Confined Spaces – OSHA Term

OSHA Notification Sign

Most job sites, plants, and work facilities have areas that OSHA would consider to be a Confined Space. A confined space can require confined space fall protection in areas that were not designed for access yet a worker can get into. Entries and Exits into confined spaces are severely limited and careful attention should be paid to the environmental elements inside a confined space.

Some examples of common confined spaces include

  • Vessels
  • Storage tanks
  • Silos
  • Storage Bins
  • Railroad Hoppers
  • Pits
  • Vaults
  • Tunnels
  • Manholes
  • Ductwork
  • Pipelines
  • Equipment Housings

Another OSHA term is “permit space” or a permit-required “confined space” and that is used when describing confined spaces that need confined space fall protection or that possibly have hazardous atmospheric conditions, material that has the potential to collapse on the space (dirt, fluid, dust, agricultural product, industrial ores, bulk materials, bulk cargos, raw materials, etc.) Materials in these categories can entrap and asphyxiate a worker. Other permit space determinants include live wires, heat stress, lack of breathable air, and unguarded machinery.

Per OSHA – Workers who plan to enter a confined space need to consider…

  • Do not enter a permit-required confined space without being trained and having a valid permit.
  • Please review, understand, and follow all the employer’s procedures before entering permit-required confined spaces.
  • Identify any physical hazards before entering the confined space. Do you know what you are working with?
  • Test and monitor for oxygen content, toxicity, or any hazards that have explosive or flammability possibilities.
  • Use fall protection devices, air monitoring equipment, ventilation devices, lighting, and communication equipment.
  • Maintain contact at all times with an attendant either by sight or electronically. (phone or radio) Two-way communications must be possible at all times for safety reasons.

Saferack is always concerned with worker safety and your companies efforts to maintain OSHA compliance. We have been selling safety-enhancing equipment for companies that routinely have reasons for workers to enter confined spaces. Fuel Depots, Tank Farms, Marine unloading facilities, Farms with silos, municipal sewage departments, water treatment facilities, and railroad loading facilities. Call Saferack today to see how we can help your company stay OSHA compliant.