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OSHA Software Expert Systems

OSHA e-PRCS Software - Public Test Version
September, 2000

DISCLAIMER: The expert advisor referenced on this page was designed several years ago and although it should function using the latest versions of Windows without problem, there may be instances where it is no longer compatible (i.e., Windows 64-bit).

OSHA's e-PRCS Software - Public Test Version 1.0 is interactive, compliance assistance software. It will help you prepare a written permit-required confined space program. Version 1.0 of e-PRCS is a DRAFT, not a final product. Public Test Version 1.0 reflects revisions, corrections, and clarifications of 29 CFR 1910.146 published by OSHA in the Federal Register on December 1, 1998. OSHA invites you to try out this software, and welcomes your comments and suggestions on it.

Using e-PRCS, you can:

  • Save time: Create and update your program in less time.
  • Save money: Prepare and update your program more efficiently.
  • Better understand OSHA requirements: Increase your awareness of OSHA requirements under 1910.146 and additional OSHA regulations through the software prompts and help text.
  • Increase the likelihood that your program is OSHA compliant: e-PRCS contains model language for meeting the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.146.

e-PRCS assists you in developing your written program by prompting you for information about your particular work-site, confined spaces, and company policies and procedures. It consists of five separates sections: Overall PRCS Program Responsibility, Identification and Evaluation of Confined Spaces, Prevention of Unauthorized Entry, Entry Equipment and PPE, and Rescue and Emergency Procedures. e-PRCS also provides you compliance assistance and user help via help text buttons and links to compliance information on the OSHA web site.

e-PRCS is an easy-to-use software. It cannot, however, make many of the safety and health decisions necessary to ensure your plan is effective. The person developing your plan should have the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and evaluate the hazards associated with confined spaces and permit space entry operations. An experienced safety professional and/or industrial hygienist should assist in characterizing confined spaces at your workplace and developing appropriate hazard controls. In addition, personnel with the proper experience to evaluate potential air contaminants and choose instruments for those contaminants must perform the selection of air monitoring instruments. Finally, the ongoing involvement of safety and health personnel is essential. Site conditions or work operations may change over time and your confined spaces program and procedures must be updated to reflect the changes. The involvement of qualified safety and health staff will ease your development, implementation, and maintenance of your confined spaces program and help to ensure the well being of your employees.

e-PRCS can be used in conjunction with OSHA's Confined Spaces Advisor. The Confined Spaces Advisor helps you identify confined spaces and determine whether they are permit-required. e-PRCS helps you prepare a written program for the permit-required confined spaces you identify. A written PRCS program generated with this software does not relieve you from your obligation as an employer to comply with the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.146. If the information you enter into the program is accurate and informed, the written program generated by this software is likely to be consistent with OSHA's standard. You can then use the written program to guide you in implementing effective procedures. Ultimately, however, you, as the employer, must ensure compliance with the OSHA standards and the safety and health of your employees.

Notes on the e-PRCS Software:
The e-PRCS software is distributed from the OSHA Web site as a single self-extracting file. The file that you need to download depends on whether or not you have Microsoft Access 97® or later software installed on your computer. A "Troubleshooting" section is included in the e-PRCS User Manual. In addition, problems not answered in the Troubleshooting section of the User Manual, may be addressed on the e-PRCS Help Page.

Notice: We are aware that there may be difficulties for some users who use McAfee Anti-Virus Software®. If you use McAfee Anti-Virus Software and are downloading the file for "Users Without Microsoft Access 97®", the anti-virus software may indicate that the file is infected with an unknown virus and that it cannot be cleaned. This has occurred with users who have McAfee Anti-Virus version 4.5 with the 4.0.70 Scan Engine and the 4.0.4094 and 4.0.4095 virus definitions. The file has been validated using multiple anti-virus software packages and does not contain a virus. For users with McAfee Anti-Virus, please download the latest virus definitions update to correct any mis-readings. We have downloaded and successfully validated the file using McAfee Anti-Virus using the 4.0.4096 virus definitions.

Users with Microsoft Access 97®

This software is distributed as a single compressed file, e-prcs_mdb.zip (File Size: 640 Kb). It may take 1 or 2 minutes to download with a 56Kb modem.

Users without Microsoft Access 97®

This software is distributed as a single compressed file, e-prcs_com.zip (File Size: 10.7 Mb). This is a large file because it is a Windows program. It may take about 25 minutes to download with a 56Kb modem.

e-PRCS User's Manual

The user manual is divided into two sections for posting: the main body and the appendices. The main body and appendices are posted as PDF documents.

Users with Microsoft Access 97®

To install and run the e-PRCS software:

  • Download the E-PRCS_MDB.ZIP file to your C: drive.
  • Extract all files using Windows® File Manager or Windows® Explorer.
  • Then open the E-PRCS_MDB.MDB file with Microsoft® Access.

Users without Microsoft Access 97®

If you do not have Microsoft® Access installed on your PC, you need to download the User Manual and the Run-time version of e-PRCS. This file provides Access software with the e-PRCS files.

For the Run-time file, you need:

  • 486 or higher processor
  • Windows® 95 or higher
  • 12MB RAM
  • Approximately 15MB Hard Disk Space

To install and run the e-PRCS software:

  • Download the e-PRCS_COM.ZIP file to your C: drive.
  • Extract all files using Windows® File Manager or Windows® Explorer.
  • Then double click on setup.exe file (in the temporary folder) to automatically install the software in C:\e-PRCS\ and create the icons in your Start Menu.


OSHA invites the public to download, use, and comment on this e-PRCS. OSHA has incorporated many good suggestions from commenters who reviewed other OSHA software.

e-PRCS was developed by MaryAnn Garrahan and Earl Cook of OSHA. System design and programming services were provided by ATL International. e-PRCS is programmed in Microsoft Access® using Visual Basic coding.

If you have a suggestion or comment on this software, please submit them to: e-prcs.comments@dol.gov

If you have safety or health problems in your workplace, you should contact your local OSHA office.

* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs at (202) 693-2129 for assistance accessing ZIP and PDF materials.

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