Knowing how to work safely in and around confined spaces, and knowing how to comply with the OSHA regulations for confined spaces, begins with knowing what a confined space is.
Read below to learn the three simple criteria for a confined space.
OSHA's 1910.146 is the regulation that governs confined spaces in general industry. Very conveniently, 1910.146 includes a definition of "confined space" right in the Section 2, Definitions section of the standard.
According to the OSHA reg, a defined space has the following three characteristics:
That's it. If a space has all three of those characteristics, then the general industry 1910.146 regulation defines it as a confined space.
Of course, few things in life are truly that simple. For example, what does "not designed for continuous employee occupancy" really mean? (Hint: if the room has ventilation and lighting, it's probably considered designed for continuous employee occupancy.) So you may also want to take a little time reviewing these OSHA Letters of Interpretation re: the General Industry Confined Space Standard.
The short video below is taken from our Confined Space Entry Awareness online training video and it explains the characteristics of a confined space you just learned about.
Now that you know what a confined space is, the next step is to know what a permit-required confined space is. We'll cover that in our next look at confined spaces, so stay tuned.
Hope you enjoyed this look at the general industry requirements for a confined space. Let us know if you've got more questions, plus continue reading our other confined-spaced related articles, like the ones listed and linked below: