Industry and labor groups are cheering the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s newly proposed confined-space standard for construction. OSHA revised its confined-space standard for general industry in 1993 but hasn’t developed a comparable construction benchmark.

One provision in the proposal, published Nov. 28, would require a project’s “controlling contractor” to coordinate confined-space operations among subcontractors. “I don't think anybody disputes the logic of it,” says Brad Sant, American Road and Transportation Builders Association vice president for safety and education. But he adds, “In the real world, there is some concern about how that will actually play out.” Comments on the proposal are due by Jan. 28.