1926.1203 General requirements.
1926.1204 Permit-required confined space program.
1926.1205 Permitting process.
1926.1206 Entry permit.
1926.1208 Duties of authorized entrants.
1926.1209 Duties of attendants.
1926.1210 Duties of entry supervisors.
1926.1211 Rescue and emergency services.
1926.1212 Employee participation.
1926.1213 Provision of documents to Secretary.
Authority: 40 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.; 29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657; Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912); and 29 CFR part 1911.
Note to paragraph (a). Examples of locations where confined spaces may occur include, but are not limited to, the following: Bins; boilers; pits (such as elevator, escalator, pump, valve or other equipment); manholes (such as sewer, storm drain, electrical, communication, or other utility); tanks (such as fuel, chemical, water, or other liquid, solid or gas); incinerators; scrubbers; concrete pier columns; sewers; transformer vaults; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) ducts; storm drains; water mains; precast concrete and other pre-formed manhole units; drilled shafts; enclosed beams; vessels; digesters; lift stations; cesspools; silos; air receivers; sludge gates; air preheaters; step up transformers; turbines; chillers; bag houses; and/or mixers/reactors.
[80 FR 25519, May 4, 2015]
Acceptable entry conditions means the conditions that must exist in a permit space, before an employee may enter that space, to ensure that employees can safely enter into, and safely work within, the space.
Attendant means an individual stationed outside one or more permit spaces who assesses the status of authorized entrants and who must perform the duties specified in § 1926.1209.
Authorized entrant means an employee who is authorized by the entry supervisor to enter a permit space.
Barrier means a physical obstruction that blocks or limits access.
Blanking or blinding means the absolute closure of a pipe, line, or duct by the fastening of a solid plate (such as a spectacle blind or a skillet blind) that completely covers the bore and that is capable of withstanding the maximum pressure of the pipe, line, or duct with no leakage beyond the plate.
Competent person means one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.
Confined space means a space that:
- Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter it;
- Has limited or restricted means for entry and exit; and
- Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.
Controlling Contractor is the employer that has overall responsibility for construction at the worksite.
Note to the definition of "Controlling Contractor". If the controlling contractor owns or manages the property, then it is both a controlling employer and a host employer.
Double block and bleed means the closure of a line, duct, or pipe by closing and locking or tagging two inline valves and by opening and locking or tagging a drain or vent valve in the line between the two closed valves.
Early-warning system means the method used to alert authorized entrants and attendants that an engulfment hazard may be developing. Examples of early-warning systems include, but are not limited to: Alarms activated by remote sensors; and lookouts with equipment for immediately communicating with the authorized entrants and attendants.
Emergency means any occurrence (including any failure of power, hazard control or monitoring equipment) or event, internal or external, to the permit space that could endanger entrants.
Engulfment means the surrounding and effective capture of a person by a liquid or finely divided (flowable) solid substance that can be aspirated to cause death by filling or plugging the respiratory system or that can exert enough force on the body to cause death by strangulation, constriction, crushing, or suffocation.
Entry means the action by which any part of a person passes through an opening into a permit-required confined space. Entry includes ensuing work activities in that space and is considered to have occurred as soon as any part of the entrant's body breaks the plane of an opening into the space, whether or not such action is intentional or any work activities are actually performed in the space.
Entry Employer means any employer who decides that an employee it directs will enter a permit space.
Note to the definition of "Entry Employer". An employer cannot avoid the duties of the standard merely by refusing to decide whether its employees will enter a permit space, and OSHA will consider the failure to so decide to be an implicit decision to allow employees to enter those spaces if they are working in the proximity of the space.
Entry permit (permit) means the written or printed document that is provided by the employer who designated the space a permit space to allow and control entry into a permit space and that contains the information specified in § 1926.1206.
Entry rescue occurs when a rescue service enters a permit space to rescue one or more employees.
Entry supervisor means the qualified person (such as the employer, foreman, or crew chief) responsible for determining if acceptable entry conditions are present at a permit space where entry is planned, for authorizing entry and overseeing entry operations, and for terminating entry as required by this standard.
Note to the definition of "Entry supervisor". An entry supervisor also may serve as an attendant or as an authorized entrant, as long as that person is trained and equipped as required by this standard for each role he or she fills. Also, the duties of entry supervisor may be passed from one individual to another during the course of an entry operation.
Hazard means a physical hazard or hazardous atmosphere. See definitions below.
Hazardous atmosphere means an atmosphere that may expose employees to the risk of death, incapacitation, impairment of ability to self-rescue (that is, escape unaided from a permit space), injury, or acute illness from one or more of the following causes:
- Flammable gas, vapor, or mist in excess of 10 percent of its lower flammable limit (LFL);
- Airborne combustible dust at a concentration that meets or exceeds its LFL;
Note to paragraph (2) of the definition of "Hazardous atmosphere". This concentration may be approximated as a condition in which the combustible dust obscures vision at a distance of 5 feet (1.52 meters) or less.
- Atmospheric oxygen concentration below 19.5 percent or above 23.5 percent;
- Atmospheric concentration of any substance for which a dose or a permissible exposure limit is published in subpart D of this part (Occupational Health and Environmental Control), or in subpart Z of this part (Toxic and Hazardous Substances), and which could result in employee exposure in excess of its dose or permissible exposure limit;
Note to paragraph (4) of the definition of "Hazardous atmosphere". An atmospheric concentration of any substance that is not capable of causing death, incapacitation, impairment of ability to self-rescue, injury, or acute illness due to its health effects is not covered by this definition.
- Any other atmospheric condition that is immediately dangerous to life or health.
Note to paragraph (5) of the definition of "Hazardous atmosphere". For air contaminants for which OSHA has not determined a dose or permissible exposure limit, other sources of information, such as Safety Data Sheets that comply with the Hazard Communication Standard, § 1926.59, published information, and internal documents can provide guidance in establishing acceptable atmospheric conditions.
Note to the definition of "Host employer". If the owner of the property on which the construction activity occurs has contracted with an entity for the general management of that property, and has transferred to that entity the information specified in § 1926.1203(h)(1), OSHA will treat the contracted management entity as the host employer for as long as that entity manages the property. Otherwise, OSHA will treat the owner of the property as the host employer. In no case will there be more than one host employer.
Hot work means operations capable of providing a source of ignition (for example, riveting, welding, cutting, burning, and heating).
Immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) means any condition that would interfere with an individual's ability to escape unaided from a permit space and that poses a threat to life or that would cause irreversible adverse health effects.
Note to the definition of "Immediately dangerous to life or health". Some materials-hydrogen fluoride gas and cadmium vapor, for example-may produce immediate transient effects that, even if severe, may pass without medical attention, but are followed by sudden, possibly fatal collapse 12-72 hours after exposure. The victim "feels normal" after recovery from transient effects until collapse. Such materials in hazardous quantities are considered to be "immediately" dangerous to life or health.
Inerting means displacing the atmosphere in a permit space by a noncombustible gas (such as nitrogen) to such an extent that the resulting atmosphere is noncombustible.
Note to the definition of "Intering". This procedure produces an IDLH oxygendeficient atmosphere.
Isolate or isolation means the process by which employees in a confined space are completely protected against the release of energy and material into the space, and contact with a physical hazard, by such means as: Blanking or blinding; misaligning or removing sections of lines, pipes, or ducts; a double block and bleed system; lockout or tagout of all sources of energy; blocking or disconnecting all mechanical linkages; or placement of barriers to eliminate the potential for employee contact with a physical hazard.
Limited or restricted means for entry or exit means a condition that has a potential to impede an employee's movement into or out of a confined space. Such conditions include, but are not limited to, trip hazards, poor illumination, slippery floors, inclining surfaces and ladders.
Line breaking means the intentional opening of a pipe, line, or duct that is or has been carrying flammable, corrosive, or toxic material, an inert gas, or any fluid at a volume, pressure, or temperature capable of causing injury.
Lockout means the placement of a lockout device on an energy isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, ensuring that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed.
Lower flammable limit or lower explosive limit means the minimum concentration of a substance in air needed for an ignition source to cause a flame or explosion.
Monitor or monitoring means the process used to identify and evaluate the hazards after an authorized entrant enters the space. This is a process of checking for changes that is performed in a periodic or continuous manner after the completion of the initial testing or evaluation of that space.
Non-entry rescue occurs when a rescue service, usually the attendant, retrieves employees in a permit space without entering the permit space.
Non-permit confined space means a confined space that meets the definition of a confined space but does not meet the requirements for a permit-required confined space, as defined in this subpart.
Oxygen deficient atmosphere means an atmosphere containing less than 19.5 percent oxygen by volume.
Oxygen enriched atmosphere means an atmosphere containing more than 23.5 percent oxygen by volume.
Permit-required confined space (permit space) means a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics:
- Contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere;
- Contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant;
- Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller crosssection; or
- Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.
Physical hazard means an existing or potential hazard that can cause death or serious physical damage. Examples include, but are not limited to: Explosives (as defined by paragraph (n) of § 1926.914, definition of "explosive"); mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic energy; radiation; temperature extremes; engulfment; noise; and inwardly converging surfaces. Physical hazard also includes chemicals that can cause death or serious physical damage through skin or eye contact (rather than through inhalation).
Prohibited condition means any condition in a permit space that is not allowed by the permit during the period when entry is authorized. A hazardous atmosphere is a prohibited condition unless the employer can demonstrate that personal protective equipment (PPE) will provide effective protection for each employee in the permit space and provides the appropriate PPE to each employee.
Qualified person means one who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated his ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.
Representative permit space means a mock-up of a confined space that has entrance openings that are similar to, and is of similar size, configuration, and accessibility to, the permit space that authorized entrants enter.
Rescue means retrieving, and providing medical assistance to, one or more employees who are in a permit space.
Rescue service means the personnel designated to rescue employees from permit spaces.
Retrieval system means the equipment (including a retrieval line, chest or full body harness, wristlets or anklets, if appropriate, and a lifting device or anchor) used for non-entry rescue of persons from permit spaces.
Serious physical damage means an impairment or illness in which a body part is made functionally useless or is substantially reduced in efficiency. Such impairment or illness may be permanent or temporary and includes, but is not limited to, loss of consciousness, disorientation, or other immediate and substantial reduction in mental efficiency. Injuries involving such impairment would usually require treatment by a physician or other licensed health-care professional.
- Placement of a tagout device on a circuit or equipment that has been deenergized, in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the circuit or equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed; and
The employer ensures that:
- Tagout provides equivalent protection to lockout; or
- That lockout is infeasible and the employer has relieved, disconnected, restrained and otherwise rendered safe stored (residual) energy.
Note to the definition of "Test or testing". Testing enables employers both to devise and implement adequate control measures for the protection of authorized entrants and to determine if acceptable entry conditions are present immediately prior to, and during, entry.
Ventilate or ventilation means controlling a hazardous atmosphere using continuous forced-air mechanical systems that meet the requirements of § 1926.57 (Ventilation).
Note to paragraph (b)(1). A sign reading "DANGER-PERMIT-REQUIRED CONFINED SPACE, DO NOT ENTER" or using other similar language would satisfy the requirement for a sign.
Note to paragraph (e)(1). See paragraph (g) of this section for reclassification of a permit space after all hazards within the space have been eliminated.
Note to paragraph (g)(2). Control of atmospheric hazards through forced air ventilation does not constitute elimination or isolation of the hazards. Paragraph (e) of this section covers permit space entry where the employer can demonstrate that forced air ventilation alone will control all hazards in the space.
Note to paragraph (h). Unless a host employer or controlling contractor has or will have employees in a confined space, it is not required to enter any confined space to collect the information specified in this paragraph (h).
[80 FR 25521-25523, May 4, 2015]
Note to paragraph (c)(4). When an employer is unable to reduce the atmosphere below 10 percent LFL, the employer may only enter if the employer inerts the space so as to render the entire atmosphere in the space non-combustible, and the employees use PPE to address any other atmospheric hazards (such as oxygen deficiency), and the employer eliminates or isolates all physical hazards in the space.
Note to paragraph (d)(4). The requirements of subpart E of this part and other PPE requirements continue to apply to the use of PPE in a permit space. For example, if employees use respirators, then the respirator requirements in § 1926.103 (Respiratory protection) must be met.
Note to paragraph (m). Examples of circumstances requiring the review of the permit space program include, but are not limited to: Any unauthorized entry of a permit space, the detection of a permit space hazard not covered by the permit, the detection of a condition prohibited by the permit, the occurrence of an injury or nearmiss during entry, a change in the use or configuration of a permit space, and employee complaints about the effectiveness of the program.
Note to paragraph (n). Employers may perform a single annual review covering all entries performed during a 12-month period. If no entry is performed during a 12-month period, no review is necessary.
[80 FR 25523-25524, May 4, 2015]
[80 FR 25524, May 4, 2015]
Note to paragraph (d). This requirement may be met by inserting a reference on the entry permit as to the means used, such as a roster or tracking system, to keep track of the authorized entrants within the permit space.
Note to paragraph (i). Those measures can include, but are not limited to, the lockout or tagging of equipment and procedures for purging, inerting, ventilating, and flushing permit spaces.
[80 FR 25524-25525, May 4, 2015]
[80 FR 25525, May 4, 2015]
Note to paragraph (d). Once an attendant has been relieved by another attendant, the relieved attendant may enter a permit space to attempt a rescue when the employer's permit space program allows attendant entry for rescue and the attendant has been trained and equipped for rescue operations as required by § 1926.1211(a).
[80 FR 25525, May 4, 2015]
[80 FR 25525-25526, May 4, 2015]
Note to paragraph (a)(1). What will be considered timely will vary according to the specific hazards involved in each entry. For example, § 1926.103 (Respiratory protection) requires that employers provide a standby person or persons capable of immediate action to rescue employee(s) wearing respiratory protection while in work areas defined as IDLH atmospheres.
[80 FR 25526, May 4, 2015]
[80 FR 25526, May 4, 2015]