Confined Space Attendant and Fall Protection

Consider for a moment the issue of fall protection and the confined space attendant overseeing entry operations for workers in a vault or manhole (top down entry). A question I often ask our students is: "Does the confined space attendant need to be tied off?" That is, if the fall hazard is greater than four feet (which it almost always is), does OSHA require the attendant to use some sort of fall protection? In this imaginary scenario we need … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson October 18, 2016
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Training Rescue Teams: What Standards Apply?

If you are not a rescue expert, the process of moving an injured person from a hazardous location to a place of safety may seem hopelessly complex. And like any other complex process one would assume that various organizations who specialize in technical rescue would issue standards to guide us in training rescue teams. These are some of the issues we'll be covering in our upcoming Confined Space Rescue Team Leader classes to be held this fall in … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson September 27, 2016
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Fall Hazards and Permit-Required Confined Spaces

Does the presence of a fall hazard turn a confined space into a permit space? When Oregon re-wrote its confined space rules last year one issue of interest among those attending the stakeholder's meeting hosted by OROSHA, was the question of fall hazards and permit spaces. In other words, if you had a pit twenty feet deep and the only hazard was posed by using a fixed ladder to enter this pit, would the fall hazard be serious enough to make the … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson January 7, 2016
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Confined Space Reclassification: Facts and Myths

Few topics elicit as much confusion as the reclassification of permit-required confined spaces, also referred to (more appropriately as using alternate entry procedures). People want to know if we should control hazards or eliminate them? Or both? Can we weld or grind in a reclassified space? Can we permanently reclassify? What are the benefits? Can I reclassify if there's a fall hazard? Anyone responsible for developing or maintaining a confined … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson November 6, 2015
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Construction Confined Space Rules: Updated

In both Oregon and nationally we have seen changes to the rules governing entry into confined spaces. On May 4th Federal OSHA released 1926.1201 "Confined Spaces in Construction". Earlier this year OROSHA published OAR 437-002-0146 which covers general industry and construction activities. None of the changes have anything to do with how we identify, evaluate, and safely enter into confined spaces. But there are important changes to the … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson May 28, 2015
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Intent of the OSHA Standard: Important or Not?

Understanding the importance of the intent of the OSHA standard. We spend a fair amount of time fielding questions about confined space, fall protection and excavation safety. Most of time people describe a scenario and ask us whether we would consider it safe or compliant. Generally their questions hinge on an activity that is not directly addressed by the OSHA regulations. As a trainer and consultant I rarely tell them that something is … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson July 9, 2014
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