Confined Spaces

New OSHA Confined Space Standard for Construction

Optimum Safety Management has put together a number of resources for construction employers seeking guidance regarding the OSHA Confined Spaces Standard for Construction, 29 CFR 1926.1200-1213 Subpart AA, with good faith enforcement beginning August 3 and full OSHA enforcement beginning October 2, 2015.

UPDATE 10/1/15:

Full enforcement of OSHA’s Confined Space Standard for Construction is being delayed again for residential construction. In a policy memorandum issued today, OSHA announced that it will delay full enforcement for residential construction until January 8, 2016.

For more information, you can view the full policy memorandum here. Please note that full enforcement of the Confined Space Standard for non-residential construction employers is in effect.

What is a confined space?

A confined space is any location that has limited means of entry and exit, is large enough for a worker to enter, but is not intended for regular or continuous occupancy. Confined spaces include, but are not limited to, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, etc.

What you need to know

There are 5 key differences in the construction rule, and several areas where OSHA has clarified existing requirements. The new standard addresses more directly the needs of the construction industry. Continue reading here: What You Need to Know About the New Confined Spaces Standard.

Confined Space Entry: Implementing the New Standard for Construction



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Implementing the New OSHA Confined Space Standard for Construction

The following is a simple, overview level guide to complying with the new standards found in Subpart AA, (29CFR1926.1200-1213) with good faith enforcement beginning August 3 and full OSHA enforcement October 2, 2015.

1. Perform an assessment of your work to determine if or when you, or contractors you hire*, enter spaces which meet the definition of a confined space. Also determine if confined spaces are permit required. If neither is the case, this standard does not apply to you. If you determine that confined spaces are to be entered, the following steps also apply.

*Host employers with Confined Spaces have obligations within this standard that must be met.

2. Develop and implement a program for Confined Space Entry that complies with the new standard.

– Review industry and task specific requirements found on OSHA’s website such as; sewer systems, pits, crawl spaces and attics , etc.

3. Assess the need for new or additional equipment such as; air or flow monitors, retrieval devices, ventilation systems, etc. and purchase.

4. Train workers on procedures and equipment according to their role in the confined space entry such as Entrant, Attendant, Supervisor, etc.

5. Communicate with other companies within the work site. It is incumbent upon the employer to insure that each jobsite situation is evaluated to determine if confined spaces exist. For instance, working on multi-employer sites where a company’s employees may be exposed to a general contractor’s spaces. (See Host Employer obligations also.)

6. In the case of Permit Required Confined Spaces (PRCS), determine rescue methods prior to entry.

– Insure that non-entry methods are planned and in place, if feasible.

– Coordinate with rescue service provider prior to entry and affirm their ability and willingness to provide rescue.

7. Monitor performance of workers in entry situations on a frequent and regular basis.

– Annually review the program and procedures and revise as required.

– In the case of PRCS, maintain copies and perform an annual review of entry permits.


Need Confined Space Entry Assistance?

Optimum Safety Management offers confined space entry services for construction employers:

  • Safety & Health Manual Updates
  • Consulting
  • Confined Space Entry Training

For more information, please fill out the form below and an Optimum Safety Management representative will contact you shortly. For immediate assistance, please call (630) 759-9908.

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