from other metals, so without intimate knowledge or inventory information, it may not be recognized and properly protected and disposed.

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