A new rule from Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulating how the construction industry operates in confined spaces will go into effect on August 3, 2015.
“This rule will save lives of construction workers,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels.
OSHA says that confined spaces put workers at heightened risk for face life-threatening hazards including toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions, and asphyxiation. The agency describes confined spaces as areas “large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; have limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.” According to Michaels, the ever-changing nature of construction sites is cause for concern which the new rule will address.
Rule 29 CFR 1926 Subpart AA sets requirements for training, identification and assessment, hazard analysis, entering, working, exiting and rescue for confined spaces. A similar rule is already in place for general industry.