The OSHA confined space entry standards for general industry (1910.146) and construction (1926 Subpart AA) require privately-owned businesses, non-profit organizations, and affected governmental organizations to implement a comprehensive confined space entry program for their employees who are involved in confined space entry work. A key element of that program is providing confined space training for all affected workers involved in confined space entry work. This includes all confined space entrants, attendants, and entry supervisors at general industry and construction work sites with permit-required confined spaces, as well as the entrants and attendants, entry supervisors, and competent person at construction sites.
Have a highly qualified instructor conduct an on site confined space training class for your group of employees. The confined space training can be based on the OSHA 1910.146 general industry standards for entering permit-required confined spaces, or the newer OSHA 1926 Subpart AA confined spaces for construction standards. The class can also incorporate the differences, if any, that appear in the confined space entry standards issued by a state OSHA program. This service is available to all employers located across the United States and territories.
Also, trainees have the option to take one of our comprehensive online confined space training courses, available for the construction industry and for general industry. Course options include training for entrants and attendants, entry supervisors, and the competent person at construction sites. Basic “How to Identify Permit Spaces” courses for construction sites and general industry sites also available. Sign up one student, or use our free Learner Management System (LMS) to purchase multiple courses / assign to students / track their progress. Course immediately available upon registration. Students can train at their own pace, logging in and out at any time, even from different computers / devices. Print your personalized confined space entry training certification upon successful completion of your course.
ON-SITE CONFINED SPACE ENTRY TRAINING CLASS
- Training class conducted for a group at your location
- Class based on 1926 construction standards or 1910 general industry standards for confined space entry
- Training covers confined space entrants, attendants, entry supervisors, and the competent person
ONLINE CONFINED SPACE TRAINING CERTIFICATION COURSES
- Log in and out, train at your pace. Print your cert when done
- Courses based on either 1926 construction or 1910 general industry confined space entry standards
- Courses for entrants and attendants, entry supervisors and the competent person, business owners and managers
How to Identify Permit Required Confined Spaces
Want to learn how to determine if you even have a permit-required confined space at your work site? You can learn how to make that determination by taking one of the following “How to” courses online.
How to Identify Permit Required Confined Spaces at General Industry Work Sites
- Based on OSHA 1910.146 standards
- Instant access
- Train at your own pace
How to Identify Permit Required Confined Spaces at Construction Sites
- Based on OSHA 1926 Subpart AA standards
- Instant access
- Train at your own pace
Confined Space Entry – Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
What is a Confined Space?
Federal OSHA confined space entry standards in 1910.146 (general industry) and 1926 Subpart AA (construction) defines a confined space as having all of the following characteristics:
- The space is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work. That basically means the space is large enough for an employee to get their entire body inside.
- The space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit. This essentially means that once an employee is inside the space, it would be difficult to get themself out quickly should an emergency develop.
- The space is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. Generally speaking, this means the space is not designed and built with built-in ventilation equipment to maintain the atmosphere at safe levels, lighting, and other systems necessary to work safely without having to implement additional safeguards.
Note that all three of these criteria must be met for the space to be considered a confined space. Expanded guidance on what is considered a confined space is available in our on site training classes and our online confined space entry training training courses, as well as in our Confined Space Training Blog.
Does OSHA Require a Permit to Enter Into All Types of Confined Spaces?
No; There are confined spaces that do not meet the OSHA definition of a permit space; these are referred to as non-permit spaces, and therefore are not regulated by OSHA’s permit-required confined space entry standards. Only confined spaces which meet the OSHA definition of a permit-required confined space must be entered under a permit entry program.
You can learn how to determine if you have any confined spaces, and then determine if they are permit-required confined spaces or non-permit spaces, by taking one of the online “How To Identify Permit Required Confined Spaces” courses available on this website.
What Determines If a Confined Space is a Permit-Required Confined Space?
According to the Federal OSHA definitions in 1910 and 1926, there are four characteristics that can make a confined space a Permit-required Confined Space. They are:
- The space contains an actual or potential hazardous atmosphere. Examples include, but are not limited to, an atmosphere that is oxygen enriched or deficient, contains a high level of flammable gas, or a gas present in a quantity that is toxic.
- The space contains a material with the potential to engulf the entrant. This could include being suddenly submerged or swept away by liquid, or being swallowed up by materials such as grain or pellets.
- The space is configured to trap and asphyxiate the entrant. Getting your body trapped when sliding down into a cone-shaped space is one example of entrapment.
- The space contains some other recognized serious safety or health hazard. This catch-all category includes a plethora of potential hazards, with a few examples being moving machinery parts that could cut or crush the entrant, steam lines that could cause a severe burn, and high-level radiation sources.
It only takes one of these characteristics to be present for the confined space to be classified as a Permit-required Confined Space. Get detailed information and expanded guidance on how to identify a permit-required confined space when you take one of our online confined space entry training training courses, or in a live training class conducted at your site.
How Do You Obtain a Permit From OSHA to Enter a Permit-required Confined Space?
OSHA does not issue permits to employers to enter confined spaces. A permit is essentially a checklist generated by the employer that lists the identity of the space to be entered, the hazards associated with that space, steps to be taken to eliminate or control the hazards, and emergency procedures for rescue and medical assistance if needed. The permit also lists all equipment to be used during entry, the names of entrants, attendants, and the identity and signature of the entry supervisor.
Our on site and online permit-required confined space training courses provide you with a template written confined space entry program with permit that can be modified to fit your needs.
How Do I Get OSHA Certified for Confined Space Entry?
First of all, be aware that OSHA does not “certify” you for permit-required confined space entry. It is the job of your trainer or online training provider to certify completion of your confined space entry training. OSHA rules that speak to documentation of confined space entry training say that trainers must “certify” the employee training was conducted by preparing a written “certification” that includes the name of the student, the name of the trainer, and the date of the training, as well as identifies the subject covered as confined space training.
Here is the exact verbiage taken from the OSHA permit-required confined space entry training standards regarding certification of training:
“1910.146(g)(4) – The employer shall certify that the training required by paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(3) of this section has been accomplished. The certification shall contain each employee’s name, the signatures or initials of the trainers, and the dates of training. The certification shall be available for inspection by employees and their authorized representatives.”
So, as you can see, OSHA simply requires employers to document the training provided to their workers who enter permit-required confined spaces in a specific format, which is referred to by OSHA as a training certification. The requirement for certification is the same regardless of whether the training was conducted in-house, by an outside trainer, or via an online confined space entry training course.
So, rest assured that, Yes, our on site and online confined space training classes are certified per the OSHA requirements outlined above.
Does OSHA Require Only Those Employees Who Enter Into a Permit-required Confined Space Be Trained?
No; all employees who are involved with entry into confined spaces regulated under the OSHA standards must be trained. That would include not only the entrants, but also anyone serving as an attendant, entry supervisor, and, where applicable, employees designated to operate gas detection equipment or who perform rescue and medical services.
Does OSHA Require Employees Involved in Confined Space Entry Operations Be Provided With Refresher Training Every Year?
No, they do not. What OSHA standards require is that training shall be provided to each affected employee before the employee is first assigned duties associated with confined space entry, before there is a change in assigned duties, any time there is there is a change in permit space operations that presents a hazard about which an employee has not previously been trained, whenever new equipment on which the employee is untrained is going to be utilized, any time the employer has reason to believe either that there are deviations from permit space entry procedures, or, when it is apparent there are inadequacies in the employee’s knowledge or use of these procedures.
Be aware that OSHA does require employers ensure their employees who perform non-entry rescue and those designated to serve on in-house rescue teams practice making permit space rescues at least once every 12 months, by means of simulated rescue operations in which they remove dummies, manikins, or actual persons from the actual permit spaces or from representative permit spaces that, with respect to opening size, configuration, and accessibility, simulate the types of permit spaces from which rescue is to be performed.
Can A Person Acting as Entry Supervisor for Confined Space Entry Operations Also Perform The Duties of an Entrant or Attendant, or Are They Restricted to Acting Only as Entry Supervisor?
According to the footnote appearing with the OSHA definition of an entry supervisor, an entry supervisor overseeing entry into a permit space can also serve as an attendant for that space, or as an authorized entrant into that space, as long as that person is trained and equipped as required by OSHA for each role he or she fills.