OSHA Grants Temporary Reprieve
in Confined Space Enforcement
Jan. 13, 2016
By Chuck White, Vice President of Code and Technical Services
OSHA has extended its temporary enforcement deadline until March 8, 2016, for residential construction companies to meet the new Confined Space in Construction requirements. However, the extension only applies to those companies that have shown a good faith effort toward compliance.
The standard became effective Aug. 3, 2015, but has been extended in response to industry requests for additional time to train and acquire the equipment necessary for compliance. Rule requirements include:
- All employees required to enter into confined or enclosed spaces shall be informed of the nature of the hazards involved, the necessary precautions to be taken, and the use of protective and emergency equipment required.
- The employer shall comply with any specific regulations that apply to work in dangerous or potentially dangerous areas.
- Employers who fail to train their employees consistent with either 29 CFR 1926.1207 (new construction standard) or CFR 1926.21(b)(6)(i) (general industry standard) would properly be cited for violation of29 CFR 1926.1207.
Factors OSHA will consider when evaluating whether an employer is engaged in good faith efforts to comply with the new standard include:
- If the employer has not trained its employees as required under the new standard, whether the employer has scheduled such training;
- If the employer does not have the equipment required for compliance with the new standard, including personal protective equipment, whether the employer has ordered or otherwise arranged to obtain such equipment required for compliance and is taking alternative measures to protect employees from confined space hazards; and
- Whether the employer has engaged in any additional efforts to educate workers about confined space hazards and protect workers from those hazards.
For more information, visit OSHA’s website.
If you missed the PHCC Educational Foundation confined space webinar, click here to view the recording.