“Confined spaces come in all shapes and sizes. You could have one that you can barely get into or one that’s 10 stories tall. Either could be equally dangerous if proper protocol isn’t followed.”
~ Tony Howard
Corporate Safety Director, Hoffman Construction
You may have heard that Oregon OSHA recently adopted changes to its confined space rule (437-002-0146) and that the rule now applies to general industry and construction industry employers. The rule became effective for general industry employers on Jan. 1, 2015. Construction industry employers must comply with the rule by March 1, 2015.
The basic problem is simple - many of the PELs are badly out of date. It is not just that they have not been updated in 40 years. The real problem is that the science on which many of them were based has simply left those old levels behind.
A laborer working for a company that mixes and bags grass seed was instructed by his line supervisor to hand clean one of two 12-inch diameter augers in a 15-foot tall silo mixer. As he reached into a 6-inch by 3-inch inspection hole to clean an accumulation of dust from the auger blade, a co-worker turned on what he thought was a conveyor control switch.
I work in a small medical office that is in one of our company's two leased buildings. Unfortunately, a number of mice and rats have found both buildings to their liking and have been running around for about a year. The landlord put traps down but the wily rodents ignore them. I am concerned that they may pose serious health hazards for our patients – and us. Does Oregon OSHA have rules for rodents?
Company: Cascade Shoring, LLC
Cofounder and general manager: Bret Taylor
Common hazards: Falls, cave-ins, caught between, utility strikes, material handling
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