Enforcement of the new Confined Spaces in Construction Standard, issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) on May 4, will be postponed until Oct. 2, the agency announced today. Extension requests indicated that employers needed more time for training and acquiring the equipment necessary to comply with the standard.
Though the ruling will still become effective Aug. 3, OSHA will not issue citations to an employer that is making good-faith efforts to fulfill training requirements and comply with the standard. The agency will consider the following factors when evaluating these efforts:
- Has the employer trained its employees as required under the new standard, or at least scheduled such training?
- Does the employer have the equipment necessary for compliance, including personal protective equipment?
- Has the employer ordered or arranged to obtain the equipment required for compliance, or taking alternative measures to protect employees from confined space hazards?
- Has the employer engaged in additional efforts to educate and protect workers when it comes to confined space hazards?
In general, the new rule requires employers to:
- Evaluate the jobsite to identify confined spaces
- Develop a written program and permitting system for permit-required confined spaces
- Control physical hazards and conduct monitoring for atmospheric hazards in confined spaces that are permit required
- Provide training for confined space entrants, attendants, supervisors and emergency duties.
Find more information on the rule at nahb.org/confinedspaces. Also, read what builders have to say about the new ruling and the National Associations of Home Builders’ stance on it as well.