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New confined space regulations for the construction industry

Employers in the construction industry in New Jersey will soon need to pay heed to the new regulations put into place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for confined spaces in construction sites. Construction work continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, and the move, scheduled to take effect in August 2015, is designed to help prevent worker injuries and deaths.

According to OSHA, construction industry employers have only had a general industry confined space regulation on which to rely since 1993. OSHA believes the new standard, which is specific to construction sites, will help prevent five deaths and 780 injuries every year.

The regulation differs from the general industry standard in several ways. There are more specific provisions regarding times when multiple employers are working on the same site. They set forth the manner in which the various employers coordinate together to ensure worker safety. The site's owner will now be required to provide information regarding any hazards that exist in confined spaces in the site. The main contractor then will have the responsibility of divulging the information to all that enter the space or who will potentially introduce additional hazards to it.

There are numerous additional provisions about which employers must make themselves aware so they can be implemented correctly. It is hoped that by doing so, the many on-the-job injuries that occur every year to construction workers may thus be significantly reduced. A worker who is injured may be eligible to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. Injured workers may want to seek the help of an experienced attorney when they are preparing to make their claim, as legal counsel can explain the different types of benefits that are available.

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