Confined Space Emphasis Program

What is a confined space in general industry?

Any type of space that:

  • Is large enough and configured such that an employee can bodily enter and perform work.
  • Has limited openings for entry and exit.
  • Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

What is a permit-required confined space in general industry?

(General Industry is covered by Title 8, Section 5157.)

Any type of space that:

  • Has all three of the characteristics above, plus one or more of the following:
  • Has a hazardous atmosphere – or has the potential for a hazardous atmosphere – including too little or too much oxygen, and/or the presence of toxic or explosive gases or vapors (such as hydrogen sulfide or methane).
  • Has a material that can – or potentially will – engulf an employee, such as grain, sand or sugar.
  • Has an internal configuration (such as floors that slope downwards) that can – or potentially will – trap or asphyxiate employees.
  • Has any other recognized serious safety or health hazard, such as machinery with moving parts, sources of electrical shocks, steam (burn hazard), or liquids (drowning and fire hazards).

What is a confined space in construction, agriculture, marine terminals, telecommunications, grain handling, natural gas and electric utilities?

(These specified industries are covered by Title 8, Section 5158.)

Any type of space that has both of the following:

  • Existing ventilation that is not sufficient to remove dangerous air contamination, too little oxygen or too much oxygen which either exists or may develop.  Dangerous air contamination is an atmosphere that presents a threat of causing death, injury, acute illness, or disablement due to the presence of flammable and/or explosive, toxic, or otherwise injurious or incapacitating substances.
  • Access for the removal for a suddenly disabled employee is difficult due to the location and/or size of the openings.