Confined Spaces


Visit the Confined Spaces in Construction Page for information specific to construction.

What are confined spaces?
Ventilation hoses
Ventilation hoses provide air and exhaust toxic vapors during confined space entry. A guardrail would also be necessary to protect workers from potential falls.

Many workplaces contain areas that are considered "confined spaces" because while they are not necessarily designed for people, they are large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs. A confined space also has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy. Confined spaces include, but are not limited to, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, etc.

OSHA uses the term "permit-required confined space" (permit space) to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics: contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.

Standards and Enforcement

Confined spaces are addressed in specific OSHA standards for general industry, maritime, and construction.

More »

Hazards and Solutions

Provides references that may aid in recognizing and evaluating hazards and possible solutions related to confined spaces.

More »


Provides construction information related to confined spaces.

More »

Additional Resources

Provides links and references to additional resources related to confined spaces.

More »