OSHA issued a confined spaces in construction rule. It’s about time. After noodling with it for over 20 years, the new standard goes into effect on Aug. 3, 2015.
The confined spaces rule for general industry, initiated in 1994, never fully protected construction workers. OSHA finally catches up.
Hear about the five things contractors must determine about job site confined spaces. In this podcast, Dan Clark notes the difference between old and new requirements. Dan also describes the construction standard for permit-required confined spaces.
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Dan Clark: It’s been over 20 years, but, finally, OSHA has a new rule on confined spaces in construction. Listen to the changes that take effect on August 3rd, 2015.
Hello again. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, tackling health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites, sponsored by Creative Safety Supply.
Oh, do me a favor. If you make an order at creativesafetysupply.com, use coupon code Big10. It will save you 10%, and let ‘em know I sent you.
Many have clamored for a specific confined spaces rule for construction. The confined spaces rule for general industry, adopted in the early 90s, didn’t quite fit the typical construction job site. On May 4th, OSHA published the new standard—first hinted at in 1994.
WHY A NEW STANDARD?
Up until now, OSHA required only TRAINING for confined spaces in construction. Deaths and injuries continued. The agency realized the standard was not working.
WHAT ARE CONFINED SPACES?
Any space that:
• Has limited ways to enter or exit.
• Is big enough for worker to get inside.
• Is not meant to be occupied regularly or continuously.
Examples: crawlspaces, sewers, culverts, pits, attics and open ditches.
WHAT’S IN THE NEW RULE?
The new confined spaces in construction rule says employers must determine five things:
1. What kinds of spaces their workers are in.
2. What hazards could be there.
3. How those hazards should be made safe.
4. What training workers should receive.
5. How to rescue those workers if anything goes wrong.
ARE PERMIT-REQUIRED CONFINED SPACES PART OF THE NEW RULE?
A permit-required confined space, PRCS, is a confined space that has—or may develop—a hazardous atmosphere, engulfment hazard, exposed wiring or other danger that could impede a worker’s ability to get out of that space without help.
Just as in the general-industry standard, confined spaces for construction, with any of those noted hazards, require a permit. So, contractors, employers as of August 3rd, you must have a written confined space program if construction workers will enter permit-required confined spaces.
SIMULTANEOUS CONSTRUCTION AND GENERAL-INDUSTRY WORK.
What standard do you follow?
A company with employees doing both construction and general-industry tasks in confined spaces will meet OSHA requirements if the company meets the new requirements of confined spaces in construction. It’s that easy.
The new standard goes into effect August 3rd.
That’s all for this episode, New Rule On Confined Spaces In Construction. Come back for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10% off your entire order at creativesafetysupply.com with coupon code BIG10.