Confined Spaces (Construction) laws & safety compliance analysis

Confined Spaces (Construction): What you need to know

Overview

OSHA's rule for confined spaces (construction) covers employers with employees working in confined spaces on construction worksites with one or more confined spaces. Confined space activities beyond maintenance such as construction, alteration, and/or repair, including painting and decorating, are covered under the construction rule. Sites include buildings, residences, highways, bridges, tunnels, utility lines, and other types of projects. Also potentially affected are general contractors, as well as specialty-trade construction contractors and employers engaged in some types of residential construction work.

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The rule includes requirements for training, identification and assessment of confined spaces, hazard analysis, entering, working, exiting, and rescue for confined spaces containing a variety of different hazards.

A confined space is not designed for continuous occupancy and is difficult to exit in the event of an emergency. Construction workers often perform tasks in confined spaces. These spaces can present physical and atmospheric hazards that can be prevented if addressed before entering the space to perform work.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) confined spaces in construction standards (29 CFR 1926, Subpart AA) cover any space that meets the following three criteria:

  • Is large enough for a worker to enter;
  • Has limited means of entry or exit; and
  • Is not designed for continuous occupancy.

The rule includes requirements for training, identification and assessment of confined spaces, hazard analysis, entering, working, exiting, and rescue for confined spaces containing a variety of hazards.

Requirements
SCOPE
29 CFR 1926.1201

The standard establishes requirements for practices and ...


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