From OSHA’s Confined Spaces website section:
“This rule will save lives of construction workers. Unlike most general industry worksites, construction sites are continually evolving, with the number and characteristics of confined spaces changing as work progresses. This rule emphasizes training, continuous worksite evaluation and communication requirements to further protect workers’ safety and health.”
— Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels
A confined space – such as manholes, crawl spaces, tanks – is not designed for continuous occupancy and is 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.
Compliance Assistance Materials
- Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs. (2015, April).
- Confined Spaces in Construction: Crawl Spaces and Attics (PDF*). OSHA Fact Sheet, (2015, May).
- Confined Spaces in Construction: Pits (PDF*). OSHA Fact Sheet, (2015, April).
- Confined Spaces in Construction: Sewer Systems (PDF*). OSHA Fact Sheet, (2015, April).
- Permit-Required Confined Spaces in General Industry (PDF). OSHA QuickCard, (OSHA 3214-2011). A Spanish version(PDF) is also available.
Federal Register Notices
- Confined Spaces in Construction. Proposed Rule: 72 FR 67351-67425. (2007, November 28).
- Silent Killer in a Newly Constructed Manhole (PPT*). OSHA.
- Construction Confined Space Stakeholder Meetings. OSHA.
- Report of the Small Business Advocacy Review Panel on the Draft OSHA Standard for Confined Spaces in Construction. OSHA Docket S107A, (2003, November 24).
- Calibrating and Testing Direct-Reading Portable Gas Monitors. OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIBs), (2013, September 30). Provides workers and employers guidance on calibrating and testing direct-reading portable gas monitors (hereafter, “DRPGMs” or “instruments”).
- Confined Spaces. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page.
This standard will be effective on
August 3, 2015.
- Confined spaces rule could protect nearly 800 construction workers a year from serious injuries and reduce life-threatening hazards. OSHA News Release, (2015, May 1).