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Human Resources Department

Occupational Safety & Health Unit

Confined Spaces

Confined Space Warning Sign on a Concrete Wall

Confined spaces such as manholes, crawl spaces, and tanks are not designed for continuous occupancy, can present an oxygen deficient atmosphere, and are difficult to exit in the event of an emergency. People working in confined spaces face life-threatening hazards including toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions, and asphyxiation. The definition of confined spaces are work areas that:
  • Are large enough for an employee to enter
  • Have limited means of entry or exit
  • Are not designed for continuous occupancy
  • Have a potential for a compromised atmosphere

These spaces can present physical and atmospheric hazards that can be mitigated if addressed prior to entering the space to perform work.

To get more information on the applicability of this program for a specific County operation please contact the corresponding departmental Safety Coordinator.

For further information on specific regulatory guidelines please refer to the link(s) below.

Cal-OSHA Confined Spaces Guidelines

Cal-OSHA Emphasis Program

Cal-OSHA Overview Presentation