Difference Between a Permit-required and a Non-permit Required Confined Space

What is the difference between a permit-required confined space and a non-permit required confined space? Provide examples that illustrate the difference. Once employees are authorized to enter a permit-required space, what ongoing measures must be in place to ensure their continued safety?

OSHA identifies confined spaces as a space with large enough space to allow a worker to enter ad do some work, with restricted or limited exit or entry means and is not structured for continuous occupancy. Permit-required confined space is the spaces which meet OSHA confined space definition and contain safety or health hazards. In this case it should have one or more extra specification that the three named above. This may include presence of a substance which has the potential to asphyxiate or engulf the entrant, hazardous atmosphere ability, or walls that converging inwardly or floors which slope down. In this regard, OSHA demands that workers should have a permit to get into these spaces. Non-permit confined space refers to a confined space which does not have or does not contain atmospheric hazard or extra hazardous features specified above (OSHA.gov, 2004).This means the confined space only contains the three initially identified characteristics that OSHA use to define confined space. When an employee is allowed to permit-required confined space the employer need to create and implement a written permit space program which complies with OSHA rules. This program will be accessible for employees and authorized representatives’ inspection. The employer must demonstrate that the ventilation of the air is enough to sustain life. Measures to control or eliminate the identified hazards should also be put in place to protect the employee who is to work in permit-required hazardous space (OSHA.gov, 2004).


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