Risk Management Services

A Unit of the Business Affairs Division

Confined Space Entry

Background

A confined space is a space that:

  • Is large enough and configured so that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work
  • Has limited or restricted means for entry and exit (for example, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, manholes, vaults, and pits are spaces that may have limited means of entry
  • Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy

Employees who work in confined spaces face significant risks from safety and health hazards including: asphyxiating, combustible and/or toxic atmospheres, moving parts, engulfment hazards, noise, heat, cold, electrical shock hazards, falls, communication problems, difficulty entering and exiting, etc. To control or eliminate the hazards posed by confined spaces, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the Permit-Required Confined Spaces standard, also known as "The Confined Space Standard." Under this standard, the University is required to:

  • Identify all permit-required confined spaces in their workplace
  • Prevent unauthorized entry into them
  • Train and protect authorized workers (including contractors) from confined space hazards through a written Permit-Space Entry Program

The University of Arizona's Confined Space Entry Program

Risk Management Services has developed the University of Arizona's Confined Space Entry Program (pdf format). The program provides guidance for protecting employees from hazards associated with entry into and work within confined spaces. It also provides guidance for achieving compliance with OSHA's Permit-Required Confined Spaces Standard.