Permit-Required Confined Spaces
The standard covers general industry workers, including over 1.6 million who enter confined spaces each year and an additional 10.6 million employed at the 240,000 covered worksites. When the standard was implemented, OSHA expected it to prevent about 85 percent of the deaths and injuries caused by confined space entry and rescue — an estimated 54 deaths and 10,000 injuries each year. It does not apply to agriculture, construction, or shipyard employment.
A confined space is defined as an area which:
1. Has adequate size and configuration for an employee to enter and perform work;
2. Has limited or restricted means to enter and exit; and
3. Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.
A permit-required confined space is defined as a confined space having one or more of the following characteristics:
1. Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere;
2. Contains material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant;
3. Has an internal configuration that could trap or asphyxiate an entrant by inwardly converging walls or sloping floor; or
4. Contains any othe recognized serious safety or health hazard.
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