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Confined Spaces in Construction

Confined Spaces - Photo Credit: iStock.com-19361324 | Copyright: montiannoowong
Confined Spaces Menu

Overview

This standard is effective as of
August 3, 2015.

Highlights

Related Topics

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.

Standards

Provides standards information for confined spaces.

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Compliance Assistance Materials

Provides compliance assistance materials for confined spaces.

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Federal Register Notices

Provides federal register notices regarding confined spaces.

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Case Studies

Provides case studies regarding confined spaces.

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Additional Resources

Provides federal register notices regarding confined spaces.

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This standard is effective as of
August 3, 2015.

Highlights

Related Topics

Workers' Rights

Workers have the right to:

  • Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
  • Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
  • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA’s rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
  • Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.

For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.

How to Contact OSHA

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.

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