Ask the expert: Medical practices and confined space hazards

By: March 14th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Does our medical practice need a policy on confined space safety?  I read about OSHA penalizing businesses for this frequently?

A: OSHA’s Permit-required Confined Spaces standard (1910.146) usually does not apply to medical and dental practices, but in large healthcare facilities it could apply.

The standard is intended to protect workers from toxic, explosive, or asphyxiating atmospheres. It mostly applies to workplaces where employees must enter boilers, storage vessels, furnaces, manholes, or process vessels. Assess whether these situations exist in your workplace. If so, your confined space program must include: identification and control of hazards; entry procedures; equipment and training of authorized entrants, entry supervisors, and attendants; documentation; and an attendant to control and monitor entry operations.

OSHA inspections don’t show any recent 1910.146 violations for medical and dental practices.

Get into compliance with HCPro’s Basic OSHA Compliance Manual Kits for medical or dental practices. Receive bimonthly electronic manual updates through your newsletter subscription that keep your regulatory manual up to date and in compliance!

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