Washington Confined Spaces laws & safety compliance analysis

Washington Confined Spaces: What you need to know

Washington's safety rules for confined spaces in general industry workplaces mirror federal rules (WAC 296-809-100 to 296-809-800), and the state has adopted requirements that are stricter than federal rules for the written confined space permit program, and for alternate entry procedures for spaces with a hazardous atmosphere.

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The Washington Department of Labor and Industries (DLI) administers and enforces workplace safety and health rules.

WAC 296-809-30002

In addition to identifying the safety procedures and equipment to protect workers from the hazards of permit spaces, the written program must include, where applicable:

  • Documentation of permit entry procedures
  • Documentation used for alternate entry procedures
  • How to reclassify permit-required confined spaces to nonpermit spaces
  • Designation of employee roles, such as entrants, attendants, entry supervisors, rescuers, or those who test or monitor the atmosphere in a permit-required space
  • Identification of designated employee duties
  • Training employees on their designated roles
  • How to identify and evaluate hazards
  • Use and maintenance of equipment
  • How to prevent unauthorized entry
  • How to coordinate entry with another employer
  • How to rescue entrants
WAC 296-809-60004

When using alternate entry procedures instead of permit entry procedures, and if a hazardous atmosphere is detected during entry, comply with the federal procedures and the following state-specific requirements:

  • Implement measures to protect employees from the hazardous atmosphere before continuing the entry operation.
  • Verify the space is safe for entry before continuing the entry operation.

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