OSHA reports that its proposed confined space rule for construction workers is expected to reduce fatalities and injuries by 90%. Although there is a general industry standard for confined space, the agency does not consider it protective enough. Proper implementation of the new rule is expected to prevent six fatalities and 880 injuries from confined spaces annually.
The proposed rule includes a step-by-step procedure for employers to follow when deciding which of the four types of confined spaces is present, and how to address any hazards that exist in those spaces. The comment period for the rule ended on Feb. 28 with many contractors telling OSHA that the proposed changes are "costly and confusing" and that a public hearing is needed.
For more information, visit www.osha.gov.