Confined Space Training

Confined space training should be part of both General Industry and Construction safety plans.Confined space training is a cornerstone for basic safety programs for both general industry and construction industries. Many workplaces contain spaces that are considered “confined” because their configurations hinder the activities of employees who must enter, work in, and exit them. A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and it is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

Confined Space Training Begins with Identification

Confined spaces include, but are not limited to underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines. OSHA uses the term “permit-required confined space” (permit space) to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
  • contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant
  • ‘has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant
  • contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.

Confined space training for General Industry follows the OSHA standard 29CFR 1910.146.  However, after significant analysis and study by OSHA, a new standard. 29 CFR 1926, Subpart AA was recently adopted for the Construction Industry. Confined space training for the Construction Industry offer new material and ideally fits those particular conditions and circumstances that are specific to the construction workplace.

Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies. Each of these is usually highlighted in a standard class for confined space training.