[Note: This is an old article written in 2013. If you’re looking for current information about the brand-new (2015) confined spaces in construction rule, click here].
Earlier this year, OSHA released its Unified Agenda, which listed a new Confined Spaces in Construction regulation as something to look for in 2013. The Unified Agenda listed July as the planned date of publication (it’s July now), but the new regulation isn’t out yet. We followed up with the OSHA contact listed on the Unified Agenda to get an update, and an OSHA Spokesperson was kind enough to get back to us with answers. (We’d like to thank the OSHA personnel who worked to get us a reply for their time, effort, and information—getting a regulation finalized can’t be easy.)
Question: According to the Unified Agenda and phone conversations with OSHA personnel this year, the Confined Spaces in Construction rule is supposed to go into effect in July of 2013. Is that still true?
Answer: The Department of Labor and the Office of Management and Budget have not yet reviewed and cleared the final rule, so it will not be published in July.
Question: If the regulation doesn’t go into effect in July, do you have a date when it will go into effect?
Answer: Although we cannot guarantee how long the review and clearance process will take, we anticipate that the rule will be published in Fall 2013. Final rules typically go into effect 30 days after publication.
Question: Has OSHA created any resources to help explain the date at which this will go into effect? If so, where can people access those?
Answer: OSHA will be publishing a small employer compliance guide when the rule is published. Once published, this guide will be available on OSHA’s website.
Question: Has OSHA created other resources to help people in the construction industry understand and comply with the new standard?
Answer: OSHA is preparing several guidance materials to help employers comply with the new rule.
So, keep tuned. We’ll update you if we learn more.