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NAHB, OSHA Settle Litigation on Confined Spaces Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill., issued the following statement regarding the settlement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on NAHB’s challenge to the agency’s Confined Spaces in Construction final rule:

“After months of negotiation, we are pleased to announce that we have reached a settlement to our legal challenge with OSHA on its final rule regarding confined spaces in construction. The settlement clarifies that the rule has very limited application in the residential home building industry.

“Since the final rule was published, NAHB has maintained that it was not only confusing, but also excessively burdensome on builders and trade contractors in the residential construction industry. This settlement addresses many of our concerns and provides better clarity on how our industry is impacted by the rule.

“As part of the settlement, OSHA has published a detailed Q&A to explain how the rule applies to spaces such as attics, basements and crawl spaces in residential homes. The Q&A states that the vast majority of the rule’s requirements only apply to permit-required confined spaces, and that these areas in a residential home will not typically trigger the confined spaces requirements. The Q&A document is a much needed addition that will give our members better guidance on how the rule impacts their businesses.”