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Regulations on Confined Spaces Are Changing Soon. Is Your Company Ready?

Confined spaces aren’t a big deal when things are going as they’re supposed to. But in the event of an emergency, spaces like manholes, crawl spaces, and tanks can become dangerous if workers can’t exit them quickly. Air quality can also be a problem.

New OSHA regulations, designed to make workers in confined spaces safer, are set to go into effect on August 3, 2015. When Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels, announce the rule, he said:

“This rule will save lives of construction workers. Unlike most general industry worksites, construction sites are continually evolving, with the number and characteristics of confined spaces changing as work progresses. This rule emphasizes training, continuous worksite evaluation and communication requirements to further protect workers’ safety and health.

Construction workers are routinely asked to enter and work in confined spaces, so this change in regulations is wide-reaching. According to OSHA’s definition, a confined space is a work area that is:

  • Large enough for an employee to enter
  • Has a limited means of entry or exit
  • Is not designed for continuous occupancy

The complete text of the new confined space standard, compliance materials, case studies, and additional information can be found here on OSHA’s website. If you have questions about how this regulation might affect your company, feel free to give us a call at 864.905.7835.

Photo credit: NUCA



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