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Confined Space Program

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that companies must establish and maintain a robust Confined Space Program if they have permit-required confined spaces within their facilities. These spaces, which can pose significant risks to employees, are characterized by their limited means of entry or exit and are not intended for continuous occupancy. Whether it’s navigating through narrow passageways, using ladders for access, or facing potential hazards like hazardous atmospheres, engulfment risks, or other safety hazards, proper management is essential.

At CDMS, we understand the critical importance of safeguarding your workforce in these challenging environments. Our service goes beyond compliance; we work with you to develop a tailored Confined Space Program that not only meets regulatory requirements but also empowers your employees with the knowledge and techniques necessary to ensure their safety.

With CDMS, you can rest assured that your Confined Space Program will be comprehensive, meticulously designed, and accompanied by thorough employee training to navigate these challenging workspaces safely and effectively.

Regulatory bodies
  • Cal/OSHA (California Occupational Safety & Health Association)
Who needs it

Occupational Safety & Health Association (OSHA) requires that companies develop and maintain a Confined Space Program if a permit-required confined space exists at a facility.

A Confined Space is a space large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work. In addition, a confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. This could mean small, narrow or cramped passageways, entry or exit is by means of a ladder or other equipment in the space that may make evacuation and rescue difficult.

A Permit-Required Confined Space is a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • an hazardous atmosphere – lack of oxygen, oxygen enriched, toxic, or flammable atmosphere, airborne combustible dust, any atmospheric condition that is immediately dangerous to life or health.
  • an engulfment hazard potential to trap or asphyxiate entrant – converging walls or floors which slope or taper to a smaller area
  • a safety or health hazard – turning, exposed blades, a hole, etc.
Regulation reference
  • Cal/OSHA Title 8, Section 5156.
  • Cal/OSHA Title 8, Section 5157.
  • Cal/OSHA Title 8, Section 5158.
  • Cal/OSHA Title 8, Section 3203.
What our service provides:

CDMS will develop a confined space program and train employees in the techniques to implement the program.

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What is a confined space, and how is it defined in California?
A confined space is an area with limited entry or exit and not designed for continuous occupancy. In California, it includes Permit Required Confined Spaces with specific hazards.

What types of hazards can be found in confined spaces?
Confined spaces can contain hazards such as toxic gases, flammable materials, engulfment hazards, and physical obstructions.

Do all confined spaces require a Confined Space Program?
No, only spaces that meet the criteria of a confined space and have potential hazards require a Confined Space Program.

Who is responsible for implementing the Confined Space Program?
Employers are responsible for implementing and maintaining the program. They must designate a competent person to oversee confined space entry operations.

What is a confined space entry permit, and when is it required?
A confined space entry permit is a written document that authorizes entry into a confined space. It is required for all non-permit-required confined spaces and permit-required confined spaces.

How can we determine if a confined space is “permit-required”?
A confined space is considered “permit-required” if it contains any recognized hazards that could endanger entrants. A hazard assessment should be conducted to make this determination.

What training is required for employees entering confined spaces?
Employees must receive training on confined space hazards, entry procedures, and emergency response. Training should be provided before they enter confined spaces and periodically thereafter.

What equipment and protective gear are required for confined space entry?
Equipment may include respiratory protection, fall protection, gas detectors, and communication devices. The specific gear required depends on the hazards present.

How often should confined spaces be evaluated for hazards?
Confined spaces should be evaluated for hazards before each entry and whenever conditions change. Regular inspections are crucial to maintaining safety.

What is the role of the entry supervisor?
The entry supervisor is responsible for authorizing entry, ensuring safety measures are in place, and overseeing entry and exit procedures.

Can workers enter a confined space alone?
No, confined space entry should always be conducted by a team. At least one attendant should be stationed outside the space to monitor conditions and assist in emergencies.

What is the procedure for rescuing workers from a confined space in an emergency?
A rescue plan should be in place, and rescue personnel should be trained and equipped to respond quickly in the event of an emergency. Never enter a confined space to rescue someone without proper training and equipment.

Are contractors required to follow our Confined Space Program?
Yes, contractors working in confined spaces on your premises must adhere to your Confined Space Program or have their own compliant program.

How often should confined space entry procedures be reviewed and updated?
Procedures should be reviewed and updated as needed, especially when there are changes in the workplace, equipment, or processes.

Is documentation of confined space entry required?
Yes, a record of confined space entry permits, hazard assessments, training, and rescue drills should be maintained for a specific period, usually five years.

What are the consequences of not having a Confined Space Program or not following it?
Non-compliance can lead to accidents, injuries, fatalities, fines, and legal liabilities.

Can confined spaces be reclassified as non-permit spaces?
Yes, after a thorough hazard assessment, if it is determined that no hazards exist, a confined space can be reclassified as a non-permit space.

Is air monitoring required for all confined space entries?
Air monitoring is typically required for all confined space entries to ensure that atmospheric conditions are safe.

How do I know if my company’s Confined Space Program is compliant with California regulations?
You can consult with safety experts, conduct regular audits, and stay informed about Cal/OSHA regulations to ensure compliance.

If you still need assistanace, please Contact Us to get support or request a Confined Space Program. Our skilled team of EH&S specialists is ready to assist you.

Where can I find additional resources and guidance on Confined Space Programs in California?
The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and Cal/OSHA provide resources, guidelines, and training materials to help you develop and maintain a compliant Confined Space Program.

Please Contact Us to get support or request a Confined Space Program. Our skilled team of EH&S specialists is ready to assist you.