Most employers in the construction industry already know that OSHA issued a new confined space standard for construction that became effective on August 3, 2015. Companies with employees who enter confined spaces at construction sites must be sure to understand the new regulation and adjust their processes in order to remain in compliance. Although the new standard has been in effect for six months, this blog provides a reminder on some of the key provisions of which employers should be aware.
As background, OSHA used to just have a confined space standard for general industry employers (29 CFR 1910.146). However in recognition that construction sites often host multiple employers and are continually changing, with the number and nature of confined spaces changing as work progresses, OSHA promulgated a new standard, available at 29 CFR Subpart AA 1926.1200, tailored to the unique characteristics of construction sites.
While the general industry standard and the construction standard have many similarities, some key differences are:
The construction standard requires coordination when there are multiple employers at the worksite. Specifically, the construction standard imposes duties on three types of employers because of the recognition that different workers may perform different activities in the same space, which can result in hidden dangers:
Entry employers. This is defined as an employer who decides that an employee it directs will enter a permit space. Entry employers have a duty to inform controlling contractors (defined below) of any hazards encountered in a permit space. Entry employers also have to develop safe entry procedures.
Related Confined Space Training DVDs:
Confined Space Entry Training Video
Provides employees with the information they need to stay safe in Permit Spaces and helps employers stay in compliance with OSHA requirements. View Product
Confined Spaces: Entry Team Training
Covers general aspects of working safely in confined spaces while ensuring compliance with the training requirements of the new regulation. View Product
Confined Space Entry Permit Training
Protect your employees from the dangers of working in confined spaces and be sure you are in compliance with OSHA 1910.146. View Product