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Construction Regulations: New OSHA Confined-Space Rule Published

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published a final version of new rules for working in confined spaces on construction sites. Learn more in our blog.

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published a final version of new rules for working in confined spaces on construction sites.

Construction Regulations: New OSHA Confined-Space Rule Published

The rules had originally been introduced in 2007 under the Bush administration, but was met with criticism. Over the next 8 years the rules were further refined with input from the industry, and industry groups have now voiced their approval for the new rules. OSHA noted that the final version of the rules is “substantially different” from the original 2007 proposal.

The rule “establishes new requirements for working safely in confined spaces, such as pits, sewers, crawl spaces and tanks,” according to Engineering News Record. “The final rule emphasizes training, continuous worksite evaluation and monitoring, and better communication on multi-employer jobsites. Employers are also required to provide training in a language and vocabulary that workers understand.”

Many constructions used general industry standards as a template for working in confined spaces, but the nature of working in confined spaces differs in construction from general industry contracting in a number of key areas, which necessitated the creation of a new set of rules specifically for construction. Avoidable fatalities in confined spaces had occurred in the construction industry, according to OSHA.

“OSHA estimates that the new rule will prevent up to five construction fatalities and 780 serious injuries each year. ‘This new rule will afford construction workers the same level of protection of workers in other industries who work in confined spaces,’ the OSHA chief said.’”

One aspect of the new rule that contractors should be especially conscious of is that it “places more responsibility on the controlling contractor for coordinating activities on multi-employer construction sites.” This means that controlling contractor could be held liable for a subcontractor’s oversights.

Read the full text of the rule here.

About Mahogany, Inc.

Mahogany, Inc. is a general contractor specializing in quality construction for projects across a wide range of industries. Located in southwest Baltimore, we employ 100 persons, and are one of the largest minority owned businesses in the state of Maryland. Make sure to check back with our blog every week for the latest industry related information. For more information, you can contact us at 410.727.0334, or email us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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