1. What characteristics of a confined space make it dangerous for employees?
- The size and/or shape of such spaces can hinder the activities of employees who must enter into, work in, or exit from them
- Employees who work in confined spaces face increased risk of injury from hazards such as entrapment, engulfment, and hazardous atmospheres
- Employees may have to work closer to hazards - such as machinery components - than they would otherwise do so.
- Responding to emergencies that occur in a confined space can be difficult
2. What is the difference between a confined space and a permit-required confined space?
By definition, a confined space:
- Is large enough for an employee to enter
- Is not designed for continuous occupancy
- Has a limited or restricted means of entry or exit
By definition, a permit-required confined space has one or more of the following characteristics:
- Contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
- Contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant
- Has an internal configuration that could trap or asphyxiate an entrant
- Contains another recognized serious safety or health hazard
3. What should you do before entering a non-permit required confined space?
- Verify that it qualifies as a non-permit required space.
- Consider the work you will be performing and whether that could change the status of the space.
- Talk to your manager or supervisor if you have any concerns.
4. True or false? By definition, a permit-required confined space must be an enclosed space.
The answer is false.
- A confined space does not have to be an enclosed space.
- Many confined spaces - both permit and non-permit - are in fact “open” spaces.
Some examples of open-top confined spaces include:
- Individual hoppers of a rail hopper car
- Water tanks
Confined space work is inherently dangerous. If your job involves entering confined spaces, always follow safe procedures - your life depends on it.