Updated rulings on safety training required for work done in confined spaces has been finalized by OSHA, potentially affecting home HVAC services and other HVAC services that require technicians to enter these spaces. These new rulings went into affect on August 3, 2015 and will be fully enforced by October, 2015; they were designed to protect technicians who can inadvertently end up in a dangerous situation when attempting to perform HVAC service repairs. Any HVAC company that uses a technician to enter a confined space must familiarize themselves with the new rules, and provide any necessary specialized training for their technicians to be in compliance.

What Is A Confined Space?

According to OSHA, a confined space is one that is shaped and sized to allow a restricted entry and exit but is not designed for regular occupancy. The recent safety update now includes attics and crawlspaces as confined spaces, which will likely affect many home HVAC service providers, as technicians frequently enter such spaces for installation and repairs. Special contractor safety training is required for those working in a confined space due to the risk of accidents from fires, fumes and poorly supported structures. With attics and crawlspaces now qualifying as confined spaces, residential HVAC companies must be sure their employees receive this training.

What Is A Permit Space?

Since home HVAC installers are now covered by this updated safety ruling to enter crawlspaces and attics, HVAC services must also understand the classification of a permit-confined space, since these areas pose an even greater risk. A permit-confined space is a confined space that has an internal configuration which could entrap or suffocate a person because of inwardly converging walls, a sloped floor that converges into a small, tapered area, or a hazardous atmosphere or materials that could engulf a person.

Since some attics may fit these characteristics, an HVAC company is now required to obtain a safety permit to enter and work in one of these spaces. Easily obtainable, these permits basically outline the work being done, by whom, and how long it will take. It is something HVAC companies must now consider before sending any repair technicians into some attics.

HVAC Contractor Training

HVAC consultants who do residential or commercial work are already aware of the pertinent details of this OSHA update, as little has changed except to include attics and crawlspaces as being covered by the rulings. Because of these inclusions, HVAC services that only do residential work may now need special training to be qualified to enter such spaces. To be in compliance with the updated confined space training requirements, HVAC consultants who have not previously needed this training must determine if the work they perform qualifies, and then obtain any required training.

Considering there are an estimated 800 fatalities reported to OSHA every year involving HVAC service work in confined spaces, the new, updated safety rules were designed to drastically reduce this number. With the additional inclusion of spaces known to be potentially problematic when poor ventilation, fumes, fire hazards. and other safety hazards are present, the required training for home HVAC services technicians should increase risk awareness and reduce the chance of deadly accidents. Now before performing HVAC services repair, an HVAC company must ensure technicians have proper training as well as properly identify and classify any confined work spaces to be in compliance with the new confined spaces rule updates. HVAC companies are encouraged to review this information from OSHA for more information!

Need HVAC Services Repair In Montgomery Texas?

Good Guys Air Conditioning Can Respond To Your HVAC Needs!

Call Us At (936) 494-3274

Related Articles:

Do You Know The Common Home Air Conditioning Problems?
Commercial Air Conditioning – Be Proactive and Not Reactive!
HVAC – So What Is New In 2015?
Choosing The Right Type Of Central Air Conditioning!
Learn About The Major Options With Hydronic Heating!