Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Permit-Required Confined Spaces

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Permit-Required Confined Spaces

Article excerpt

OSHA promulgated standard 29 CFR 1910.146 on permit-required confined spaces in 1993 to protect workers entering spaces that -- because of their configuration, difficulty of entry or other factors, such as toxic, explosive or asphyxiating atmospheres -- could be harmful.

The standard provides a comprehensive regulatory framework within which employers can effectively protect employees who enter permit spaces. It also provides for the establishment of written permit space programs, authorization of entry through written permits and the implementation of measures necessary for safe entry operations. These measures include testing and monitoring of spaces, control of hazards, stationing an attendant to monitor entry, employee training and availability of rescue and emergency medical personnel.

According to OSHA, a confined space is a space that:

* Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work;

* Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, etc.); and

* Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. …

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