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Construction Safety: Confined Spaces

confined spaces

There are some strict rules on working in confined spaces.

Confined spaces are a peculiar and particular type of construction safety hazard, and thus have strictly defined rules and regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently updated their protocols regarding confined spaces. This week we have a run down of the key terms and aspects of these regulations.

Permit Spaces

“Permit spaces” is the term used to describe any confined space a worker may need to enter. It is classified as a permit space because it either:

  • “Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere,
  • Contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant;
  • Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section; or
  • Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.”

An employer has a responsibility to protect any worker who must enter a permit space.

Employer Responsibilities

There are three types of employers in regards to confined spaces. A host employer owns or manages the property. A controlling contractor has responsibility for construction at a worksite. Finally, an entry employer is the employer who directs the employee actually entering the confined space. Entry employers are directly responsible for protecting the worker against space hazards.

Permit Space Program

A permit space program sets up a system to making working in or around a confined space safe. OSHA requires that the program meets a long list of criteria, including that it “implement measures to prevent unauthorized entry,” “provide and maintain […] personal protective equipment and any other equipment necessary for safe entry,” and “establish procedures for summoning rescue and emergency services and preventing unauthorized personnel from attempting rescue.”

Prioritizing Safety with G & M Services

G & M Services is proud of our employees and the dedication they have for safety in the workplace. Our employees are also rewarded for positive safety practices. We incorporate weekly and monthly discussions and meetings to ensure that all involved are aware of how to handle equipment and potential situations that could occur during a project.

G & M Services offers services in the way of concrete drilling and sawing, concrete scanning, and FireStop. To get started with G & M Services, call us today at 410-787-8828 or visit our contact page.

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