Confined Spaces

Silos, storage tanks, vessels, pumps and pipelines are a few examples of confined spaces in industry. In 2015, OSHA released a new construction standard to address a hazard that takes the lives of too many construction workers each year: Confined Spaces

OSHA Standard 1926 Subpart AA covers Confined Spaces in Construction

OSHA Standard 1910.146 covers Confined Spaces in General Industry

Confined spaces may appear to be safe but can contain invisible hazards such as dangerous fumes, vapors, or insufficient oxygen.

Wondering what this picture is? It's the interior of a  silo , which can also be considered a confined space.

Wondering what this picture is? It's the interior of a silo, which can also be considered a confined space.

  • Never enter a confined space unless you have the proper training, equipment, and procedures!
  • Determine if confined spaces have a potentially hazardous atmosphere before entering by using special air testing equipment.
OSHA General Industry Standard 1910.146(c)(2) If the workplace contains permit spaces, the employer shall inform exposed employees, by posting danger signs or by any other equally effective means, of the existence and location of and the danger posed by the permit spaces. NOTE: A sign reading DANGER -- PERMIT-REQUIRED CONFINED SPACE, DO NOT ENTER or using other similar language would satisfy the requirement for a sign.

Never assume that an open top pit is safe to enter, even if it is not labeled as a confined space. Pits, man-holes, sewer tunnels and tanks under construction could still pose dangers.

Permit-required confined spaces are confined spaces that have any hazard such as:

  • hazardous atmosphere - such as low oxygen or a toxic gas
  • potential for engulfment or suffocation - a risk of drowning or being buried
  • a layout that might trap a worker through converging walls or a sloped floor
  • or any other serious safety or health hazard

Permit-required confined spaces require workers to take safety measures such as rescue equipment to safely remove someone out of a confined space without entering.

Click the link below to get 10 free toolbox talks provided by This safety topic bundle includes a safety meeting topic on Confined Spaces. Use these free toolbox talks today or at your next safety meeting huddle.

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