Cal/OSHA launches California Confined Space Special Emphasis Initiative
On February 8, 2012 Cal/OSHA launched a statewide Confined Space Special Emphasis Initiative to focus attention on preventing worker deaths and injuries in confined spaces at California worksites. Responding to California’s disproportionate percentage of national confined space fatalities in 2011 – 7 statewide fatalities out of 25 reported nationally -Cal/OSHA’s goal for this initiative is zero confined space fatalities.Many employers are unaware of confined spaces at their worksites and often unknowingly put their workers in danger. Common types of confined spaces include tanks, silos, pipelines, sewers, storage bins, drain tunnels, and vaults. Many employers who are aware of worksite confined spaces mistakenly believe that calling 911 is an adequate rescue plan.
The yearlong campaign stresses that employers are required to have plans in place to identify confined space at their worksites, notify and train employees, and ensure that on-site rescue plans are in place. These requirements include a written confined space plan, procedures to test the air quality inside the space, proper employee and supervisor training, and effective rescue procedures immediately available on site.
All Cal/OSHA compliance officers will include a confined space component in their worksite inspections, and will actively look for confined spaces. Employers should be prepared to address questions such as:
1) Are you aware of confined space on your worksite?
2) Do you have a written confined space program?
3) Have you trained rescue personnel, including the workers entering the space and additional rescue workers?
The OSHA Training Center offers several confined space courses, including:
OSHA 2264 Permit-Required Confined Space Entry
OSHA 7300 8-Hour Permit-Required Confined Space Standard
OTC 403 Trainer Course in Permit-Required Confined Space Entry
OTC 304 40-Hour Confined Space Rescue
Confined Space Resources
Confined Space Hazard Alert issued Jan 30, 2012
Cal/OSHA Confined Space Enforcement Memo
Cal/OSHA Confined Space Webinar
Confined Space Program Training
Confined Space Fatalities in California
What is a Confined Space?
Examples of confined spaces include, but are not limited to:
Confined Space Regulations
What can be done to prevent confined space accidents?
Cal/OSHA Outreach and Consultation Service
Confined Space publications and resources from other government agencies