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OSHA fact sheet for confined spaces

Construction workers in West Virginia should be aware of a fact sheet issued by the Occupation Safety and Health Administration. The document is intended to help residential construction companies adhere to the safety standards for confined spaces. The National Association of Home Builders assisted with the development of the fact sheet.

Included with the fact sheet is a page that details some of the provisions and how they affect residential construction work. Areas to which the standard applies include spaces that are big enough for workers to enter, have not been created to be continuously occupied and have restricted entry or exit ways.

According to OSHA, a confined space that has specific types of hazardous conditions may be categorized as a "permit-required confined space" based on the standard. These hazardous conditions may be caused by a hazardous atmosphere or a material that could surround someone entering the space. Additional hazardous conditions include those with an internal layout in which someone could be suffocated by walls that converge or by floors with a downward incline and that narrow into a smaller space.

Before jobs in confined spaces can begin, employers have to determine if a permit is required. OSHA states that work on common spaces in a home, including crawl spaces, attics and basements, usually do not have to adhere to the requirements for confined spaces.

Individuals who are injured on the job may be entitled to receive workers' compensation. An attorney may help a client file a claim for a workplace accident that resulted in back or head injuries. The compensation may be used for medical expenses associated with the injuries.

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