Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Are Trenches Regulated as Confined Spaces?

I teach a lot of excavation competent person training classes, and more times than not I get the following question: “Trenches and other excavations are permit-required confined spaces, right?”

While a trench or other excavation may seem to fit within the definition of a confined space per the Federal OSHA permit-required confined space entry standards, the answer is “No, trenches and other excavations are not regulated by OSHA as permit-required confined spaces." However, employers are still required to follow certain precautions spelled out in the OSHA excavation standard (Subpart P) that are similar to those required when we conduct work inside a permit-required confined space; we just don’t have to utilize a permit.

First of all, why do I say a trench or other excavation is not regulated as a permit-required confined space?  Because Federal OSHA . . .

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