ANSI/ASSE Confined Spaces Standards Approved

Two ANSI/ASSE confined spaces standards have been approved: 1) the revised ANSI/ASSE Z117.1, Safety Requirements for Confined Spaces, which addresses confined spaces in general, and 2) ANSI/ASSE A10.43, Confined Spaces in Construction, which addresses more specifically construction and demolition operations. Both standards have an effective date of Jan. 1, 2017 and will be available on ASSE’s website this month.

ANSI/ASSE Z117.1-2016’s overall structure, focus and direction remains the same, however, its training sections are significantly revised. The standard now has a more substantial focus on training to ensure that trainees can practically use the information they receive via training during and before a confined space entry. Another notable change involves the overall issue of identifying and evaluating a confined space. Now, the standard focuses more on comprehensive management of the space rather than coordination, which will affect OSH training as well. Additionally, the standard’s title has changed to “Safety Requirements for Entering a Confined Space,” which better reflects its comprehensive nature.

ANSI/ASSE A10.43 will set a program’s minimum elements and activities that define the responsibilities of construction and demolition employers that must be followed when entering, exiting and working in a confined space at normal atmospheric pressure. This standard does not pertain to underground mining, tunneling, caisson work or other similar tasks that have established national consensus standards.

Be sure to visit ASSE’s Standards web page later this month to learn more about the standards.