In a recent post we outlined the basic points of OSHA’s new electronic recordkeeping mandate. But that’s not the only new regulation OSHA has instated recently. A new “construction work in confined spaces” standard was issued on May 4, 2015. If you have workers laboring in confined spaces and you haven’t looked at the updated standards, here are the basics.
OSHA has both made key changes to some points in the construction rule and has further clarified certain points in the general industry rule. Let’s start with the construction rule. Five important changes are as follows:
- The first point requires a more detailed coordination between confined space and non-confined space workers when they are working in the same general area. The goal is to reduce the chance of hazards entering the confined space. An example of this would be not placing a generator too close to the door of a confined area, allowing carbon monoxide to build up inside.
- A knowledgeable person must examine the work site and identify any confined or permit areas.
- Continual atmospheric monitoring is required wherever possible.
- Submersion hazards must also be monitored continually, especially for those working in storm sewers or similar places. Electronic sensors or observers can be used to warn workers of an approaching flash flood.
- A permit may be simply suspended and not necessarily the cancelled if a change in entry conditions occurs or an unforeseen evacuation is required. But proper conditions must be reinstated before the space may be re-entered.
Additionally, several clarifications have been made to the general industry’s standard:
- Employers who do not use a complete permit system are required to use methods such as lockout/tagout to reduce potential worker hazards.
- Employers who use local emergency service must have that service inform them in the event that the emergency personnel will be unable to respond for a period of time (due to another emergency, training, etc.)
- And finally, while this may seem obvious, employers must provide safety training in the language of the workers.
Compliance with OSHA regulations in a huge part of maintaining a safe work whether it is a confined space or a roof top. And part of that includes having the right fall protection equipment. TC Safety Solutions offers a variety of OSHA compliant safety equipment, so you can turn to us for help with all your fall protection needs.