Thursday, August 13, 2015

Construction Employers Get More Time to Comply With Confined Space Standard

© Achtymichuk
OSHA had delayed until Oct. 2, 2015, full enforcement of its Confined Spaces in Construction standard, and will follow a temporary enforcement policy until that date. The agency received numerous requests for additional time to train and acquire the equipment necessary to comply with the new standard.

During this temporary enforcement period, OSHA will not issue citations to employers who make good-faith efforts to comply with the new standard. How will the agency determine whether employers are making good-faith efforts to comply? The agency lists the following evidence: scheduling training for employees as required by the new standard; ordering the equipment necessary to comply with the new standard; and taking alternative measures to educate and protect employees from confined space hazards. Employers must comply with either the training requirements of the new standard or the previous standard. Employers who fail to train their employees consistent with either of these two standards will be cited.

OSHA estimates the confined spaces rule could protect nearly 800 construction workers a year from serious injuries and reduce life-threatening hazards.