Rescue tripod Construction workers enter a very active 42″ sewer in Memphis. They had completed Confined Spaces training, and conducted a thorough hazard analysis before entry.

 

Editor’s Note: This is an UPDATE to the story we published on May 4, concerning federal OSHA’s announcement of a NEW Confined Space Standard specifically for the construction industry. The full May 4 article follows this story about the effective date of the new rules in Tennessee. When we published the first article, TOSHA had not set their effective date. Now they have.

TOSHA Sets Date for NEW Confined Spaces Rules: August 5, 2015

Tennessee OSHA (TOSHA) has announced the effective date in the state for the NEW federal Confined Space rules for the construction industry: It will be the same as the federal date — August 3, 2015.

Tennessee is one of 25 states and territories that operate their own safety plans. Such states can set their own effective dates, and TOSHA has chosen to match the federal date.
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Here is the original May 4 Story . . .

The new confined spaces rule could protect nearly 800 construction workers a year from serious injuries and reduce life-threatening hazards.

May 1, 2015 — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) took a long-awaited, major step toward spelling out protections for construction workersin confined spacesWritten specifically for the construction industry, the new standard was 20+ years in the development process.

Into Effect (in most states) on August 3, 2015

This new standard will be effective in most states on August 3, 2015. UPDATED: Tennessee is no different. TOSHA’s effective date is now set for August 5, as well.

Manholes, utility vaults, crawl spaces, and the like, are confined spaces that are not intended for continuous occupancy. They are also difficult to exit in an emergency. People working in confined spaces face life-threatening hazards including toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions, and asphyxiation.

“This rule will save lives of construction workers,” said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. “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 worker safety and health.”

Last year, two workers were asphyxiated while repairing leaks in a manhole. The second worker died when he went down to save the first — which is not uncommon in cases of asphyxiation in confined spaces.

“In the construction industry, entering confined spaces is often necessary, but fatalities like these don’t have to happen,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “This new rule will significantly improve the safety of construction workers who enter confined spaces. In fact, we estimate that it will prevent about 780 serious injuries every year.”

The rule, tailored to the construction industry, provides construction workers with protections similar to those that workers in manufacturing and general industry have had for more than two decades. Specifically, the new rules include requirements to ensure that multiple employers share vital safety information and to continuously monitor hazards.

Compliance Help Is Available

Compliance assistance materials and additional information is available on OSHA’s Confined Spaces in Construction web page.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

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OSHA has issued new rules for confined spaces, and they are written specifically for the construction industry. OSHA has issued new rules for confined spaces that are written specifically for the construction industry.

The new confined spaces rule could protect nearly 800 construction workers a year from serious injuries and reduce life-threatening hazards.

May 1, 2015 — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) took a long-awaited, major step toward spelling out protections for construction workers in confined spaces. Written specifically for the construction industry, the new standard was 20+ years in the development process.

Into Effect (in most states) on August 3, 2015

This new standard will be effective in most states on August 3, 2015. Tennessee is an exception because it operates its own state plan — the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA). Though not set as of press time, it looks like the new rules will go into effect in Tennessee in early 2016.

Manholes, utility vaults, crawl spaces, and the like, are confined spaces that are not intended for continuous occupancy. They are also difficult to exit in an emergency. People working in confined spaces face life-threatening hazards including toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions, and asphyxiation.

“This rule will save lives of construction workers,” said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. “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 worker safety and health.”

Last year, two workers were asphyxiated while repairing leaks in a manhole. The second worker died when he went down to save the first — which is not uncommon in cases of asphyxiation in confined spaces.

“In the construction industry, entering confined spaces is often necessary, but fatalities like these don’t have to happen,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “This new rule will significantly improve the safety of construction workers who enter confined spaces. In fact, we estimate that it will prevent about 780 serious injuries every year.”

The rule, tailored to the construction industry, provides construction workers with protections similar to those that workers in manufacturing and general industry have had for more than two decades. Specifically, the new rules include requirements to ensure that multiple employers share vital safety information and to continuously monitor hazards.

Compliance Help Is Available

Compliance assistance materials and additional information is available on OSHA’s Confined Spaces in Construction web page.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

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How to Get the Most from Shoring & Shielding Equipment

April 23, 2015

  Editor’s Note: David Dow, TrenchSafety’s Vice President, was quoted in the February 2015 issue of the National Utility Contractors Association’s (NUCA) magazine, “Utility Contractor.” The article (below) discusses the importance of trench shoring and shielding systems, plus the the pros and cons of renting or buying, and the importance of training. Protect Your Crew [...]

Read the full article →