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New OSHA fact sheets cover confined-space emergencies, scaffolds, longshoring

May 11, 2016

Washington – OSHA recently announced the publication of three new fact sheets, including one intended to help employers develop and implement emergency response plans for workers in permit-required confined spaces.

The confined space fact sheet includes information about how to select an off-site emergency responder, the types of hazards rescuers might encounter and other information that emergency service providers should obtain from employers during pre-rescue planning.

“OSHA recognizes that not all rescue services or emergency responders are trained and equipped to conduct confined space rescues,” the sheet states. “When employers identify an off-site rescue service, it is critical that the rescuers can protect their employees. The emergency services should be familiar with the exact site location, types of permit-required confined spaces and the necessary rescue equipment.”

A second fact sheet describes how to safely use ladder jack scaffolds. Construction contractors often use the equipment for activities such as installing building exteriors, trim and finishes, OSHA states. The fact sheet includes information about how to handle the scaffolds safely before and during use.

The third fact sheet focuses on longshoring in marine terminals. It has tips for employers on how to train workers to prevent lifting incidents and encourage clear communication at all times.