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Maryland Confined Spaces: What you need to know

Maryland has adopted the federal workplace safety rules for confined spaces in general industry by reference and added requirements that are stricter than federal rules (COMAR 09.12.35.01 to 09.12.35.05). These rules include confined-space requirements for agricultural operations (COMAR 09.12.35.05).

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Maryland has adopted the federal rules for regulating the conditions of entry into a confined space and for determining the types of spaces and activities that require a permit (29 CFR 1910.146, 29 CFR 1910.252, and 29 CFR 1910.269), and has added its own rules that focus on operations within a confined space.

The state has developed rules for each of three categories of confined spaces:

  • Nonutility operations
  • Utility operations (gas, water, and sewage)
  • Agricultural (farm) operations
DEFINITION OF CONFINED SPACE
COMAR 09.12.35.01 and COMAR 09.12.35.02

Maryland defines a confined space as a space having limited means of entry or exit and so enclosed that adequate dilution ventilation is not obtained by natural air movement, or mechanically induced movement, and subject to the accumulation of toxic or combustible agents, or an oxygen deficiency. "Oxygen deficiency" means that the tested atmosphere contains less than 19.5 percent oxygen.

A confined space includes:

  • A storage tank, tank car, process vessel, bin, tank trailer, and other tank-like compartment usually having one or more manholes for entry
  • An open-topped space more than 4-feet deep, such as a bin, silo, pit, vat, tub, vault, vessel, and floating roof storage tank
  • A ventilation or exhaust duct, manhole, sewer, tunnel, pipeline, and similar structure
  • An oven, furnace, kiln, and similar structure
NONUTILITY OPERATIONS
COMAR 09.12.35.03

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COMPARISON: STATE VS. FEDERAL
ANALYSIS

State Requirements

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Maryland Confined Spaces Resources

Confined Spaces Products

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