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Confined Spaces Entry - Permit Required Overview

Learning Objectives

  • Identify characteristics and examples of a confined space
  • Identify hazards of confined spaces
  • Identify the differences between permit-required and non-permit-required confined spaces

Available in English, Spanish

The goal of this lesson is to educate general industry employees who enter, supervise entry or attend the entry of a confined space about the practices and procedures necessary to protect employees from the hazards of permit-required confined spaces.

On May 4, 2015, OSHA issued a new standard for construction work in confined spaces, which became effective August 3, 2015. Confined spaces can present physical and atmospheric hazards that can be avoided if they are recognized and addressed prior to entering these spaces to perform work. The new standard, Subpart AA of 29 CFR 1926 will help prevent construction workers from being hurt or killed by eliminating and isolating hazards in confined spaces at construction sites similar to the way workers in other industries are already protected. The questions and answers below are provided to assist employers in protecting their workers while working in and around confined spaces in construction.”

A permit-required confined space is an area which:

  • Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
  • Contains a material with the potential to engulf someone who enters the space
  • Has an internal configuration that might cause an entrant to be trapped or asphyxiated
  • Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazards

Your company’s Permit-required Confined Space Entry Program is its overall policy and plan for protecting you and other employees and contractors against confined space hazards, and for regulating entry into its permit-required spaces. Before you may enter a permit space, your supervisor and/or the attendant must take any measures necessary to isolate the permit space and eliminate or control hazards. These measures include lockout or tagging of equipment to ensure that it does not present a hazard.

  • OSHA Act Section 5(a)(1), known as the General Duty Clause
  • 29CFR 1910.146 Permit-required confined spaces
  • Appendix A to 1910.146 -- Permit-Required Confined Space Decision Flow Chart
  • Procedures for Atmospheric Testing - 1910.146 App B
  • Examples of Permit-Required Confined Space Programs - 1910.146 App C
  • Confined Space Pre-Entry Check List - 1910.146 App D
  • Sewer System Entry - 1910.146 App E
  • Non-Mandatory Appendix F -- Rescue Team or Rescue Service Evaluation Criteria - 1910.146 App F