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Permit Required Confined Space Hazard Analysis

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BUY NOW!Over 1 1/2 million workers enter confined spaces on an annual basis.  Serious injury or death in a confined space can be the result of asphyxiation, engulfment, electric shock, falls, and heat stress.  This poses a serious problem for exposed workers and their employer.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 85 percent of these accidents can be prevented by initiating proper safety precautions such as educating workers or posting danger signs and caution signs.  The OSHA Confined Space Standard establishes uniform requirements to ensure that the hazards of confined spaces in U.S. workplaces are evaluated, safety procedures implemented, and that the proper hazard information is transmitted to all affected workers.

Examples of confined spaces that could become permit spaces

Most confined spaces are designed to hold substances such as liquids, gases, and loose materials, or to house equipment. They come in many sizes and shapes, though most can be classified in one of two ways: those with depth and open tops and those with narrow openings. These are examples of each:

Open-topped and deep spaces Spaces with narrow openings
Bins Ship compartments
Degreasers Silos
Hoppers Pipes
Kettles Tunnels
Pits Tanks
Vats Casings
Wells Sewers
The entry supervisor is responsible for determining acceptable entry conditions in a permit space, for authorizing entry and overseeing entry operations, and for terminating the entry permit.

Click here to view a Sample Checklist

Fatal Fact

A 22-year-old worker died inside a toluene storage tank that was 10 feet in diameter and 20 feet high while attempting to clean the tank. The worker entered the tank through the 16 inch diameter top opening using a 1/2 inch rope for descent. Although a self-contained breathing apparatus was present, the worker was not wearing it when he entered the tank. The worker was overcome and collapsed onto the floor the tank.

Precautionary Tip:  Post custom signs with warnings to wear appropriate safety equipment

More Info: Confined Space Incidents
What do you need to do to work safely in a permit required or confined space?
  • Identify the permit spaces at your workplace.
  • Identify the hazards in the spaces.
  • Decide if employees will enter a permit space.
  • Eliminate or control the hazards in the space.
  • Establish entry procedures.
  • Train employees for entry operations.
  • Make sure employees know their duties and responsibilities.
  • Plan for emergencies.
Applicable OSHA StandardsGo to the top of this page
1910.146  Permit-required confined spaces
  • App A,  Permit-required Confined Space Decision Flow Chart
  • App B,  Procedures for Atmospheric Testing
  • App C,  Examples of Permit-required Confined Space Programs
  • App D,  Confined Space Pre-Entry Check List
  • App E,  Sewer System Entry
  • App F,  Rescue Team or Rescue Service Evaluation Criteria

1910.269  Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution.Go to the top of this page

1926.21(6)(i)  Safety training and education

Danger And Warning SignsGo to the top of this page
All confined spaces that could be inadvertently entered should have have danger signs identifying them as confined spaces. Signs should be maintained in a legible condition. The signs should contain a warning that a permit is required before entry. Accesses to all confined spaces should be prominently marked.

Confined  Space Signs - Clearly identify your confined space areas

Confined Space Written Program Requirements Go to the top of this page

The hazards that may be present in a confined space are not easily seen, smelled, heard or felt, but can represent deadly risks. The worker who enters confined spaces may be, or often is, exposed to multiple hazards due primarily to ignorance or negligence in the enforcement of safety regulations. This ignorance and neglect has led to countless deaths by asphyxiation, fire and/or explosion, and by fatal exposure to toxic materials. Simple precautionary initiatives such as posting confined space signs can help prevent these dangerous events.

A permit-required confined space is one in which dangerous air contaminants may be generated and may not be removed by ventilation. When an employee works in this type of environment, the chance exists that atmospheres present may be oxygen deficient, combustible or toxic. Prevention of injuries to the life and health of workers requires that they be properly trained and well equipped to recognize, understand and control the hazards they could encounter. In the process of identifying a confined space, the supervisor in charge should always assume that a hazard is present.


Sample Confined Space Written Program
Confined Spaces in Construction
Sample Training Presentation

Everyone involved in a confined-space entry project has certain responsibilities and requires a certain amount of training. It is very important that every individual is familiar with their responsibilities. There are specific responsibilities and training requirements of each individual involved in a project.

  1. Director of Environmental Health & Safety
  2. Supervisors or Their Designated Representatives
  3. Entry Supervisors
  4. Authorized Entrants
  5. Attendants


Sample Confined Space Training Program
Sample Confined PowerPoint Presentation

COMPLIANCE DIGESTGo to the top of this page

Confined Space" refers to a space which by design has limited openings for entry and exit, unfavorable natural ventilation which could contain or produce dangerous air contaminants, and which is not intended for continuous employee occupancy. Confined
spaces include but are not limited to storage tanks, compartments of ships, process vessels, pits, silos, vats, degreasers, reaction vessels, boilers, ventilation and exhaust ducts, sewers, tunnels, underground utility vaults, and pipelines.

Precautionary Tip: Provide confined space warnings at the point of entry with Manhole Warning Barriers


Compliance Forms
Confined Space Entry Permit
Confined Space Entry Permit (fillable)
Confined Space Entry Permit with Atmospheric Record
Confined Space Entry Permit (Class A & B)
Confined Space Entry Permit (Class C)
Compliance ChecklistsGo to the top of this page
List of Authorized Entrants
Confined Space Pre-Entry Checklist
Compliance PublicationsGo to the top of this page
Permit-Required Confined Spaces FR:63:66018-66036
OSHA 3138 Permit Required Confined Spaces
NIOSH Warns Farmers of Deadly Risk of Grain Suffocation
OSHA Regulatory Agenda

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OSHA DirectivesGo to the top of this page

Search for related OSHA directives.

OSHA Interpretations andGo to the top of this page Compliance

  Search for related interpretations and compliance letters.

Search for OSHA Inspection Activity for Confined Spaces
NIOSH Publications on Confined Spaces:
Worker Deaths in Confined Spaces (DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 94-103) January 1994. this logo designates a pdf documentGo to the top of this page

This publication provides a summary of surveillance findings and the full text of investigative case reports from 423 incidents in which 480 workers died. These incidents and investigations occurred between December 1983 and September 1993.

A Guide to Safety in Confined Spaces (DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 87-113) July 1987. this logo designates a pdf documentGo to the top of this page

This manual provides information on recognition of confined spaces and their hazards, and specific safe work practices for testing, monitoring, and ventilating the atmosphere; isolation of energy sources (lockout-tagout); respirators; standby/rescue; and addressing general physical hazards such as temperature extremes, engulfment hazards, slick surfaces, and noise. A checklist for confined space entry is appended.Go to the top of this page

NIOSH Alert: Request for Assistance in Preventing Occupational Fatalities in Confined Spaces (DHHS (NIOSH) Pub.No. 86-110) January 1986.

This publication emphasizes the hazards faced by workers and rescuers who enter confined spaces. It provides summary case reports of eight fatal incidents that were investigated under the Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program. The report concludes that in each case there was lack of recognition of the hazards; lack of testing, evaluation, and monitoring; and lack of planned rescue procedures. The Alert provides recommendations for addressing these problems.

Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Working in Confined Spaces (DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 80-106) September 1979. this logo designates a pdf documentGo to the top of this page

This publication outlines a classification system for confined spaces (Class A-Immediately Dangerous to Life/Health (IDLH); Class B-dangerous, but not IDLH; Class C-potentially hazardous). It provides a checklist of factors to consider for each class, and provides information on establishing a permit-based entry system, testing and monitoring the atmosphere in a confined space, safe work procedures, and safety equipment and clothing. Other specific topics covered include ventilation, lockout-tagout, rescue, and training.

Fatality Investigation Reports (conducted under the FACE Program)

One of the initial emphasis areas for the FACE fatality investigation program was confined space-related fatality. Since the inception of the FACE program in 1982, hundreds of fatal incidents involving confined space entry and rescue efforts have been investigated by NIOSH and State investigators. This link provides a list of those cases which in turn links to the full-text reports on the FACEWeb.Go to the top of this page





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