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July 10, 2015

Temporary Enforcement Policy from OSHA for Confined Spaces in Construction

As many of you know, there’s a new OSHA standard (29 CFR 1926, Subpart AA) going into effect on August 3, 2015 to address the hazards and safety concerns of confined spaces in construction work.

According to Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels:

“This rule will save lives of construction workers. Unlike most general industry worksites, construction sites are continually evolving, with the number and characteristics of confined spaces changing as work progresses. This rule emphasizes training, continuous worksite evaluation and communication requirements to further protect workers’ safety and health."

On July 9, 2015, OSHA announced a 60-day temporary enforcement policy of this new standard, giving employers two additional months to train and acquire any needed equipment to meet the compliance requirement.

OSHA’s news release explains that:

“During this 60-day temporary enforcement period, OSHA will not issue citations to employers who make good faith efforts to comply with the new standard. Employers must be in compliance 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.

Factors that indicate employers are making good faith efforts to comply include: 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."

To learn more about the new standards, visit OSHA’s dedicated webpage here, or contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 if you need assistance accessing the PDFs of the regulation. To read the July 9 news release, click here.

The HSI production team is hard at work creating new Summit Training Source programs and materials to help you comply with this new regulation. Watch the blog and your email inbox for more announcements soon.

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