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MSHA increase enforcement of standards for confined spaces

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World Cement,

Starting in November, MSHA will place a special emphasis on enforcing its standards relating to entering confined spaces such as bins, hoppers, silos, tanks and surge piles. A recent MSHA safety alert announced that resources on their standards on confined spaces would be provided as enforcement increases. Although not a contentious issue between the aggregates industry and regulators, the new guidance reminds operators to be proactive in addressing confined space hazards.

MSHA recommends conducting a hazard assessment of all confined spaces, followed by the implementation of a permitting system as part of a safe entry standard operating procedure (SOP). It is further recommended that miners are trained in the specifics of the SOP and task trained to recognise potential confined space hazards, including:

  • Airborne contaminants
  • Exposure monitoring
  • Controls of exposure to airborne contaminants
  • Oxygen deficiency
  • Repair procedures
  • Safety belts and lines
  • Bins and hoppers

“NSSGA is disseminating this information to all operators so that they can be prepared to demonstrate full compliance on this issue,” said Joseph Casper, NSSGA vice president of safety.

Adapted from press release by

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