OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

October 21, 1993

Mr. John A. Anderson
Process Safety Engineer
BASF Corporation
100 Cherry Hill Road
Parsippany, N.J. 07054

Dear Mr. Anderson:

Thank you for your letter of June 24, requesting an interpretation of the provision of the Permit Required Confined Spaces Standard (29 CFR Part 1910.146(e)(6)) which requires employers to retain canceled entry permits for at least one year, to facilitate the review of the permit space program required by 29 CFR 1910.146(d)(14).

Under paragraph (d)(14), a program review must be performed within one year of each entry. The BASF policy of conducting the review on a quarterly basis complies with that requirement. It is not necessary to retain the canceled permits if the employer retains documentation of the quarterly reviews in order to demonstrate compliance with the standard. In particular, the documentation must include any information regarding problems encountered during entry operations that was recorded to comply with paragraph (e)(6). The quarterly review must also indicate any revision of the program that resulted from such problems.

We will continue to address this issue in future guidance to our field staff and will consider it if OSHA acts to revise the standard.

Thank you for your inquiry.


Roger A. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs