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Confined Spaces
National Summary

This topic covers OSHA’s Confined Spaces general industry regulation, which applies to spaces that have limited means of entry and/or exit and are not designed for continuous occupancy. Some confined spaces are classified as permit-required confined spaces. These spaces typically contain hazardous atmospheric conditions, pose engulfment or entrapment hazards, or contain other serious hazards. There is a separate rule for Confined Spaces (Construction).

Employers whose workplaces contain permit-required confined spaces must implement a comprehensive space-entry program. Entry into a permit-required confined space must be limited to authorized entrants. Other safety requirements include testing the confined space, monitoring entrants, establishing retrieval procedures, and providing appropriate training.

For related resources and training materials, refer to the following topics:

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Interpretations Determining whether an aircraft fuel tank is considered a confined spaces. 03/05/2008National
Interpretations Explanation from OSHA of the not designed for continuous human occupancy component if the definition of the term confined spaces. 06/22/1995National
Interpretations Interpretation of the provision of the Permit Required Confined Spaces Standard. 10/06/1995National
Interpretations Requirements for posting signs for PRCSs. 07/22/1998National
Interpretations When permits are required for entry into a permit required confined spaces. 10/18/1995National
Directives 05/05/1995 - CPL 2.100 - Application of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces 07/22/2003National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Confined spaces standard for general industry. 09/23/1993National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Elevator Industry Employees working in and around pits and equipment. 09/19/1994National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Elevator repair and servicing. 10/20/1993National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Order of testing for permit spaces. 07/13/1994National
Interpretations 1910.146 - OSHA does not cross reference general industry and construction standards. 01/27/1994National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Permit Required Confined Spaces Standard as it applies to certain operations. 10/22/1993National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Permit Required Confined Spaces Standard as it relates to rescue services. 05/09/1994National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Permit Required Confined Spaces Standard requires employers to retain canceled entry permits for at least one year. 10/21/1993National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Permit space entry. 08/08/1994National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Permit-Required Confined Spaces for General Industry. 08/04/1993National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Permit-required confined spaces standard does not apply where DOT/OPS regulations apply to working conditions. 05/25/1994National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Permit-Required Confined Spaces standard. 03/18/1994National
Interpretations 1910.146 - PRCS interpretation concerning a hydropower dam's 22 foot diameter sluice tunnel. 06/01/1995National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Reclassification of silver inspection services' tank containers. 09/20/1994National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Rescue Equipment Requirements. 09/09/1994National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Summit's training program on confined spaces entry. 10/15/1993National
Interpretations 1910.146 - The appropriate atmospheric monitoring equipment to the wine making industry for compliance with OSHA standard 1910.146. 06/21/1995National
Interpretations 1910.146 - The relationship between the OSHA standards on Permit-Required Confined Spaces and Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills. 09/16/1994National
Interpretations 1910.146 - What OSHA safety standards are applicable to underground sewer pipeline inspection camera systems. 07/11/1995National
Interpretations 1910.146 - Work performed in conjunction with insulated enclosures. 07/13/1993National
Interpretations 1910.261 - Confined Spaces provisions of 29 CFR 1910.261 in light of the promulgation of 29 CFR 1910.146. 07/07/1993National
Interpretations 1910.5 - Interpretation of coverage for the telecommunications industry with regard to the new Permit-Required Confined Spaces standard. 05/19/1993National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1910.146 Permit-required confined spaces  National
Interpretations A chest freezer is not considered a PRCS. 04/24/1998National
Interpretations A confined space atmosphere above a PEL is not always a "hazardous atmosphere" [1910.146(b)] 03/26/1999National
Interpretations A possible conflict between exposure record retention.[1910.1020; 1910.146] 11/26/1996National
Interpretations A possible conflict between exposure record retention.[1910.1020; 1910.146] 11/26/1996National
Interpretations Alternative procedures for the non-entry rescue provision [1910.146] 05/05/1994National
Interpretations An attendant may participate in non-entry confined space rescue under certain conditions [1910.146(k); 1910.146(i)] 06/06/2000National
Interpretations Answers to specific questions concerning the permit-required confined spaces standard [1910.146] 12/20/1994National
Interpretations Applicability of 1910.146 to fall hazards into pits 02/23/1999National
Interpretations Applicability of OSHA's PRCS standard to gas industry.[1910.146; 1975.1] 06/01/1994National
Interpretations Applicability of the confined-space standard to dock-leveler pits [1910.146; 1910.147] 12/02/2002National
Interpretations Applicability of the PRCS standard to aircraft maintenance activities [1910.146] 05/12/2009National
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