While any workspace in the construction industry presents a potential safety issue if left unchecked, confined spaces come with their own unique sets of challenges that must be addressed to present the safest possible working environment. It is the unique nature of these spaces that led to Subpart AA, known as the Confined Space Standard for Construction. Learning a little bit more about exactly what Subpart AA entails will shed light on how important this standard really is in the grand scheme of your day-to-day operations.
What is Subpart AA?
Subpart AA is a standard designed to govern any and all confined spaces that may be present in a construction environment. These include, but are not limited to, things like crawl spaces, manholes, and tanks. The common denominator is that confined spaces, by their nature, are not designed for continuous occupancy. As a result, confined spaces can be incredibly difficult to exit, should an emergency occur. This means that even small issues could become deadly—particularly in terms of events like electrocutions, explosions, and the presence of toxic substances.
Subpart AA is such an important standard, in part, due to the lack of coverage that the former OSHA standard provided. Up until Subpart AA was created, anyone on a construction site could work indefinitely in a confined space, provided that they had access to the necessary training ahead of time. While this was a first step, the reality of a situation is often much more dangerous. When you’re working with volatile substances on a construction site, the specifics of your environment can change rapidly. Every second counts. OSHA determined a need arose after seeing that with the current standard, fatalities in these cramped environments continued. Thus, Subpart AA was born.
What Does Subpart AA Mean for Employers?
Subpart AA officially requires all employers to differentiate the various types of confined spaces their employees are working in and to understand the unique hazards that each one represents. This will determine the specific training that each employee working in a confined space should receive, as well as the specific means to rescue a worker from that location, should anything go wrong or a larger hazard present itself.
Continue Your Education with 360training.com
At 360training.com, we understand just how important continuing education is, not just to the further success of your business, but to help guarantee that you’ve created the safest possible environment for employees at the same time. Confined spaces are certainly something of a hot-button issue, which is why we offer confined space entry training options depending on your needs.
If you’re looking for the best possible way to avoid workplace safety issues on an ongoing basis, you’ve come to the right place. Click here for our construction confined space training course. Does your business fall under a more general industry? Don’t worry, click here for the general industry training course.