Confined Spaces

December 2016 Safety Topic

Certain workplaces on the CUMC campus contain spaces that are considered to be “confined” because they have limited or restricted means for entry and exit and are not designed for continuous occupancy.

Such confined spaces include utility vaults, water tanks, sewers, pipes, and boilers.

A “permit-required confined space” is a confined space that has one or more of these characteristics:

  • Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere such as a vapor or gas
  • Contains a material with the potential to surround someone who enters the space
  • Has a layout that might cause someone to be trapped
  • Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard

There is an OSHA standard for confined spaces (29 CFR 1910.146) that contains the requirements for practices and procedures to protect employees from the hazards of entering confined spaces.

Facilities Management has a written program for confined spaces that complies with all applicable standards and is designed to do the following:

  • Control hazards
  • Provide equipment for safe entry
  • Detect hazardous conditions that may arise while within the space

All confined spaces on campus are tracked in an inventory and are properly labeled. Permit-required confined spaces are also labeled and specifically state that a permit is required before entry.

For more information or questions about confined spaces, please speak with your supervisor or contact a member of the Facilities Compliance team.