Are You in Compliance With OSHA's New Confined Space Standard for the Construction Industry?

Monday, February 22, 2016

The new confined space standard for construction, implemented by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Aug. 3, 2015, is tailored to the unique characteristics of construction sites, taking into consideration that they often host multiple employers and that the nature of confined spaces changes as the work progresses. While there are many similarities between OSHA's general industry and construction standards governing confined spaces, employers must be aware of some important differences. The construction standard requires coordination when there are multiple employers at the work site, imposing duties on entry employers, who decide whether employees they direct will enter a permit space and must inform controlling contractors of any hazards encountered in a permit space and develop safe entry procedures; host employers, who own or manage the property where the construction work is taking place and must share information about permit space hazards with the controlling contractor; and controlling contractors, who are the employers with overall responsibility for construction at the work site and must coordinate entry operations, provide information about permit space hazards to all entry employees, coordinate work in and around confined spaces, and debrief the entry employer to obtain information that must be shared with the host employer and other contractors entering the space later. In addition, the construction standard requires continuous atmospheric monitoring "whenever possible" and a "competent person" to evaluate the work site and identify confined spaces, including permit-required confined spaces.

NLBMDA 2/22/2016

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