Section: Safety and Security
Policy Number: 7-36
Policy Name: Confined Space Entry
Date: June 5, 1989
Revisions: May 1, 1996

  1. PURPOSE

    To ensure all activities requiring entry into a confined space are conducted in a manner consistent with established safety procedures so as to minimize risk to workers.

  2. DEFINITION

    A confined space means a space that: is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; and has limited or restricted means for entry or exit; and is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

    1. Permit-required confined space means a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics:

      1. Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere;

      2. Contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant;

      3. 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 cross-section;

      4. Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.

    2. A non-permit confined space means a confined space that does not contain or, with respect to atmospheric hazards, have the potential to contain any hazard capable of causing death or serious physical harm.

      Activities to be conducted in the confined space determines the classification of the space.

    3. A confined space includes, but is not limited to, any of the following if the criteria set forth in the above definition are met:

      1. Storage tanks, tank cars, process vessels, bins, tank trailers, and other tank-like compartments usually with one or more manholes for entry;

      2. Open-topped spaces of more than 4 feet in depth, such as bins, silos, pits, vats, tubs, vaults, vessels, floating roof storage tanks, or trenches;

      3. Ventilation or exhaust ducts, manholes, sewers, tunnels, pipelines, and similar structures;

      4. Ovens, furnaces, kilns, boilers and similar structures.

  3. POLICY

    1. No person shall enter a confined space except with the approval of or in accordance with procedures established by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

    2. Confined Space Entry Permits shall be completed in accordance with the established procedures and filed with the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

    3. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety may evaluate confined spaces and shall audit all confined space activities.

    4. Contractors and Subcontractors shall be subject to this policy.

For a copy of the confined space procedures or more information regarding this policy, contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (ext. 8475).