The permit-required confined space rule for general industry workplaces (29 CFR 1910.146) is administered and enforced by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It describes minimum safety and health program management practices for a permit-required confined space (permit space), and outlines the employer's general obligations to identify permit spaces and non-permit spaces in the workplace and to take action to protect workers from confined space hazards.
There is a separate rule for Confined Spaces (Construction) (29 CFR 1926 Subpart AA).
Applicability. The rule applies to employers and contractors with employees working in any area that:
- Is large enough and configured so that an employee can enter and perform assigned work
- Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit
- Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy
- Has poor ventilation
- Could contain or retain a hazardous atmosphere, or
- Could pose an engulfment or entrapment hazard
"Entry into a confined space" is defined as placing any part of the face or body into the space. Common examples of potential confined spaces include sewer manholes, inlets, and outfalls; some culverts; electrical and other vaults; tanks; trenches; pits; pipe assemblies; ducts; silos; storage bins; and hoppers. See the Trenching (Construction) analysis for information about when to classify a trench as a confined space.
The permit space rule covers facilities that have both permit-required confined spaces and confined spaces that ...