Confined Spaces

What is a confined space?

OSHA defines confined spaces as areas that are not necessarily designed for people but are large enough for workers to enter and perform jobs. Confined spaces have limited means of entry or exit and are not meant for continuous occupancy.

Common examples of confined spaces include: manholes, sewer systems, tanks, vessels, and pipes.

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Permit Required Confined Space

According to OSHA Permit required confined space 1910.146(b) , a permit- required confined space has one or more of the listed characteristics:

  1. Contains or has the potential to produce a hazardous atmosphere.

  2. Contains a material that has the potential for engulfment.

  3. The space is configured where an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller section.

  4. Contains any other serious safety or health hazard.

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Entering Confined spaces

  • You must have proper training for all entries & a permit for permit-required spaces.

  • Understand the environment before entry, identifying any atmospheric or physical hazards.

  • Continue to test and monitor for any atmospheric changes.

  • Use proper PPE as necessary including breathing apparatus.

  • Keep continuous contact with a trained attendant at all times visually, by phone, or radio.

Additional Resources on Confined Spaces:

OSHA Standard 1910.146 Permit-required confined spaces

OSHA Confined Space FAQ

OSHA Rescue & Emergency Services Confined Space

OSHA Fact Sheet - Is 911 your Confined Space Rescue Plan?

OSHA Quick Card - Permit- Required Confined Spaces