Confined Space

Title 8, 5158. Other Confined Space Operations.

A confined space is an enclosed or partially enclosed space:

A confined space is not designed for intended human occupancy, a restricted entrance or exit by way of location, size or represent a risk for the health and safety of anyone who enters, due to one or more of the following factors:

The design, construction, location or atmosphere the materials or substances in it work activities being carried out in it, or the mechanical, process and safety hazards present Confined spaces can be below or above ground. Confined spaces can be found in almost any workplace. A confined space, despite its name, is not necessarily small.
Examples of confined spaces include silos, vats, hoppers, utility vaults, tanks, sewers, pipes, access shafts, truck or rail tank cars, aircraft wings, boilers, manholes, manure pits and storage bins. Ditches and trenches also may be a confined space when access is limited.

Hazards in confined spaces can include:

Poor air quality: Insufficient amount of oxygen for the worker to breathe. Substance that could make the worker ill or even cause the worker to lose consciousness in the atmosphere might contain a poisonous. maintain Breathable quality air alone will often not be sufficient with natural ventilation. Chemical exposure to skin contact or ingestion as well as inhalation of bad gases or poisons are hazardous and sometimes lethal.
Fire hazard: May be a flammable/explosive atmosphere due to sensitive ignitable liquids and gases and combustible dusts which if ignited would lead to fire or explosion.
Hazards process related such as residual chemicals, release of contents of a supply line.

When looking for hazards in a confined space many factors need to be evaluated. There is smaller margin for error. Evaluating potential hazards can have more serious consequences when failing to identify a error. In some cases, confined space conditions are always extremely hazardous. In other cases, unusual combination conditions are life threatening in some circumstances. This unpredictability and variability is why hazard assessments are extremely important and need to be taken very seriously every time.