Confined spaces such as manholes, crawlspaces and tanks are not built for prolonged occupancy and can pose serious issues when trying to exit during an emergency. Those who work in confined spaces face life threatening risk such as asphyxiation, electrocution, explosions, and exposure to toxic materials.
In the Occupational Health and Safety Administration's manual on confined spaces, they provide everyone with definitions and explanations on how to approach work in these hazardous areas.
- There must be acceptable entry conditions. Entry and exiting the area should be safe and easy to do.
- There must be an attendant to supervise whoever will be working in the confined space.
- The authorized entrant must be trained and competent in the area they will be working.
- The area must have early warning systems that will allow the entrant to exit the workspace should an emergency arise.