Environmental Health & Safety

Confined Space

Confined spaces may contain atmospheric or physical hazards that can quickly and unpredictably incapacitate an individual. Rescue efforts can be hampered by the hazards and configuration of the space, and unauthorized rescuers can become victims.

Some possible confined spaces at WSU include: grain silos, utility vaults, boilers, sewage pumps, lift stations, air plenums and ducts, pits, and sanitary manholes.

When employees have to enter a confined space meeting the following conditions, it requires them to be covered by WSU’s Permit Required Confined Space Program:

  • Allows physical entry by employees,
  • Has limited means of entry/exit,
  • Is not designed for continuous occupancy, and
  • Has hazardous condition(s)
    • Potential or known hazardous atmospheres (such as low oxygen levels; air contaminants)
    • Any material capable of engulfing an employee
    • Inwardly sloping walls

Contact Occupational Health & Safety (335-3041) to evaluate potential confined spaces prior to entry.


Employees are required to be authorized to enter a permit required confined space by attending training. Contact Occupational Health & Safety to schedule training.


Fact Sheet: Confined Space – No Room for Error

Checkout a Video:

OHS -088 “Confined Space Enrty: Permit Required!

OHS-010 “Confined Space Safety I: Confined Space Entry

OHS-011 “Out in the Open”

Safety Policies and Procedures Manual: Confined Spaces





Environmental Health & Safety, PO Box 641172, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1172, 509-335-3041, Contact Us