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I do not work on construction sites so I have not been following the roll-out of OSHA Confined Space standard for the Construction Industry (1926.1200) all that closely. But my phone has not stopped ringing with clients who have received a ton of advertising about how this “new OSHA rule will impact you”. Some of this literature is just disgusting in how it misleads an unsuspecting manager who wants to do the right thing. But as I began to research some of these claims I did take notice that this new CS standard for construction can be a glimpse into OSHA’s 2nd attempt at writing a CS standard and some of the new definitions and requirements should be included in our general industry program(s).
The Technical Committee has completed the second draft revisions and, absent any Notice of Intent to Make a Motion (NITMAMs), the new guide will be released this coming November! This document explains “how to” comply with provisions in the existing confined space regulations and standards by providing more detailed guidance on subjects such as
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As the debate rages on regarding rescue services, there is ONE LITTLE SIMPLE requirement that would STOP ALL entries before rescue services are VERIFIED to be “available”…
1910.146(j) Duties of entry supervisors. The employer shall ensure that each entry supervisor:
1910.146(j)(4) Verifies that rescue services are available and that the means for summoning them are operable;
This Entry Supervisor REQUIREMENT could not be any more clear… it is their JOB (and SOLELY their job) as Entry Supervisor to VERIFY that what ever rescue service they plan to use (on-site vs. offsite) the service/team is available and the means the attendant will use to summon them to the space is “operable”.
Seven (7) incidents were found in a search for firefighter fatalities involving confined spaces. Eight firefighters were killed in these seven incidents. The victims were not necessarily in the confined spaces when fatally injured. Five of the seven incidents were investigated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH). The investigation summaries and links to the complete investigation reports are shown here.