What Does Permit-Required Confined Space Mean?
A permit-required confined space is a term used by OSHA to describe a confined space in an organization.
There are three conditions that must be met in order to define an area as a "confined space." The first is that the space must be large enough to fit an entrant, and the entrant must be able to complete some type of task while being within the space. Second, there must not be multiple entrances or exits within this space. Lastly, this must be a space that is not the usual area where employees sit or work.
Meeting one or more of the following characteristics of a confined space would deem it a permit-required confined space: a dangerous environment, the presence of harmful materials, inwardly converged walls or a downward slope that could trap the entrant, the presence of harmful exposed wires or machines, or the presence of any other harmful material.
Safeopedia Explains Permit-Required Confined Space
As per OSHA requirements, there are a few steps that an employer must follow before starting a confined-space program. The very first step in this regard is the thorough inspection of the workplace. Through the inspection, it will be determined if the workplace has permit-required confined space, as per the OSHA definition.
If the permit-required confined space is located within the workplace, the employer is obligated to inform all employees about it. The employer must also put up a sign to point out the space. The language of the sign could read something such as “DANGER—PERMIT-REQUIRED CONFINED SPACE—DO NOT ENTER!”
Once the permit-required confined space is identified, it is necessary for the employer to figure out if that confined space is going to be used in the future. There are two simple things to consider here: If the permit-required confined space is to be used in the future, it means that a worker will need a written permit to enter the area. If the employer decides that the space will not be used in the future for any purpose, he or she should take serious steps to prevent the entrance of all employees.