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Confined Space Program and Procedures

Purpose : (Saving Lives)

Compliance with the OSHA 1910.146 permit – required confined space requirements to protect employees from the risks of death and / or injury due to confined space hazards. A written permit program calls for identification of hazards in each permit space, restrictions of access to authorized personnel, control of hazards, and monitoring of permit- required confined spaces during entry.


Federal and State Law :

Standard Documentation (January 1993)

Federal Register; 54 FR 24080, CFR 29


All employer workplace surveys are to be completed by April 15, 1993.


Confined Space Defined :

A space must meet three criteria –

1. It must be large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter it and

perform the assigned work.

2. It must have limited or restricted means for entry or exit. The area OSHA office

(Augusta) clarifies this as any space with one egress.

3. It must not be designated for continuous occupancy.


Regulatory Application :

“Confined Space “ complies with the following regulations in 29 CFR 1910.120 :

29 CFR 1910.120 (e) (2) (vii) states :

“Contents…of the site safety and health plan.”

29 CFR 1910.120 (b) (4) (I) states :

“Confined Space Entry Procedures"

(Confined spaces can be further subdivided into two active classifications)

  • · Non - permit confined spaces
  • · Permit – required confined spaces


I. Permit Required Confined Space:

This is an enclosed space that…

A. is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform

assigned work.

B. has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (some examples are tanks, vessels,

silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits and diked areas).

C. is not designed for continuous employee occupancy and has one of the following


1. Contains or has a known potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere.

2. May contain a material with the potential for engulfment of an entrant.

3. Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or a floor, which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section.

4. Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.


II. Additional Confined Spaces:

This is an enclosed space that…

A. Non – Permit confined spaces do not actually or potentially contain hazards that

could cause death or serious physical harm. (example – drop ceilings and crawl spaces.)

B. Low – hazard permit spaces :

1. have low likelihood of a flammable or explosive atmosphere, atmospheric toxins or engulfment hazards.

2. no attendant would be necessary.

C. Reclassification to non- permit confined space :

***No University of Maine at Augusta employee will enter a Non-Permit or a Permit Required Confined Space.  All such matters will be reported to the Director of Facilities. ***


The following is a list of possible Permit Required and Non Permit Areas:

All employees need to consult with the Director of Facilities should access to one of the listed locations be required.

Areas currently identified as a confined space include, but are not limited to:

University of Maine at Augusta

Art & Architecture Building:


Augusta Civic Center Classrooms

Elevator Pit

Air Handler Room under bleachers

Bennett D. Katz Library Building:

Elevator Pit

Air Handler Unit III

Superior Boiler

Alumni Hall:

Coal Storage Area

Fine Arts Building:

Attic Storage adjacent to Room 124

Music Mod I:

Crawl Space under Trailer

Music Mod II:

Crawl Space under Trailer

Farmhouse Building:

Elevator Pit

Attics (3)

Jewett Hall Building:

Elevator Pit

Crawl Space under room 180 & 190


Mechanical Room over the Auditorium

Photography Mod:

Crawl Space under trailer

Maintenance Shop Building:


Pottery Shop Building:


Robinson Hall Building:

Air Handler Unit

Stoddard House:



All sewer and storm water catch basins

Over flow pipe ( inlet and outlet ) to detention pond

Underground electrical - manholes

Transformer Pad Vaults 

Underground telecom manhole


University College of Bangor

Acadia Hall:

Crawl Space under building


Bangor Hall:


Belfast Hall:

Elevator Pit

Camden Hall:


Caribou Hall:

Crawl Space under building ( boiler room access )

College Center:

Crawl Space under building ( boiler room access )

Dow Chapel

Crawl Space under building  (boiler room access)

Eastport Hall:

Crawl Space under building

Gym (YMCA)

Mechanical Pit in Mechanical room

Katandin Hall:

Crawl Space under building


Lincoln Hall:

Crawl Space under building

Mechanical Pit in boiler room

Penquist Hall:

Crawl Space under stairs (boiler room )

Schoodic Hall Building:

Crawl Space under building



All sewer and storm water catch basins

Abandoned steam pit 



Emergency Procedures:

In the event of an emergency, knowing what steps to take will increase overall safety and may minimize dangers to entrants.  The situation does not have to be lethal for it to be considered an emergency.  The first initial action in an emergency will be to get entrants out of the confined space expeditiously.

An emergency situation will be deemed to exist when:

1. There is a loss of voice communication between the entrants and the attendant

2. Oxygen levels increase or decrease outside of acceptable levels

3. Flammable gas levels increase above nominal lower explosive limit

4. Toxic levels climb above the permissible exposure limit

5. Combustible dust levels exceed lower explosive/flammable limit

6. An entrant becomes injured, asphyxiated, or for any other reason uncomfortable with their being in the space

7. Changes occur to the structural integrity of the space making it unsafe for occupancy

8. An unrelated condition outside of the confined space requiring entrants to get out of the space


Line-Hand signals to be used in the event of an emergency shall include use of the “OATH” line signal technique:

  • One tug on the tag line by the entrant to indicate they are Okay.  If used by the attendant, it takes the form of a question.  “Are you okay?”
  • Two tugs on the tag line by the entrant to indicate they wish to Advance or be given some slack.  If used by the attendant, it takes the form of a question.  “Do you need slack?”
  • Three tugs on the tag line by the entrant to indicate they wish slack Taken up.  If used by the attendant, it takes the form of a question.  “Do you need me to take up slack?”
  • Four tugs on the tag line by the entrant to indicate they need Help.  If used the attendant, it takes the form of a question.  “Do you need help?”  If sending or receiving four tugs on the tag line, be prepared to be pulled out of the space, or to pull the entrant out.
  • To confirm a Line-Hand signal, either the entrant or attendant will tug on the tag line with the same number of tugs.  If a response is different, the entrant or attendant will use the number of tugs that correspond with their response.


Example 1:  An attendant asks if the entrant is okay using one tug of the line.  The entrant confirms with one tug that they are okay.  This
procedure can also be used from the entrant to the attendant.

Example 2:  An attendant asks if the entrant needs help using four tugs of the line.  The entrant responds with one tug of the line to indicate they
are okay.  This procedure can also be used from the entrant to the attendant. 

Should an entrant become incapacitated in the space, and the other entrant cannot effectively render assistance, they are to exit the space immediately.  Confined space rescue and recovery will be dispatched to retrieve the incapacitated entrant.

Training and Documentation:

Confined space training will be incorporated into annual training for Facilities Management personnel.  This training will, at a minimum, cover the
essentials of confined space training as described by this program.  Training agendas, rosters and any other related material is to be retained for a period of one year from the time the training was conducted.  Additional documentation pertaining to confined space entry, not previously addresses by this program,
shall be retained for a minimum of one year from the date the entry was done.

Updated: 5/1/13 RCM