ASSE Joins Chorus Against Construction Confined Spaces Rule

Delivering his organization's comments in a Feb. 26 letter to OSHA chief Edwin Foulke Jr., the American Society of Safety Engineers' president, Michael W. Thompson, CSP, joined the chorus of stakeholders who oppose the proposed construction confined spaces rule. Thompson's letter summarizes the ASSE position this way: "ASSE's overall conclusion is that this Proposed Rule is unduly complicated, introduces unnecessarily new terminology and requirements that are complicated and burdensome, and fails to recognize current safety practices that are widely understood and have proven successful in practice both in general industry and in construction."

The crux of the association's opposition is that the proposal isn't harmonized with the ANSI/ASSE Z117.1-2003 standard, Safety Requirements for Confined Spaces, and Thompson's letter says it is apparent that the standards used in OSHA's evaluations of existing standards were ones no longer affirmed by the Z117 Committee. (The standard is available from ASSE at www.asse.org/cartpage.php?link=z117.1-2003). To drive home the point about Z117.1's importance, a list attached to the letter shows 58 examples where OSHA cited the Z117.1 standard in General Duty Clause enforcement actions.

Thompson's letter is posted on www.asse.gov. It lists specific concerns about the terminology in the OSHA proposal, that the proposal doesn't require the host employer or controlling contractor to evaluate hazards in confined spaces, the need for ensuring a competent atmospheric tester is employed, and the failure to include oxygen deficiency in the proposed section on atmospheric monitoring. The letter says the conclusion of ASSE and Z117 Committee members is that the proposal, if adopted without changes, "would provide for a significantly lower level of safety than what is currently required throughout the construction industry by the Z117.1-2003 Standard."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue