Wednesday, January 13, 2016

OSHA Grants Temporary Enforcement Extension on Confined Spaces Ruling

In September 2015, we wrote a blog post which alerted you to OSHA's new confined space regulations. OSHA has now further extended this temporary enforcement policy through March 8, 2016 for employers who work in residential construction.

Essentially, what this means is, up to and including March 8, 2016, OSHA will not issue confined spaces citations to an "employer engaged in residential construction work if the employer is making good faith efforts to comply with the standard."

OSHA further defined "good faith" factors below:

  • If the employer has not trained its employees as required under the new standard, whether the employer has scheduled such training, 
  • If the employer does not have the equipment required for compliance with the new standard, including personal protective equipment, whether the employer has ordered or otherwise arranged to obtain such equipment required for compliance and is taking alternative measures to protect employees from confined space hazards, and 
  • Whether the employer has engaged in any additional efforts to educate workers about confined space hazards and protect workers from those hazards. 
For more information on this update, you can read OSHA's announcement.

Make sure you are in compliance with the new OSHA standards!
Avoid fines and protect your employees with the OSHA Confined Space Awareness training. Worksites will also need at least one person who has taken the Competent Person training to inspect the workspace. Confined Space Permit Entry training may also be required if the confined space contains a serious health or safety hazard.