Vol. 32 Iss. 7 - November 30, 2015

Chapter 140
Final Regulation

REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: The following regulatory action is exempt from Article 2 of the Administrative Process Act in accordance with § 2.2-4006 A 4 c of the Code of Virginia, which excludes regulations that are necessary to meet the requirements of federal law or regulations provided such regulations do not differ materially from those required by federal law or regulation. The Safety and Health Codes Board will receive, consider, and respond to petitions by any interested person at any time with respect to reconsideration or revision.

Titles of Regulations: 16VAC25-140. Virginia Confined Space Standard for the Construction Industry (repealing 16VAC25-140-10 through 16VAC25-140-90, Appendix A, Appendix B).

16VAC25-150. Underground Construction, Construction Industry (repealing 16VAC25-150-10).

16VAC25-170. Virginia Excavation Standard, Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926.650 - 1926.652) (repealing 16VAC25-170-10, 16VAC25-170-20, 16VAC25-170-30).

16VAC25-175. Federal Identical Construction Industry Standards (amending 16VAC25-175-1926.953, 16VAC25-175-1926.968, 16VAC25-175-1926.1200 through 16VAC25-175-1926.1213; adding 16VAC25-175-1926.650, 16VAC25-175-1926.651, 16VAC25-175-1926.652, 16VAC25-175-1926.800; repealing 16VAC25-175-1926.21).

Statutory Authority: § 40.1-22 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Date: January 1, 2016.

Agency Contact: John Crisanti, Policy and Planning Manager, Department of Labor and Industry, Main Street Centre, 600 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219, telephone (804) 786-4300, or email


In a final rule, federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) adopted a new construction standard on confined spaces in construction, Subpart AA (29 CFR 1926.1200 through 29 CFR 1926.1213), and revisions to related provisions (29 CFR 1926.21, 29 CFR 1926.953, and 29 CFR 1926.968). Subpart AA replaces OSHA's current one training requirement for confined space work with a comprehensive standard that includes a permit program designed to protect employees from exposure to many hazards associated with work in confined spaces, including atmospheric and physical hazards. The final rule is similar in content and organization to the general industry confined space standard, but also incorporates several provisions from the proposed rule to address construction-specific hazards, accounts for advancements in technology, and improves enforceability of the requirements. This action incorporates these changes into the Virginia standard. The new OSHA final rule provides comprehensive and uniform levels of worker protection across industries that previously were lacking in the federal regulations but had been addressed in 16VAC25-140, Virginia Confined Space Standard for the Construction Industry, a Virginia unique regulation. Since 16VAC25-140 is no longer necessary, the board is repealing it as part of this regulatory action.

The OSHA final rule does not apply to excavation or underground construction, which are covered by existing federal regulations. Therefore, the board adopted the existing federal identical regulations for the Excavation Standard (29 CFR 1926.650, 1926.651, and 1926.652) and the Underground Construction Standard (29 CFR 1926.800) and repealed the Virginia unique standards 16VAC25-150, Underground Construction, Construction Industry, and 16VAC25-170, Virginia Excavation Standard, Construction Industry.

Note on Incorporation by Reference: Pursuant to § 2.2-4103 of the Code of Virginia, 29 CFR Part 1926 (Construction Industry Standards) is declared a document generally available to the public and appropriate for incorporation by reference. For this reason this document will not be printed in the Virginia Register of Regulations. A copy of this document is available for inspection at the Department of Labor and Industry, Main Street Centre, 600 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219, and in the office of the Registrar of Regulations, General Assembly Building, 9th and Broad Streets, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

Statement of Final Agency Action: On October 29, 2015, the Safety and Health Codes Board adopted federal OSHA's Final Rule for Confined Spaces in Construction, as published in 80 FR 25365 through 80 FR 25526 on May 4, 2015, with an effective date of August 3, 2015.

Federal Terms and State Equivalents: When the regulations as set forth in the revised final rule for the Construction Industry Standards are applied to the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry or to Virginia employers, the following federal terms shall be considered to read as follows:

Federal Terms


VOSH Equivalent

29 CFR


VOSH Standard

Assistant Secretary


Commissioner of Labor and Industry




August 3, 2015


January 1, 2016

VA.R. Doc. No. R16-4562; Filed November 10, 2015, 11:26 a.m.