Safety Policy & Procedure Manual
Section 200: Workplace Safety
Revised: 03/23/2015


To protect employees from the hazards associated with conducting operations in and around permit-required confined spaces.


Confined Space

A space that meets all of the following:

  • Large enough and so configured that an employee can fully enter the space and perform work.
  • Has limited or restricted means for entry and/or exit.
  • Is not designed for continuous human occupancy.

Permit-Required Confined Space (permit space)

A confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Contains, or has a potential to contain, a hazardous atmosphere.
  • Contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant.
  • Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could become trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section.
  • Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard that can inhibit an entrants ability to self-rescue.


The action by which any part of an employee’s body breaks the plane of an opening into a confined space.  Entry (or entry operations) also refers to the period during which an employee occupies a confined space.


Permit-required confined space entry shall not be initiated until all applicable requirements of the Oregon State University Confined Space Entry Program have been satisfied.

Oregon State University is committed to providing a safe and healthful workplace and learning environment for all members of the University community.  The aim of this written program is to identify all permit spaces at this workplace and ensure that all authorized employees will enter, work in, and exit the spaces safely.

OSU will do the following to ensure the health and safety of those who work in and around permit spaces:

  • Evaluate identified confined spaces to determine if they have the characteristics of a permit space.
  • Develop a directory of all permit spaces.
  • Prohibit unauthorized employees from entering a permit space.
  • Train authorized entrants, attendants, and entry supervisors so that they have the skills necessary to fulfill their duties.
  • Inform affected employees of the location and the hazards in each permit space.
  • Provide all necessary equipment for permit-space work at no cost to employees, maintain the equipment, and ensure that employees use the equipment properly.
  • Inform all affected employees when there are changes to this written program.
  • Inform contractors about the permit-space program and coordinate entry operations.

Scope and Application

This policy applies to anyone who is engaged in duties or activities connected to the University.

Responsibilities for managing the program



Environmental Health & Safety

Overall implementation and maintenance of the written program.

Department Supervisors

Training affected employees.

Ensure that authorized entrants, attendants, and entry supervisors are properly trained.
Ensure that all other effected employees have awareness training.

Entry Supervisors
(supported by EH&S)

Location, identification, & evaluation of all confined spaces at this workplace.

Environmental Health & Safety
(supported by Entry Supervisors)

Planning for emergencies.

Ensure that emergency rescue is available and that responders are informed about all permit spaces at the workplace and have access to the spaces for drills and training exercises.

Entry Supervisors


Ensure that all equipment for authorized attendants and entrants is properly maintained and available when needed.

Confined Space Entry Program Overview

Please refer to the EH&S Safety Instruction Document Confined Spaces.