We’ve all been guilty of this. Years ago when chain emails were en vogue, you probably passed along an email with a shocking picture of an injury or incident without verifying it’s credibility. Now, such misinformation can be spread even quicker through a LinkedIn or Facebook “like” or a retweet on Twitter.
As I’ve posted information and presented webinars on OSHA’s Construction Confined Space Standard, the safety fruitcake has come to mind. A few fellow safety professionals reached out to me to verify that the information I was posting was indeed correct due to conflicts with the initially proposed standard. As safety professionals, we have a duty to our workers to make sure we are providing them with credible and relevant information. Because information, even misinformation, lives on in the internet, it is important to vet any materials you plan to provide workers in a training environment prior to presenting the class!
In the case of construction confined space, there was a proposed standard that had language in it about four confined space classifications. These four classifications did not make it into the final standard. Make sure to refer to the final Subpart AA rule when preparing training for workers or reviewing your company’s written program. The standard can be found here: https://www.osha.gov/confinedspaces/1926_subpart_aa.pdf
Subpart AA is “only” 27 pages. I strongly suggest that you click the provided link and read it!
Though OSHA has granted a Temporary Enforcement Period for the new standard from August 3, 2015 to October 2, 2015, make sure to use this time to actually review your company’s written program and provide training for employees. More information about what constitutes “good faith effort” during this temporary time can be found at OSHA’s website https://www.osha.gov/confinedspaces/tempenforcementpolicy_0715.html
If you still need some assistance, I created a website specifically for construction confined space resources, www.conconspace.com. There you will find tailgate meetings, a training presentation, and a written program template. The training and program template are downloadable so you may customize them for your specific needs.
Don’t pass the fruitcake around! Give your workers real, substantial, and practical information.