Confined Spaces in Construction
Confined spaces - such as manholes, crawl spaces, and tanks - are not designed for continuous occupancy and are difficult to exit in the event of an emergency. People working in confined spaces face life-threatening hazards including toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions, and asphyxiation.
This webpage contains information on the new regulation, compliance assistance documents, and other resources OSHA has to help employers and workers understand the rule. OSHA will continue to publish new guidance products in the coming months, and will post them here. Please check the website often for updates.
Construction workers often perform tasks in confined spaces - work areas that (1) are large enough for an employee to enter, (2) have limited means of entry or exit, and (3) are not designed for continuous occupancy. These spaces can present physical and atmospheric hazards that can be prevented if addressed prior to entering the space to perform work. This page is a starting point for finding information about these spaces, the hazards they may present, and ways to safely work in them.
This standard is effective as of August 3, 2015.
- Enforcement Policy for Welding, Cutting, and Heating in Confined Spaces. OSHA Memo, (February 6, 2019).
- Confined Spaces in Residential Construction. OSHA Fact Sheet, (June 2017).
- Frequently Asked Questions, (June 2016).
- Confined Spaces Litigation Settlement - Residential Construction. Confined Spaces in Construction Qs and As . OSHA Memo, (May 24, 2016).
- Confined Spaces Litigation Settlement - Telecommunications. OSHA Memo, (April 13, 2016).
- Protecting Construction Workers in Confined Spaces: Small Entity Compliance Guide. OSHA Publication 3825, (September 2015).