OSHA Confined Space Safety
29 CFR 1910.146 Confined Space Safety Standard
Many workplaces contain spaces that are considered to be confined because their configuration hampers the activities of employees who enter into, work in, or exit from these spaces.
In many instances, employees who work in confined spaces also face an increased risk of exposure to serious physical injuries from hazards like entrapment, engulfment and hazardous atmospheric conditions.
Confinement in itself can pose entrapment hazards , and work in confined spaces may keep employees closer to hazards like machinery components.
Confinement, limited access and restricted airflow can result in hazardous conditions that would not normally occur in an open work space.
The terms ‘permit-required confined space’ and ‘permit space’ refer to spaces that meet OSHA’s definition of a ‘confined space’ and contain health or safety hazards. For this reason, OSHA requires workers to have a permit to enter these spaces.
The first four modules in this course focus on confined spaces in general industry. They explore the types of confined spaces an employee may enter and the type of training needed to protect from the hazardous materials that may exist inside a confined space.
The final module covers the basics of confined space in the construction industry.
OSHA Confined Space Safety - Curriculum
Confined Space Basics
In this lesson you will learn about the origins of the OSHA confined spaces standard.
In this lesson, you will learn about the definition of confined spaces as per the OSHA Confined Space Safety standard.
In this lesson you will learn why all confined spaces should be treated as potentially hazardous.
This lesson explores a real life example of a workplace accident in a confined space.
This lesson covers the types of confined spaces where no permit is required.
This lesson defined what is considered a confined space entry.
Confined Space Entry Team
This lesson introduces the concept of a confined space entry team.
This lesson covers the responsibilities of confined space entry supervisors.
This lesson covers the responsibilities of confined space entrants.
This lesson covers the responsibilities of confined space entry attendants.
This lesson covers the responsibilities of confined space entry team members.
Confined Space Rescues
This lesson introduces confined space rescues.
This lesson looks at important considerations that must be considered before a confined space rescue attaempt.
This lesson covers the acceptable reasons for entering a confined space.
This lesson covers essential information on preventing confined space rescuer fatalities.
This lesson covers confined space rescue equipment that may be used in confined space rescue attempts.
This lesson introduces full body harness and retrieval lines.
This lesson makes referenc to the OSHA respiratory protection standard and how it relates specifically to confined spaces.
Confined Space Training Requirements
This lesson covers the OSHA confined space training requirements.
This lesson introduces the general training topics required to be covered in confined space safety training.
This lesson covers training for emergency response personnel who respond to confined space incidents.
Confined Spaces in Construction
This lesson introduces the OSHA confined space safety requirements in the construction industry.
This lesson outlines the updated OSHA confined space safety standard.
This lesson introduces construction employer classifications
This lesson covers the key requirements of confined spaces in the construction industry.
This lesson covers entering crawl spaces and attics.
This lesson covers confined spaces in pits.
This lesson covers confined spaces in sewer systems.
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Confined spaces are addressed in specific OSHA standards for general industry, maritime, and construction. This section highlights OSHA standards and documents related to confined spaces.
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
1910 Subpart H – Hazardous Materials
1910.124, General requirements for dipping and coating operations.
1910 Subpart J – General Environmental Controls
1910.146, Permit-required confined spaces.
1910 Subpart Q – Welding, Cutting and Brazing
1910.252, General requirements.
1910 Subpart R – Special Industries
1910.261, Pulp, paper, and paperboard mills.
1910.272, Grain handling facilities.
Maritime (29 CFR 1915, 1917, 1918)
1915 Subpart B – Confined and Enclosed Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres in Shipyard Employment
1915.11, Scope, application, and definitions applicable to this subpart.
1915.12, Precautions and the order of testing before entering confined and enclosed spaces and other dangerous atmospheres.
1915.13, Cleaning and other cold work.
1915.14, Hot Work.
1915.15, Maintenance of safe conditions.
1915.16, Warning signs and labels.
There are 28 OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA’s and may have different or more stringent requirements.
Note: The directives in this list provide additional information that is not necessarily connected to a specific OSHA standard highlighted on this Safety and Health Topics page.
- 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart B, Confined and Enclosed Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres in Shipyard Employment. CPL 02-01-061, (May 22, 2019).
National Consensus Standards
Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)
- Z117.1, Safety Requirements for Confined Spaces