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OSHA delays confined spaces in construction rule

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is delaying the full enforcement of its confined spaces in construction standard for 60 days.

“In response to requests for additional time to train and acquire the equipment necessary to comply with the new standard,” the full enforcement of the confined spaces standard will be postponed from Aug. 3 to Oct. 2, OSHA said Thursday in a statement.

The final rule, issued in May, is meant to protect construction workers laboring in confined spaces against hazards that include exposure to toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions and asphyxiation. It is similar to the general industry confined spaces standard, but it includes construction-specific hazards and accounts for advancements in technology and equipment, among other things.

During the 60-day period, “OSHA will not issue citations to employers who make good-faith efforts to comply with the new standard,” the administration said in the statement.

The confined spaces rule could protect nearly 800 construction workers from serious injury each year, according to OSHA.