A new OSHA memorandum recently went into effect this past August regarding the Confined Spaces regulation. A confined space is defined as a space that is large enough for a worker to have access, however it is not made for ongoing employee occupancy and tends to have restricted means for entering and exiting. The new OSHA rule will help reduce the risks that come with hazards common to confined spaces in the construction industry, such as lack of oxygen (asphyxiation) and the existence of explosive or toxic gases, vapors, or fumes. A few examples of confined spaces can include condenser pits, manholes, ventilation ducts, tanks, sumps, and containment cavities.
As your Orlando construction lawyers, we recommend becoming familiar with the new requirements added to the updated confined spaces rule:
To prevent hazards from being introduced into a confined space by workers outside the space, coordinated activities are required when there is more than one employer at the worksite.
A worksite must be evaluated by a credentialed employee before any work can begin.
When there are workers in confined spaces or engulfment hazard areas, they must be monitored at all times.
4. Suspension Vs. Cancellation
Instead of canceling a permit when changes from the entry conditions list on the permit arises, it will now be suspended. This is also true for unexpected evacuations. However, the space must be returned to the entry conditions listed on the permit before re-entry. In addition, it is now required for employers to arrange for emergency responders to give notice when they are not able to respond for a certain amount of time. This is especially crucial if employers rely on those local emergency services.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.