Do you have employees who work in confined spaces? For their protection, you need to be aware of the requirements OSHA has made regarding these spaces and share these requirements with your employees.
The first thing you need to know is that OSHA defines a confined space as a space large enough for a worker to enter that is not designed for “continuous employee occupancy,” and has limited means for entry and exit.
Next, you need to know that the updated confined spaces rules include more specific provisions for requiring coordinated activities when multiple employers are on the same work site. These provisions are intended to ensure that hazards are not introduced into a confined space by an employee working on a different project or task nearby.
The new standard also includes a “competent person” clause. The general industry rule required that the employer evaluate the work site and identify confined spaces. The new construction standard instead requires evaluation by a “competent person,” perhaps a supervisor, and potentially multiple persons.
Additionally, the new regulation allows for the mere suspension of a permit rather than a mandated cancellation if a condition not allowed under the entry permit arises with the permit space, so long as the condition is temporary in nature, does not change the configuration of the space, or create any new hazards within it.
In the new standard, OSHA also requires that employers implement an early-warning system that continuously monitors for non-isolated engulfment hazards, such as flash flooding.
Lastly, employers are required to provide safety training in a language and vocabulary that workers understand.
Organizations planning to take on a construction project need to be well informed about the impacts of the new regulation and how to adjust their processes in order to remain in compliance. We here at Safety Solutions and Supply are happy to offer safety training classes to help increase the protection of you and your employees. For more information or if you have any questions give us a call today at 866-537-2262.
Safety Solutions & Supply
314 E. Canal St. (State Road 60)
Mulberry, Florida 33860
E-mail: [email protected]