Confined space definition can be described as completely or partially enclosed space which is not anticipated for human occupancy for a long term. Every year a lot of workers get injured and killed while working in confined spaces. Confined spaces can be more unsafe than normal workspaces for a variety of reasons.

What is the definition of a confined space at work?

Most workplaces include areas which are called “confined spaces” because, while not specifically meant for continuous use by individuals, they are wide enough for employees to access and perform certain jobs. Workplace confined spaces include tanks, vessels, silos, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, etc.

What 3 things make a confined space?

As per OSHA, the confined space meaning is the space that has three characteristics as stated below:

  1. Limited Entry and Exit Openings
  2. The Space is not designed for Long-Term Human Occupancy
  • The Space is Big Enough for Individual to Enter and Perform Work

What are the four major dangers of a confined space?

There is a wide range of hazards/dangers you come across while working in a confined space. Below are four main danger of a confined space:

Excess or Lack of Oxygen

High or extremely low levels of oxygen in the confined space can put workers life at risk including tiredness, dizziness or in some cases even death.

Engulfment

In certain confined spaces, workers are at risk of being engulfed i.e. swallowed or captivated in a stored material like sand, coal, grain or liquid etc.

Fire & Explosion

Workers have to cope with fires and explosions in confined spaces, if they are performing tasks in a flammable atmosphere.

Hazardous Substances

There are a number of airborne contaminants that can accumulate in confined spaces and be hazardous to workers.

What is the confined space regulation?

OSHA’s confined spaces regulation (29 CFR 1910.146) provides specifications for general industry policies and procedures to protect workers from the hazards of entering permit spaces. The aim of the regulation is to prevent the accidents and deaths associated with the confined spaces.

What are your responsibilities when working in confined spaces?

It is the responsibility of Authorized entrants to know:

  • Hazards related to the confined space entry.
  • Use of needed equipment.
  • Protocols for interacting with the attendant.
  • How to alert the attendant of risky situations.
  • Self-rescue procedure if necessary.

Do you need an observer while working in a confined space?

Confined space observer is pivotal when work is being performed in a confined space. An observer controls and monitors the headcount inside the confined space and also enacts the Emergency & Rescue plan during emergency situation.