Permit Required Confined Spaces
Many workplaces contain areas that are considered "confined spaces" because while they are not necessarily designed for people, they are large enough for workers to enter and conduct inspections, minor repairs and perform maintenance activities. A confined space also has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy. Confined spaces include, but are not limited to, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, baghouses, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, etc.
OSHA uses the term "permit-required confined space" (permit space) to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics:
- contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant;
- has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant;
- or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.
This program consists of entrants acquiring an entry permit from EHS prior to entry of a permit required confined space. All entrants, attendants and supervisors must have documented training prior to entry. The training consists of online and in-person portions.