Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers Review Change for Confined Spaces
September 15, 2015
In early August of 2015, a new rule took effect which dramatically alters the way that those who work in confined spaces are trained and protected by their employers. Codified as Subpart AA 29 CFR Part 1926, the new standard will be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after October 2, 2015. Contractors who fail to abide by the new rule could face stiff penalties and fines.
Under the previous standard, OSHA’s regulations addressed only the question of training for those who work in a confined space. A confined spaces is defined as any area large enough that can be accessed bodily by an employee, but which has limited or restricted means for entry and exit, and is not designed for continuous occupancy. The new final rule is expanded and requires employers to submit to a permitting process.
Specifically, employers must determine the unique hazards that an employee could face in a confined space, develop a plan to mitigate those hazards, establish a training regimen for confined space workers and create an action plan for rescuing confined space workers if and when an accident occurs. Before any worker enters a permit space, the worker must be properly trained and specifically assigned to the job. A permit space, according to OSHA, will be any confined space wherein a worker runs the risk of being engulfed or exposed to another serious hazard, such as exposed wiring or oxygen deficiency.
Examples of employees who might encounter a confined space include those working in sewers, attics, crawl spaces, boilers and more. The new final rule and related permitting program could prevent up to 800 serious injuries per year, OSHA says.
Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger Represent Injured Workers
Working in a confined space requires proper training, but an employer’s responsibility does not end there. If you or a loved one was injured while working in a confined space that was not properly permitted, talk with the experienced Philadelphia construction accident lawyers at Galfand Berger. You may be entitled to compensation. Call 800-222-8792 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. With offices in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.