AA―Confined Spaces in Construction
Permit-required confined space program
Duties of authorized entrants
Duties of attendants
Duties of entry supervisors
Rescue and emergency services
Provision of documents to Secretary
(a) This standard
sets forth requirements for practices and procedures to protect employees
engaged in construction activities at a worksite with one or more confined
spaces, subject to the exceptions in paragraph (b) of this section. Note to
paragraph §1926.1201(a). Examples of locations where confined spaces may occur
include, but are not limited to, the following: Bins; boilers; pits (such as elevator,
escalator, pump, valve or other equipment); manholes (such as sewer, storm
drain, electrical, communication, or other utility); tanks (such as fuel, chemical,
water, or other liquid, solid or gas); incinerators; scrubbers; concrete pier columns;
sewers; transformer vaults; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC)
ducts; storm drains; water mains; precast concrete and other pre-formed manhole
units; drilled shafts; enclosed beams; vessels; digesters; lift stations; cesspools;
silos; air receivers; sludge gates; air preheaters; step up transformers; turbines;
chillers; bag houses; and/or mixers/reactors.
This standard does not apply to: (1) Construction work regulated by §1926
subpart P—Excavations. (2) Construction work regulated by §1926 subpart S—Underground
Construction, Caissons, Cofferdams and Compressed Air. (3) Construction work
regulated by §1926 subpart Y—Diving.
this standard applies and there is a provision that addresses a confined space hazard
in another applicable OSHA standard, the employer must comply with both that
requirement and the applicable provisions of this standard.
following terms are defined for the purposes of this subpart only:
entry conditions means the conditions that must exist in a permit space, before
an employee may enter that space, to ensure that employees can safely enter
into, and safely work within, the space.
means an individual stationed outside one or more permit spaces who assesses the
status of authorized entrants and who must perform the duties specified in §1926.1209.
entrant means an employee who is authorized by the entry supervisor to enter a
means a physical obstruction that blocks or limits access.
blinding means the absolute closure of a pipe, line, or duct by the fastening of
a solid plate (such as a spectacle blind or a skillet blind) that completely
covers the bore and that is capable of withstanding the maximum pressure of the
pipe, line, or duct with no leakage beyond the plate.
person means one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards
in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous
to employees, and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures
to eliminate them.
space means a space that:
(1) Is large
enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter it;
limited or restricted means for entry and exit; and
(3) Is not
designed for continuous employee occupancy.
means the action taken to reduce the level of any hazard inside a confined
space using engineering methods (for example, by ventilation), and then using
these methods to maintain the reduced hazard level. Control also refers to the
engineering methods used for this purpose. Personal protective equipment is not
Contractor is the employer that has overall responsibility for construction at the
Note. If the
controlling contractor owns or manages the property, then it is both a controlling
employer and a host employer.
and bleed means the closure of a line, duct, or pipe by closing and locking or
tagging two in-line valves and by opening and locking or tagging a drain or
vent valve in the line between the two closed valves.
system means the method used to alert authorized entrants and attendants that
an engulfment hazard may be developing. Examples of early-warning systems include,
but are not limited to: alarms activated by remote sensors; and lookouts with equipment
for immediately communicating with the authorized entrants and attendants.
means any occurrence (including any failure of power, hazard control or monitoring
equipment) or event, internal or external, to the permit space that could endanger
means the surrounding and effective capture of a person by a liquid or finely divided
(flowable) solid substance that can be aspirated to cause death by filling or plugging
the respiratory system or that can exert enough force on the body to cause
death by strangulation, constriction, crushing, or suffocation.
the action by which any part of a person passes through an opening into a permit-required
confined space. Entry includes ensuing work activities in that space and is
considered to have occurred as soon as any part of the entrant’s body breaks
the plane of an opening into the space, whether or not such action is
intentional or any work activities are actually performed in the space.
Employer means any employer who decides that an employee it directs will enter
a permit space.
employer cannot avoid the duties of the standard merely by refusing to decide whether
its employees will enter a permit space, and OSHA will consider the failure to
so decide to be an implicit decision to allow employees to enter those spaces
if they are working in the proximity of the space.
(permit) means the written or printed document that is provided by the employer
who designated the space a permit space to allow and control entry into a permit
space and that contains the information specified in §1926.1206 of this
occurs when a rescue service enters a permit space to rescue one or more employees.
supervisor means the qualified person (such as the employer, foreman, or crew chief)
responsible for determining if acceptable entry conditions are present at a
permit space where entry is planned, for authorizing entry and overseeing entry
operations, and for terminating entry as required by this standard.
entry supervisor also may serve as an attendant or as an authorized entrant, as
long as that person is trained and equipped as required by this standard for
each role he or she fills. Also, the duties of entry supervisor may be passed
from one individual to another during the course of an entry operation.
a physical hazard or hazardous atmosphere. See definitions below.
atmosphere means an atmosphere that may expose employees to the risk of death,
incapacitation, impairment of ability to self-rescue (that is, escape unaided
from a permit space), injury, or acute illness from one or more of the
Flammable gas, vapor, or mist in excess of 10 percent of its lower flammable limit
combustible dust at a concentration that meets or exceeds its LFL; Note: This
concentration may be approximated as a condition in which the combustible dust
obscures vision at a distance of 5 feet (1.52 meters) or less.
Atmospheric oxygen concentration below 19.5 percent or above 23.5 percent;
Atmospheric concentration of any substance for which a dose or a permissible exposure
limit is published in Subpart D—Occupational Health and Environmental Control,
or in Subpart Z—Toxic and Hazardous Substances, of this part and which could result
in employee exposure in excess of its dose or
atmospheric concentration of any substance that is not capable of causing
death, incapacitation, impairment of ability to self-rescue, injury, or acute illness
due to its health effects is not covered by this definition.
other atmospheric condition that is immediately dangerous to life or health.
air contaminants for which OSHA has not determined a dose or permissible
exposure limit, other sources of information, such as Safety Data Sheets that
comply with the Hazard Communication Standard, §1926.59 of this part, published
information, and internal documents can provide guidance in
acceptable atmospheric conditions.
employer means the employer that owns or manages the property where the construction
work is taking place.
Note. If the
owner of the property on which the construction activity occurs has contracted
with an entity for the general management of that property, and has transferred
to that entity the information specified in §1203(h)(1), OSHA will treat the
contracted management entity as the host employer for as long as that entity
manages the property. Otherwise, OSHA will treat the owner of the property as
the host employer. In no case will there be more than one host employer.
means operations capable of providing a source of ignition (for example, riveting,
welding, cutting, burning, and heating).
dangerous to life or health (IDLH) means any condition that would interfere with
an individual’s ability to escape unaided from a permit space and that poses a
threat to life or that would cause irreversible adverse health effects.
materials—hydrogen fluoride gas and cadmium vapor, for example—may produce
immediate transient effects that, even if severe, may pass without medical attention,
but are followed by sudden, possibly fatal collapse 12-72 hours after exposure.
The victim "feels normal" after recovery from transient effects until
collapse. Such materials in hazardous quantities are considered to be
“immediately” dangerous to life or health.
means displacing the atmosphere in a permit space by a noncombustible gas (such
as nitrogen) to such an extent that the resulting atmosphere is noncombustible.
procedure produces an IDLH oxygen-deficient atmosphere.
isolation means the process by which employees in a confined space are completely
protected against the release of energy and material into the space, and contact
with a physical hazard, by such means as: blanking or blinding; misaligning or removing
sections of lines, pipes, or ducts; a double block and bleed system; lockout or
tagout of all sources of energy; blocking or disconnecting all mechanical
linkages; or placement of barriers to eliminate the potential for employee
contact with a physical hazard.
restricted means for entry or exit means a condition that has a potential to impede
an employee’s movement into or out of a confined space. Such conditions include,
but are not limited to, trip hazards, poor illumination, slippery floors,
inclining surfaces and ladders.
breaking means the intentional opening of a pipe, line, or duct that is or has
been carrying flammable, corrosive, or toxic material, an inert gas, or any
fluid at a volume, pressure, or temperature capable of causing injury.
means the placement of a lockout device on an energy isolating device, in accordance
with an established procedure, ensuring that the energy isolating device and the
equipment being controlled cannot be operated until the lockout device is
flammable limit or lower explosive limit means the minimum concentration of a substance
in air needed for an ignition source to cause a flame or explosion.
monitoring means the process used to identify and evaluate the hazards after an
authorized entrant enters the space. This is a process of checking for changes
that is performed in a periodic or continuous manner after the completion of the
initial testing or evaluation of that space.
rescue occurs when a rescue service, usually the attendant, retrieves employees
in a permit space without entering the permit space.
confined space means a confined space that meets the definition of a confined
space but does not meet the requirements for a permit-required confined space, as
defined in this subpart.
deficient atmosphere means an atmosphere containing less than 19.5 percent oxygen
enriched atmosphere means an atmosphere containing more than 23.5 percent oxygen
confined space (permit space) means a confined space that has one or more of
the following characteristics: (1) Contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous
atmosphere; (2) Contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant;
(3) Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated
by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to
a smaller cross-section; or (4) Contains any other recognized serious safety or
confined space program (permit space program) means the employer’s overall
program for controlling, and, where appropriate, for protecting employees from,
permit space hazards and for regulating employee entry into permit spaces.
hazard means an existing or potential hazard that can cause death or serious physical
damage. Examples include, but are not limited to: explosives (as defined by paragraph
(n) of §1926.914, definition of “explosive”); mechanical, electrical, hydraulic
and pneumatic energy; radiation; temperature extremes; engulfment; noise; and
inwardly converging surfaces. Physical hazard also includes chemicals that can
cause death or serious physical damage through skin or eye contact (rather than
condition means any condition in a permit space that is not allowed by the permit
during the period when entry is authorized. A hazardous atmosphere is a prohibited
condition unless the employer can demonstrate that personal protective equipment
(PPE) will provide effective protection for each employee in the permit space and
provides the appropriate PPE to each employee.
person means one who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional
standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully
demonstrated his ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter,
the work, or the project.
permit space means a mock-up of a confined space that has entrance openings
that are similar to, and is of similar size, configuration, and accessibility
to, the permit space that authorized entrants enter.
retrieving, and providing medical assistance to, one or more employees who are
in a permit space.
service means the personnel designated to rescue employees from permit spaces.
system means the equipment (including a retrieval line, chest or full body harness,
wristlets or anklets, if appropriate, and a lifting device or anchor) used for
non-entry rescue of persons from permit spaces.
physical damage means an impairment or illness in which a body part is made functionally
useless or is substantially reduced in efficiency. Such impairment or illness may
be permanent or temporary and includes, but is not limited to, loss of
consciousness, disorientation, or other immediate and substantial reduction in
mental efficiency. Injuries involving such impairment would usually require
treatment by a physician or other licensed health-care professional.
means:(1) Placement of a tagout device on a circuit or equipment that has been deenergized,
in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the circuit or equipment
being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed; and (2)
The employer ensures that (i) tagout provides equivalent protection to lockout,
or (ii) that lockout is infeasible and the employer has relieved, disconnected,
restrained and otherwise rendered safe stored (residual) energy.
testing means the process by which the hazards that may confront entrants of a permit
space are identified and evaluated. Testing includes specifying the tests that
are to be performed in the permit space.
Testing enables employers both to devise and implement adequate control measures
for the protection of authorized entrants and to determine if acceptable entry conditions
are present immediately prior to, and during, entry.
ventilation means controlling a hazardous atmosphere using continuous forced-air
mechanical systems that meet the requirements of §1926.57—Ventilation.
it begins work at a worksite, each employer must ensure that a competent person
identifies all confined spaces in which one or more of the employees it directs
may work, and identifies each space that is a permit space, through
consideration and evaluation of the elements of that space, including testing
(b) If the
workplace contains one or more permit spaces, the employer who identifies, or who
receives notice of, a permit space must:
exposed employees by posting danger signs or by any other equally effective means,
of the existence and location of, and the danger posed by, each permit space;
paragraph §1926.1203(b)(1). A sign reading “DANGER – PERMITREQUIRED CONFINED
SPACE, DO NOT ENTER” or using other similar language would satisfy the
requirement for a sign.
in a timely manner and in a manner other than posting, its employees’ authorized
representatives and the controlling contractor of the existence and location
of, and the danger posed by, each permit space.
employer who identifies, or receives notice of, a permit space and has not authorized
employees it directs to work in that space must take effective measures to prevent
those employees from entering that permit space, in addition to complying with
all other applicable requirements of this standard.
(d) If any
employer decides that employees it directs will enter a permit space, that employer
must have a written permit space program that complies with §1926.1204 implemented
at the construction site. The written program must be made available prior to
and during entry operations for inspection by employees and their authorized representatives.
employer may use the alternate procedures specified in paragraph §1926.1203(e)(2)
for entering a permit space only under the conditions set forth in paragraph
employer whose employees enter a permit space need not comply with §§1926.1204
through 1206 and §§1926.1208 through 1211, provided that all of the following
conditions are met:
employer can demonstrate that all physical hazards in the space are eliminated
or isolated through engineering controls so that the only hazard posed by the
permit space is an actual or potential hazardous atmosphere;
employer can demonstrate that continuous forced air ventilation alone is
sufficient to maintain that permit space safe for entry, and that, in the event
the ventilation system stops working, entrants can exit the space safely;
employer develops monitoring and inspection data that supports the demonstrations
required by paragraphs §1926.1203(e)(1)(i) and §1926.1203(e)(1)(ii);
(iv) If an
initial entry of the permit space is necessary to obtain the data required by
paragraph §1926.1203(e)(1)(iii), the entry is performed in compliance with §§1926.1204
through 1211 of this standard;
determinations and supporting data required by paragraphs §1926.1203(e)(1)(i),
(e)(1)(ii), and (e)(1)(iii) are documented by the employer and are made
available to each employee who enters the permit space under the terms of
paragraph §1926.1203(e) or to that employee’s authorized representative; and
into the permit space under the terms of paragraph §1926.1203(e)(1) is
performed in accordance with the requirements of paragraph §1926.1203(e)(2).
paragraph §1926.1203(e)(1). See paragraph §1926.1203(g) for reclassification of
a permit space after all hazards within the space have been eliminated.
following requirements apply to entry into permit spaces that meet the conditions
set forth in paragraph §1926.1203(e)(1):
conditions making it unsafe to remove an entrance cover must be eliminated
before the cover is removed.
entrance covers are removed, the opening must be immediately guarded by a
railing, temporary cover, or other temporary barrier that will prevent an
accidental fall through the opening and that will protect each employee working
in the space from foreign objects entering the space.
an employee enters the space, the internal atmosphere must be tested, with a
calibrated direct-reading instrument, for oxygen content, for flammable gases
and vapors, and for potential toxic air contaminants, in that order. Any
employee who enters the space, or that employee’s authorized representative,
must be provided an opportunity to observe the pre-entry testing required by
hazardous atmosphere is permitted within the space whenever any employee is
inside the space.
Continuous forced air ventilation must be used, as follows:
employee must not enter the space until the forced air ventilation has
eliminated any hazardous atmosphere;
forced air ventilation must be so directed as to ventilate the immediate areas
where an employee is or will be present within the space and must continue
until all employees have left the space;
(C) The air
supply for the forced air ventilation must be from a clean source and must not
increase the hazards in the space.
atmosphere within the space must be continuously monitored unless the entry
employer can demonstrate that equipment for continuous monitoring is not
commercially available or periodic monitoring is sufficient. If continuous
monitoring is used, the employer must ensure that the monitoring equipment has
an alarm that will notify all entrants if a specified atmospheric threshold is
achieved, or that an employee will check the monitor with sufficient frequency
to ensure that entrants have
time to escape. If continuous monitoring is not used, periodic monitoring is required.
All monitoring must ensure that the continuous forced air ventilation is
preventing the accumulation of a hazardous atmosphere. Any employee who enters
the space, or that employee’s authorized representative, must be provided with
an opportunity to observe the testing required by this paragraph.
(vii) If a
hazard is detected during entry:
employee must leave the space immediately;
space must be evaluated to determine how the hazard developed; and
employer must implement measures to protect employees from the hazard before
any subsequent entry takes place.
employer must ensure a safe method of entering and exiting the space. If a
hoisting system is used, it must be designed and manufactured for personnel
hoisting; however, a job-made hoisting system is permissible if it is approved
for personnel hoisting by a registered professional engineer,
prior to use.
employer must verify that the space is safe for entry and that the pre-entry measures
required by paragraph §1926.1203(e)(2) have been taken, through a written
certification that contains the date, the location of the space, and the
signature of the person providing the certification. The certification must be
made before entry and must be made available to each employee entering the
space or to that employee’s authorized representative.
there are changes in the use or configuration of a non-permit confined space that
might increase the hazards to entrants, or some indication that the initial evaluation
of the space may not have been adequate, each entry employer must have a
competent person reevaluate that space and, if necessary, reclassify it as a
permit required confined space.
(g) A space
classified by an employer as a permit-required confined space may only be reclassified
as a non-permit confined space when a competent person determines that all of
the applicable Requirements in paragraphs §1926.1203(g)(1) through (g)(4) have
(1) If the
permit space poses no actual or potential atmospheric hazards and if all hazards
within the space are eliminated or isolated without entry into the space (unless
the employer can demonstrate that doing so without entry is infeasible), the
permit space may be reclassified as a non-permit confined space for as long as
the non-atmospheric hazards remain eliminated or isolated;
entry employer must eliminate or isolate the hazards without entering the space,
unless it can demonstrate that this is infeasible. If it is necessary to enter the
permit space to eliminate or isolate hazards, such entry must be performed under
§§1926.1204 through 1211 of this standard. If testing and inspection during
that entry demonstrate that the hazards within the permit space have been eliminated
or isolated, the permit space may be reclassified as a non-permit confined
space for as long as the hazards remain eliminated or isolated;
paragraph §1926.1203(g)(2). Control of atmospheric hazards through forced air
ventilation does not constitute elimination or isolation of the hazards. Paragraph
§1926.1203(e) covers permit space entry where the employer can demonstrate that
forced air ventilation alone will control all hazards in the space.
entry employer must document the basis for determining that all hazards in a
permit space have been eliminated or isolated, through a certification that contains
the date, the location of the space, and the signature of the person making the
determination. The certification must be made available to each employee
entering the space or to that employee’s authorized representative; and
hazards arise within a permit space that has been reclassified as a non-permit space
under paragraph §1926.1203(g), each employee in the space must exit the space.
The entry employer must then reevaluate the space and reclassify it as a permit
space as appropriate in accordance with all other applicable provisions of this
Space Entry Communication and Coordination:
entry operations begin, the host employer must provide the following information,
if it has it, to the controlling contractor:
location of each known permit space;
hazards or potential hazards in each space or the reason it is a permit space;
precautions that the host employer or any previous controlling contractor or
entry employer implemented for the protection of employees in the permit space.
entry operations begin, the controlling contractor must:
the host employer’s information about the permit space hazards and previous
entry operations; and
the following information to each entity entering a permit space and any other
entity at the worksite whose activities could foreseeably result in a hazard in
the permit space:
information received from the host employer;
additional information the controlling contractor has about the subjects listed
in paragraph (h)(1) of this section; and
precautions that the host employer, controlling contractor, or other entry
employers implemented for the protection of employees in the permit spaces.
entry operations begin, each entry employer must:
all of the controlling contractor’s information regarding permit space hazards
and entry operations; and
the controlling contractor of the permit space program that the entry employer
will follow, including any hazards likely to be confronted or created in each
controlling contractor and entry employer(s) must coordinate entry operations
than one entity performs permit space entry at the same time; or
space entry is performed at the same time that any activities that could
foreseeably result in a hazard in the permit space are performed.
controlling contractor must debrief each entity that entered a permit space
regarding the permit space program followed and any hazards confronted or
created in the permit space(s) during entry operations;
entry employer must inform the controlling contractor in a timely manner of the
permit space program followed and of any hazards confronted or created in the
permit space(s) during entry operations; and
controlling contractor must apprise the host employer of the information
exchanged with the entry entities pursuant to this subparagraph.
paragraph §1926.1203(h). Unless a host employer or controlling contractor has
or will have employees in a confined space, it is not required to enter any
confined space to collect the information specified in this paragraph (h).
there is no controlling contractor present at the worksite, the requirements
for, and role of, controlling contactors in §1926.1203 must be fulfilled by the
host employer or other employer who arranges to have employees of another
employer perform work that involves permit space entry.
Permit-Required Confined Space Program.
Implement the measures necessary to prevent unauthorized entry;
and evaluate the hazards of permit spaces before employees enter them;
and implement the means, procedures, and practices necessary for safe permit
space entry operations, including, but not limited to, the following:
Specifying acceptable entry conditions;
Providing each authorized entrant or that employee’s authorized representative with
the opportunity to observe any monitoring or testing of permit spaces;
Isolating the permit space and physical hazard(s) within the space;
inerting, flushing, or ventilating the permit space as necessary to eliminate
or control atmospheric hazards;
paragraph §1204(c)(4). When an employer is unable to reduce the atmosphere
below 10 percent LFL, the employer may only enter if the employer inerts the
space so as to render the entire atmosphere in the space noncombustible, and
the employees use PPE to address any other atmospheric
(such as oxygen deficiency), and the employer eliminates or isolates all physical
hazards in the space.
Determining that, in the event the ventilation system stops working, the monitoring
procedures will detect an increase in atmospheric hazard levels in sufficient
time for the entrants to safely exit the permit space;
Providing pedestrian, vehicle, or other barriers as necessary to protect
entrants from external hazards;
Verifying that conditions in the permit space are acceptable for entry
throughout the duration of an authorized entry, and ensuring that employees are
not allowed to enter into, or remain in, a permit space with a hazardous
atmosphere unless the employer can demonstrate that personal protective
equipment (PPE) will provide effective protection for each employee in the
permit space and provides
appropriate PPE to each employee; and
Eliminating any conditions (for example, high pressure) that could make it unsafe
to remove an entrance cover.
the following equipment (specified in paragraphs §1926.1204(d)(1) through (d)(9))
at no cost to each employee, maintain that equipment properly, and ensure that
each employee uses that equipment properly:
and monitoring equipment needed to comply with paragraph §1926.1204(e);
Ventilating equipment needed to obtain acceptable entry conditions;
Communications equipment necessary for compliance with paragraphs §1926.1208(c)
and §1926.1209(e), including any necessary electronic communication equipment
for attendants assessing entrants’ status in multiple spaces;
protective equipment insofar as feasible engineering and work-practice controls
do not adequately protect employees;
paragraph §1926.1204(d)(4). The requirements of subpart E of this part and
other PPE requirements continue to apply to the use of PPE in a permit space.
For example, if employees use respirators, then the respirator requirements in
§1926.103 (Respiratory protection) must be met.
equipment that meets the minimum illumination requirements in §1926.56, that is
approved for the ignitable or combustible properties of the specific gas,
vapor, dust, or fiber that will be present, and that is sufficient to enable
employees to see well enough to work safely and to exit the space
and shields as required by paragraph §1926.1204(c)(4);
Equipment, such as ladders, needed for safe ingress and egress by authorized entrants;
and emergency equipment needed to comply with paragraph §1926.1204(i), except
to the extent that the equipment is provided by rescue services; and
other equipment necessary for safe entry into, safe exit from, and rescue from,
permit space conditions in accordance with the following paragraphs (e)(1) through
(6) of this section when entry operations are conducted:
conditions in the permit space to determine if acceptable entry conditions exist
before changes to the space’s natural ventilation are made, and before entry is
authorized to begin, except that, if an employer demonstrates that isolation of
the space is infeasible because the space is large or is part of a
system (such as a sewer), the employer must:
pre-entry testing to the extent feasible before entry is authorized; and,
entry is authorized, continuously monitor entry conditions in the areas where
authorized entrants are working, except that employers may use periodic
monitoring in accordance with paragraph §1926.1204(e)(2) for monitoring an
atmospheric hazard if they can demonstrate that equipment
continuously monitoring that hazard is not commercially available;
Provide an early-warning system that continuously monitors for non-isolated engulfment
hazards. The system must alert authorized entrants and attendants in sufficient
time for the authorized entrants to safely exit the space.
Continuously monitor atmospheric hazards unless the employer can demonstrate
that the equipment for continuously monitoring a hazard is not commercially
available or that periodic monitoring is of sufficient frequency to ensure that
the atmospheric hazard is being controlled at safe levels. If continuous
monitoring is not used, periodic monitoring is required with sufficient
frequency to ensure that acceptable entry conditions are being maintained
during the course of entry operations;
testing for atmospheric hazards, test first for oxygen, then for combustible
gases and vapors, and then for toxic gases and vapors;
each authorized entrant or that employee’s authorized representative an opportunity
to observe the pre-entry and any subsequent testing or monitoring of permit
Reevaluate the permit space in the presence of any authorized entrant or that employee’s
authorized representative who requests that the employer conduct such
reevaluation because there is some indication that the evaluation of that space
may not have been adequate; and
Immediately provide each authorized entrant or that employee’s authorized representative
with the results of any testing conducted in accordance with §1926.1204 of this
at least one attendant outside the permit space into which entry is authorized for
the duration of entry operations;
Attendants may be assigned to more than one permit space provided the duties described
in §1926.1209 of this standard can be effectively performed for each permit
Attendants may be stationed at any location outside the permit space as long as
the duties described in §1926.1209 of this standard can be effectively
performed for each permit space to which the attendant is assigned.
multiple spaces are to be assigned to a single attendant, include in the permit
program the means and procedures to enable the attendant to respond to an emergency
affecting one or more of those permit spaces without distraction from the attendant’s
responsibilities under §1926.1209 of this standard;
Designate each person who is to have an active role (as, for example,
authorized entrants, attendants, entry supervisors, or persons who test or
monitor the atmosphere in a permit space) in entry operations, identify the
duties of each such employee, and provide each such employee with the training
required by §1926.1207 of this standard;
and implement procedures for summoning rescue and emergency services (including
procedures for summoning emergency assistance in the event of a failed non-entry
rescue), for rescuing entrants from permit spaces, for providing necessary emergency
services to rescued employees, and for preventing unauthorized personnel from
attempting a rescue;
and implement a system for the preparation, issuance, use, and cancellation of
entry permits as required by this standard, including the safe termination of
entry operations under both planned and emergency conditions;
and implement procedures to coordinate entry operations, in consultation with
the controlling contractor, when employees of more than one employer are working
simultaneously in a permit space or elsewhere on the worksite where their activities
could, either alone or in conjunction with the activities within a permit space,
foreseeably result in a hazard within the confined space, so that employees of one
employer do not endanger the employees of any other employer;
and implement procedures (such as closing off a permit space and canceling the
permit) necessary for concluding the entry after entry operations have been completed;
entry operations when the measures taken under the permit space program may not
protect employees and revise the program to correct deficiencies found to exist
before subsequent entries are authorized; and
paragraph §1926.1204(m). Examples of circumstances requiring the review of the
permit space program include, but are not limited to: any unauthorized entry of
a permit space, the detection of a permit space hazard not covered by the
permit, the detection of a condition prohibited by the permit, the occurrence
of an injury or near-miss during entry, a change in the use or configuration of
a permit space, and employee complaints about the effectiveness of the program.
the permit space program, using the canceled permits retained under paragraph
§1926.1205(f), within 1 year after each entry and revise the program as necessary
to ensure that employees participating in entry operations are protected from
permit space hazards.
paragraph §1926.1204(n). Employers may perform a single annual review covering
all entries performed during a 12-month period. If no entry is performed during
a 12-month period, no review is necessary.
entry is authorized, each entry employer must document the completion of measures
required by paragraph §1926.1204(c) of this standard by preparing an entry
entry begins, the entry supervisor identified on the permit must sign the entry
permit to authorize entry.
completed permit must be made available at the time of entry to all authorized entrants
or their authorized representatives, by posting it at the entry portal or by
any other equally effective means, so that the entrants can confirm that
pre-entry preparations have been completed.
duration of the permit may not exceed the time required to complete the assigned
task or job identified on the permit in accordance with paragraph §1926.1206(b)
of this standard.
entry supervisor must terminate entry and take the following action when any of
the following apply:
the entry permit when the entry operations covered by the entry permit have
been completed; or
or cancel the entry permit and fully reassess the space before allowing reentry
when a condition that is not allowed under the entry permit arises in or near
the permit space and that condition is temporary in nature and does not change
the configuration of the space or create any new hazards within it; and
the entry permit when a condition that is not allowed under the entry permit
arises in or near the permit space and that condition is not covered by subparagraph
(e)(2) of this section.
entry employer must retain each canceled entry permit for at least 1 year to facilitate
the review of the permit-required confined space program required by paragraph
§1926.1204(n) of this standard. Any problems encountered during an entry
operation must be noted on the pertinent permit so that appropriate revisions
to the permit space program can be made.
permit that documents compliance with this section and authorizes entry to a permit
space must identify:
permit space to be entered;
purpose of the entry;
(c) The date
and the authorized duration of the entry permit;
authorized entrants within the permit space, by name or by such other means
(for example, through the use of rosters or tracking systems) as will enable the
attendant to determine quickly and accurately, for the duration of the permit, which
authorized entrants are inside the permit space;
Note to paragraph
§1926.1206(d). This requirement may be met by inserting a reference on the
entry permit as to the means used, such as a roster or tracking system, to keep
track of the authorized entrants within the permit space.
(e) Means of
detecting an increase in atmospheric hazard levels in the event the ventilation
system stops working;
person, by name, currently serving as an attendant;
individual, by name, currently serving as entry supervisor, and the signature
or initials of each entry supervisor who authorizes entry;
hazards of the permit space to be entered;
measures used to isolate the permit space and to eliminate or control permit space
hazards before entry;
paragraph §1926.1206(i). Those measures can include, but are not limited to, the
lockout or tagging of equipment and procedures for purging, inerting,
ventilating, and flushing permit spaces.
acceptable entry conditions;
results of tests and monitoring performed under paragraph §1926.1204(e) of this
standard, accompanied by the names or initials of the testers and by an
indication of when the tests were performed;
rescue and emergency services that can be summoned and the means (such as the
equipment to use and the numbers to call) for summoning those services;
communication procedures used by authorized entrants and attendants to maintain
contact during the entry;
Equipment, such as personal protective equipment, testing equipment, communications
equipment, alarm systems, and rescue equipment, to be provided for compliance
with this standard;
other information necessary, given the circumstances of the particular confined
space, to ensure employee safety; and
additional permits, such as for hot work, that have been issued to authorize work
in the permit space.
employer must provide training to each employee whose work is regulated by this
standard, at no cost to the employee, and ensure that the employee possesses
the understanding, knowledge, and skills necessary for the safe performance of
the duties assigned under this standard. This training must result in an
understanding of the hazards in the permit space and the methods used to
isolate, control or in other ways protect employees from these hazards, and for
those employees not authorized to perform entry rescues, in the dangers of
attempting such rescues.
required by this section must be provided to each affected employee:
(1) In both
a language and vocabulary that the employee can understand;
the employee is first assigned duties under this standard;
there is a change in assigned duties;
there is a change in permit space entry operations that presents a hazard about
which an employee has not previously been trained; and
there is any evidence of a deviation from the permit space entry procedures
required by paragraph §1926.1204(c) of this standard or there are inadequacies
in the employee’s knowledge or use of these procedures.
training must establish employee proficiency in the duties required by this standard
and must introduce new or revised procedures, as necessary, for compliance with
employer must maintain training records to show that the training required by paragraphs
§1926.1207(a) through (c) of this standard has been accomplished. The training
records must contain each employee’s name, the name of the trainers, and the
dates of training. The documentation must be available for inspection by employees
and their authorized representatives, for the period of time the employee is
employed by that employer.
Duties of authorized entrants.
employer must ensure that all authorized entrants:
(a) Are familiar
with and understand the hazards that may be faced during entry, including
information on the mode, signs or symptoms, and consequences of the exposure;
use equipment as required by paragraph §1926.1204(d) of this standard;
with the attendant as necessary to enable the attendant to assess entrant
status and to enable the attendant to alert entrants of the need to evacuate
the space as required by paragraph §1926.1209(f) of this standard;
the attendant whenever:
(1) There is
any warning sign or symptom of exposure to a dangerous situation; or
entrant detects a prohibited condition; and
from the permit space as quickly as possible whenever:
(1) An order
to evacuate is given by the attendant or the entry supervisor;
(2) There is
any warning sign or symptom of exposure to a dangerous situation;
entrant detects a prohibited condition; or
evacuation alarm is activated.
Duties of attendants.
employer must ensure that each attendant:
familiar with and understands the hazards that may be faced during entry, including
information on the mode, signs or symptoms, and consequences of the exposure;
(b) Is aware
of possible behavioral effects of hazard exposure in authorized entrants;
Continuously maintains an accurate count of authorized entrants in the permit
space and ensures that the means used to identify authorized entrants under
paragraph 1926.1206(d) of this standard accurately identifies who is in the
outside the permit space during entry operations until relieved by another attendant;
paragraph §1926.1209(d). Once an attendant has been relieved by another attendant,
the relieved attendant may enter a permit space to attempt a rescue when the
employer’s permit space program allows attendant entry for rescue and the attendant
has been trained and equipped for rescue operations as required by paragraph
Communicates with authorized entrants as necessary to assess entrant status and
to alert entrants of the need to evacuate the space under paragraph
activities and conditions inside and outside the space to determine if it is safe
for entrants to remain in the space and orders the authorized entrants to
evacuate the permit space immediately under any of the following conditions:
(1) If there
is a prohibited condition;
(2) If the
behavioral effects of hazard exposure are apparent in an authorized entrant;
(3) If there
is a situation outside the space that could endanger the authorized entrants;
(4) If the
attendant cannot effectively and safely perform all the duties required under
§1926.1209 of this standard;
rescue and other emergency services as soon as the attendant determines that
authorized entrants may need assistance to escape from permit space hazards;
the following actions when unauthorized persons approach or enter a permit space
while entry is underway:
the unauthorized persons that they must stay away from the permit space;
the unauthorized persons that they must exit immediately if they have entered
the permit space; and
the authorized entrants and the entry supervisor if unauthorized persons have
entered the permit space;
non-entry rescues as specified by the employer’s rescue procedure; and
no duties that might interfere with the attendant’s primary duty to assess and
protect the authorized entrants.
Duties of entry supervisors.
employer must ensure that each entry supervisor:
familiar with and understands the hazards that may be faced during entry, including
information on the mode, signs or symptoms, and consequences of the exposure;
by checking that the appropriate entries have been made on the permit, that all
tests specified by the permit have been conducted and that all procedures and equipment
specified by the permit are in place before endorsing the permit and allowing
entry to begin;
Terminates the entry and cancels or suspends the permit as required by
paragraph 1926.1205(e) of this standard;
that rescue services are available and that the means for summoning them are
operable, and that the employer will be notified as soon as the services become
unauthorized individuals who enter or who attempt to enter the permit space
during entry operations; and
Determines, whenever responsibility for a permit space entry operation is transferred,
and at intervals dictated by the hazards and operations performed within the
space, that entry operations remain consistent with terms of the entry permit
and that acceptable entry conditions are maintained.
Rescue and emergency services.
employer who designates rescue and emergency services, pursuant to paragraph §1926.1204(i)
of this standard, must:
a prospective rescuer’s ability to respond to a rescue summons in a timely
manner, considering the hazard(s) identified;
paragraph §1926.1211(a)(1). What will be considered timely will vary according
to the specific hazards involved in each entry. For example, §1926.103—Respiratory
Protection requires that employers provide a standby person or persons capable
of immediate action to rescue employee(s) wearing respiratory protection while
in work areas defined as IDLH atmospheres.
a prospective rescue service’s ability, in terms of proficiency with rescue-related
tasks and equipment, to function appropriately while rescuing entrants from the
particular permit space or types of permit spaces identified;
(3) Select a
rescue team or service from those evaluated that:
(i) Has the
capability to reach the victim(s) within a time frame that is appropriate for
the permit space hazard(s) identified;
equipped for, and proficient in, performing the needed rescue services;
to notify the employer immediately in the event that the rescue service becomes
each rescue team or service of the hazards they may confront when called on to
perform rescue at the site; and
the rescue team or service selected with access to all permit spaces from which
rescue may be necessary so that the rescue team or service can develop appropriate
rescue plans and practice rescue operations.
employer whose employees have been designated to provide permit space rescue and/or
emergency services must take the following measures and provide all equipment
and training at no cost to those employees:
each affected employee with the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to
conduct permit space rescues safely and train each affected employee so the
employee is proficient in the use of that PPE;
each affected employee to perform assigned rescue duties. The employer must
ensure that such employees successfully complete the training required and
establish proficiency as authorized entrants, as provided by §§1926.1207 and
1926.1208 of this standard;
each affected employee in basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation
(CPR). The employer must ensure that at least one member of the rescue team or
service holding a current certification in basic first aid and CPR is
that affected employees practice making permit space rescues before attempting
an actual rescue, and at least once every 12 months, by means of simulated
rescue operations in which they remove dummies, manikins, or actual persons
from the actual permit spaces or from representative permit spaces, except
practice rescue is not required where the affected employees properly performed
a rescue operation during the last 12 months in the same permit space the
authorized entrant will enter, or in a similar permit space. Representative permit
spaces must, with respect to opening size, configuration, and accessibility,
simulate the types of permit spaces from which rescue is to be performed.
Non-entry rescue is required unless the retrieval equipment would increase the overall
risk of entry or would not contribute to the rescue of the entrant. The employer
must designate an entry rescue service whenever non-entry rescue is not selected.
Whenever non-entry rescue is selected, the entry employer must ensure that retrieval
systems or methods are used whenever an authorized entrant enters a permit space,
and must confirm, prior to entry, that emergency assistance would be available
in the event that non-entry rescue fails. Retrieval systems must meet the following
authorized entrant must use a chest or full body harness, with a retrieval line
attached at the center of the entrant’s back near shoulder level, above the entrant’s
head, or at another point which the employer can establish presents a profile
small enough for the successful removal of the entrant. Wristlets or anklets
may be used in lieu of the chest or full body harness if the employer can demonstrate
that the use of a chest or full body harness is infeasible or creates a greater
hazard and that the use of wristlets or anklets is the safest and most effective
other end of the retrieval line must be attached to a mechanical device or fixed
point outside the permit space in such a manner that rescue can begin as soon
as the rescuer becomes aware that rescue is necessary. A mechanical device must
be available to retrieve personnel from vertical type permit spaces more than 5
feet (1.52 meters) deep.
Equipment that is unsuitable for retrieval must not be used, including, but not
limited to, retrieval lines that have a reasonable probability of becoming entangled
with the retrieval lines used by other authorized entrants, or retrieval lines
that will not work due to the internal configuration of the permit space.
(d) If an
injured entrant is exposed to a substance for which a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) or
other similar written information is required to be kept at the worksite, that
SDS or written information must be made available to the medical facility
treating the exposed entrant.
Employers must consult with affected employees and their authorized representatives
on the development and implementation of all aspects of the permit space
program required by §1926.1203 of this standard.
must make available to each affected employee and his/her authorized representatives
all information required to be developed by this standard. §1926.1213 Provision
of documents to Secretary. For each document required to be retained in this
standard, the retaining employer must make the document available on request to
the Secretary of Labor or the Secretary’s designee.
BELOW IS THE OLD STANDARDS FOLLOWED PRIOR TO NEW STANDARD ABOVE BEING ISSUED
1926.21(b)(6)(i) - All employees required to enter into confined or enclosed spaces shall be instructed as to the nature of the hazards involved, the necessary precautions to be taken, and in the use of protective and emergency equipment required. The employer shall comply with any specific regulations that apply to work in dangerous or potentially dangerous areas.
1926.21(b)(6)(ii) - For purposes of paragraph (b)(6)(i) of this section, "confined or enclosed space" means any space having a limited means of egress, which is subject to the accumulation of toxic or flammable contaminants or has an oxygen deficient atmosphere. Confined or enclosed spaces include, but are not limited to, storage tanks, process vessels, bins, boilers, ventilation or exhaust ducts, sewers, underground utility vaults, tunnels, pipelines, and open top spaces more than 4 feet in depth such as pits, tubs, vaults, and vessels.
Bear in mind that other OSHA standards, such as but not limited to, electrical, lockout tagout, respiratory protection, hazardous substances, haz-com, and PPE, could apply to your confined space entry operations. Refer to the OSHA confined spaces in construction standards to determine all related standards that apply to your work.