Week 08: Permit Required Confined Space

Permit Required Confined Space


A confined space is a working area with limited openings for entry or exit, large enough for entering and working, and not designated for continuous occupancy.  Examples of confined spaces include tanks, storage bins, underground vaults, pits, manholes, silos, and pipelines.

Permits are required to enter confined spaces that

  • May contain a hazardous or potentially hazardous atmosphere
  • Contain materials which can engulf an entrant
  • Contain walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which may trap or asphyxiate an entrant
  • May contain other serious physical hazards such as unguarded machines or exposed live electrical wires
Permit Required Confined Spaces

What to do before you enter:

  • First obtain authorization, training, and a permit.
  • A confined space supervisor’s signature is needed.
  • Review and understand all of the employer’s procedures.
  • Know how and when to exit.
  • Establish rescue and communication procedures with appropriate equipment and properly trained employees.
  • Make sure you have only properly rated tools and electrical equipment, to prevent inadvertent sparks that could trigger combustion in a flammable atmosphere.
  • Identify and eliminate all possible hazards.
  • Before and during the entry, test/monitor for:
    - Oxygen content
    - Combustible/flammable atmospheres
    - Toxic hazards as necessary

What to do while entering:

  • Follow all of the employer’s procedures.
  • Lock-out/tag-out procedures should be used to control potential energy sources.
  • Use fall protection, retrieval systems, air monitoring, ventilation, lighting, communication and other specified equipment according to entry procedures.
  • Entrants must maintain communication with a trained attendant either visually, via phone, or by two-way radio. This monitoring system must enable the attendant and/or entry supervisor to order you to evacuate and to alert appropriately trained rescue personnel to rescue entrants when needed.