Construction Safety Standards to Protect 800 Workers a Year
Early in July, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new enforcement of Subpart AA Confined Spaces in Construction would begin on August 3rd, 2015. Much like the rules for manufacturing and other industrial workers, these construction safety standards provide protections could save nearly 800 workers a year from serious injuries and reduce life-threatening hazards, according to OSHA estimates. With a significant and potentially life-saving opportunity like this, everyone can benefit from knowing more about the new standards.
It is worth noting that over the 60-day temporary enforcement period, OSHA will not be issuing citations to employers who display good faith efforts to comply with the new standard. According to the OSHA’s trade announcement, factors that indicate employers are making good faith efforts to comply include:
- Scheduling training for employees as required by the new standard.
- Ordering the equipment necessary to comply with the new standard.
- Taking alternative measures to educate and protect employees from confined space hazards.
The new rule requires that multiple employers share vital safety information and continuously monitor hazards, a safety option made possible by technological advances that sprouted after the manufacturing and general industry standards were created. Employers who fail to make this effort and train their employees consistent with either of these standards will be cited by the administration.
Full enforcement of the new Confined Spaces in Construction standard will start on October 3. 2015. The full memorandum can be found here. This includes the fact that the rule does not apply to a number of construction sites, including work regulated by §1926 subpart P—Excavations, §1926 subpart S—Underground Construction, Caissons, Cofferdams and Compressed Air, and §1926 subpart Y—Diving.
Learn the Next-Steps for Improving Construction Safety
GME proudly provides world class trench protection products for the trench shoring industry, and looks forward to the extra protection these standards will bring to the estimated 800 construction workers each year. We invite you to join our effort: read more about how GME works towards construction safety improvements by preventing trench cave-ins with their trench shields and other construction safety equipment.