Knowing how to work safely in and around confined spaces, and knowing how to comply with the OSHA regulations for confined spaces, begins with knowing what a confined space is.
Read below to learn the three simple criteria for a confined space.
What Is a Confined Space In General Industry?
OSHA’s 1910.146 is the regulation that governs confined spaces in general industry. Very conveniently, 1910.146 includes a definition of “confined space” right in the Section 2, Definitions section of the standard.
According to the OSHA reg, a defined space has the following three characteristics:
- Large enough and configured so an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work
- Limited or restricted means for entry and exit
- Not designed for continuous employee occupancy
That’s it. If a space has all three of those characteristics, then the general industry 1910.146 regulation defines it as a confined space.
Of course, few things in life are truly that simple. For example, what does “not designed for continuous employee occupancy” really mean? (Hint: if the room has ventilation and lighting, it’s probably considered designed for continuous employee occupancy.) So you may also want to take a little time reviewing these OSHA Letters of Interpretation re: the General Industry Confined Space Standard.
The short video below is taken from our Confined Space Entry Awareness online training video and it explains the characteristics of a confined space you just learned about.
Now that you know what a confined space is, the next step is to know what a permit-required confined space is. We’ll cover that in our next look at confined spaces, so stay tuned.
Conclusion: 3 Requirements for a Confined Spaced in General Industry
Hope you enjoyed this look at the general industry requirements for a confined space. Let us know if you’ve got more questions, plus continue reading our other confined-spaced related articles, like the ones listed and linked below:
- What Is a Permit-Required Confined Space (General Industry)?
- What to Teach Employees About Confined Spaces
- Defining Confined Spaces from our business partners RedVector
In the meantime, feel free to download our FREE GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE SAFETY TRAINING.
Effective EHS Training: A Step-by-Step Guide
Learn how to design, create, deliver, and evaluate effective EHS training by following these best practices with our free step-by-step guide.