workplaces contain spaces that are considered "confined" because
their configurations hinder the activities of employees who must enter, work
in, and exit them. A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry
or exit, and it is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. Confined
spaces include, but are not limited to underground vaults, tanks, storage bins,
manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines. OSHA uses the term
"permit-required confined space" (permit space) to describe a
confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics: contains
or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains a material
that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or
floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or
asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health
hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.
employees must first identify if a certain space is a confined space or not prior
to performing work in it. To assist with
this task, NAU Facilities employees are encouraged to consult a list of known
confined spaces on campus with the Director of Operations. All other NAU employees must call the
EH&S office (3-6109) for assistance.
EH&S can offer consultative support in the form of space
determination, permit/non-permit entry forms, and air monitoring.
For more information, please see NAU's Written Confined Space Program.