Confined Spaces in Construction Standard

Confined spaces, like manholes, tanks, as well as sewers, are work areas that are indeed not intended for continuous occupancy as well as might be difficult to exit in case of an emergency. On May 4, 2015, OSHA released a final rule to improve safety for construction workers in confined spaces.

What is a confined space?

As outlined by OSHA, a confined space includes:

  • Limited way of entry and/or exit
  • Is large enough for a worker to get into it
  • Is not designed for regular/continuous occupancy

What exactly are samples of locations where confined spaces may possibly occur during home construction?

Several of locations in home building exactly where confined spaces normally include, but are not limited to: sewer systems, manholes, water mains, crawl spaces, stormwater drains, attics, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) ducts, and pits.

What exactly is a permit necessary confined space?

A permit essential confined space is a space that could have a hazardous atmosphere, engulfment hazard, or other serious hazard, like exposed wiring, which can interrupt a worker’s capability to leave the space without help. Only workers assigned as well as trained to operate in a permit required confined space might accomplish that. A permit indicating safety measures as well as names of those authorized in the space must be composed before any work might take place. Employers will also be needed to develop a written confined space program in the event that workers will go into permit required confined spaces.

So how exactly does the new final rule be different from the rules that previously placed on construction work performed in confined spaces?

The rule needs employers to know very well what kinds of confined spaces their employees are in, what hazards could be presently there, how those hazards needs to be made safe, what training workers need to receive (See OSHA Confined Space Training), as well as how to rescue those workers in the event that anything goes completely wrong.

If I am a general contractor and then seek the services of a subcontractor to do work in a confined space do I have any specific responsibilities?

Yes, home builders, or perhaps controlling contractors as OSHA labels them, should talk about permit required confined spaces on the site as well as their hazards with employers who should enter permit required spaces (entry employers), along with each other before and after getting into the space.

The rule tends to make the controlling contractor the primary point of contact for details about permit spaces at the work site. The controlling contractor extends information it has got about permit confined spaces at the work site on to the employers whose workers will enter the spaces (entry employers). Also, entry employers should give the controlling contractor details about their entry program as well as hazards they experience in the space, as well as the controlling contractor passes those details on to other entry employers. The controlling contractor is likewise responsible for making sure employers outside a space understand to not create hazards in the space, knowing that entry employers working in a space at the same time you should not create hazards for one another workers.

When does indeed the new rule get into impact?

Aug. 3, 2015