Hazards and Solutions
Confined spaces may be encountered in virtually any occupation; therefore, their recognition is the first step in preventing fatalities. Since deaths in confined spaces often occur because the atmosphere is oxygen-deficient, toxic or combustible, confined spaces that contain or have the potential to contain a serious atmospheric hazard should be classified as Permit-required confined spaces and should be tested prior to entry and continually monitored. The following references aid in recognizing and evaluating hazards and possible solutions related to confined spaces.
- Confined Spaces Advisor. OSHA. Provides an interactive expert help for the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Standard (29 CFR 1910.146). Assists users in identifying confined spaces and deal with permit-required confined spaces.
- Permit-required Confined Spaces. OSHA QuickCard™ (Publication 3214), (2013). Also available in Español.
- Procedures for Atmospheric Testing in Confined Spaces. OSHA Fact Sheet, (September 2005).
- Working Outdoors in Warm Climates. OSHA Fact Sheet, (September 2005).
- Small Business Safety and Health Handbook. OSHA Publication 2209, (2022). Summarizes the benefits of an effective safety and health program, provides self-inspection checklists for employers to identify workplace hazards, and reviews key workplace safety and health resources for small businesses.
- Permit-required Confined Spaces. OSHA Publication 3138, (2004).
- Hydrogen Sulfide. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page. Provides information on how hydrogen sulfide can affect your health, where you might find it, and how to prevent harmful exposures.
- Hurricane Preparedness and Response. OSHA. Includes information such as news releases, public service announcements, fact sheets, frequently asked questions, and more.
- Confined Space Entry on a Farm. OSHA Fatal Facts No. 16, (2018). Highlights the importance of identifying confined spaces in agricultural workplaces to prevent another fatality.
- Confined Spaces in Residential Construction. OSHA Fact Sheet (Publication 3914), (June 2017).
- Confined Spaces. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topic.
- NIOSH Warns Farmers of Deadly Risk of Grain Suffocation. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 93-116, (April 28, 1993). Discusses cases of nine farmers that suffocated to death in stored grain after being buried alive.
- Preventing Deaths of Farm Workers in Manure Pits. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 90-103, (May 1990). Describes seven deaths from asphyxiation (suffocation) that occurred during two incidents involving entry into manure pits.
- Preventing Occupational Fatalities in Confined Spaces. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 86-110, (January 1986).
- Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Working in Confined Spaces. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 80-106, (December 1979).
- Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Concentrates on investigations of fatal occupational injuries, causes of death and recommendations for accident prevention. The following worker fatal injury facts were found in occupational confined space:
- Two Men Die in Well Cleaning Operation-Maryland. Maryland FACE Investigation 9317.
- Carbon Monoxide Kills Three Volunteer Firefighters Inside Well in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania FACE Investigation 9030.
- Three Sanitation Workers and One Policeman Die in an Underground Sewage Pumping Station in Kentucky. Kentucky FACE Investigation 8531.
- Completed Investigations. U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB).
- Valero Refinery Asphyxiation Incident. Delaware City, DE, (November 2, 2006).
- Union Carbide Corp. Nitrogen Asphyxiation Incident. Hahnville, LA, (February 23, 1999).
- OSHA Confined Space Entry Poster. National Ag Safety Database (NASD).
- Confined Space Hazards a Threat to Farmers. National Ag Safety Database (NASD), (April 2002). Discusses modern farming methods that have brought new dangers that arise from farmers entering confined areas where oxygen levels may be inadequate or where toxic gases are present.
- Beware of Manure Pit Hazards. National Ag Safety Database (NASD), (April 2002). Discusses cases that have been reported where several individuals have died while attempting to rescue a coworker or family member from a manure pit.
- Confined Space Entry Policy and Procedures Manual. St. Olaf College.