Comprehensive New OSHA Regulation Affects Construction Sites

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General Contractors, Sub-contractors, and Property Owners Tasked With Pivotal New Roles Under New OSHA Confined Spaces in Construction Regulation, Warns OSHA Training Services Inc.

OSHA Training Services Inc.

"Without understanding how the new rule applies to them, all employers at construction sites are setting themselves up for OSHA citations and penalties”.

When the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued their new “Confined Spaces in Construction” standard (29 CFR 1926 - Subpart AA) earlier this year, they included several new provisions that differ greatly from their general industry standard for confined space entry. And it’s not just the employers who have workers entering confined spaces (known as “entry employers”) who are affected.

“In addition to the comprehensive requirements that now affect entry employers”, says Curtis Chambers, President at OSHA Training Services Inc., “the new OSHA confined spaces in construction standards also include requirement that affect the “controlling contractor” at a construction site (usually the general contractor), as well as the entity that owns or operates the property (known as the “host employer”). Without understanding how the new rule applies to them, they are setting themselves up for OSHA citations and penalties”.

The first step affected employers must take is to have a “competent person” identify all confined spaces at their construction site. Then they must determine if any of those spaces are “permit-required” confined spaces. And the new standard also requires the controlling contractor to be the central hub to coordinate information about the spaces and their potential hazards between the host employer, entry employers, and any other entity whose work or activities may affect the safety of workers inside confined spaces at the construction site.

To assist affected employers understand if they have confined spaces on their jobsites, OSHA Training Services posted a free online tutorial on their website titled “Identifying Confined Spaces on Construction Sites”. Mr. Chambers recommends all potentially affected employers take advantage of this free tutorial so they can be better prepared to determine if they have confined spaces on their site, and if they do, to take the steps necessary to comply with the new rules. The company will also be posting on their blog an article outlining the most significant requirements of the new confined space standard affecting employers at construction sites. Employers can monitor OSHA Training Service's website for future releases of new tutorials and blog posts, or they can receive advanced notification and early access to new tutorials and blog posts via the company's Facebook page or by following them on Twitter (@OSHA_Training).

About the Company: OSHA Training Services Inc. specializes in helping employers understand and comply with OSHA health and safety regulations. They offer on-site OSHA training classes (such as 10 and 30 hour, confined space entry for construction and for general industry, and competent person for excavation) for employers located across the country, online OSHA training courses, safety videos and DVD's covering numerous OSHA topics, and mock-OSHA inspection services. There are also a variety of free resources available on the company's website (oshatraining.com), including free toolbox talks covering numerous OSHA topics, comprehensive lists of OSHA training requirements for general industry and construction, and The OSHA Training Blog.

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Curts Chambers, MS, CSP
@OSHA_Training
since: 06/2011
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