Confined Spaces

Version 2 (Current Version)
All Versions:
TitleConfined Spaces
CategoryFinance, Operations and Auxiliary Services
Sub-categoryPlanning, Design and Construction Management

Confined Space Program, Office of Environmental Health and Safety, 2009, 36 pp. Placed in University Policy Manual after EXPEDITED REVIEW, transitioned without substantive change from prior version, March 25, 2013. Revised on January 30, 2017.


Safety Manager (252) 328-6166

Safety Specialist (252) 328-6166

Assistant Director (252) 328-6166

Related Policies
Additional References

29 CFR 1910.146 : Permit-Required Confined Space for General Industry

1. Introduction.

1.1. Summary.

1.1.1. Confined spaces, as defined in Section 1.3.1. below, are areas with restricted means of entry or exit. These areas can be hazardous due to limited egress and hazardous environment such as oxygen deficiency. Any work being completed in confined areas should be assessed and determined safe before entry by ECU Facilities Services or the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. This regulation applies to facilities owned and leased by ECU.

1.2. Objective.

1.2.1 The purpose of this document is to establish a regulation pursuant to which procedures are adopted and published to protect employees from the hazards associated with entry into permit-required confined spaces (PRCS) (as defined in Section 1.3.2. below) in accordance with 29 CR 1910.146, Permit-Required Confined Spaces for General Industry.

1.3. Definitions.

1.3.1. A "confined space" means a space that is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; has limited or restricted means for entry or exit; and is not designated for continuous occupancy. Examples of confined spaces include, but are not limited to, boilers, trenches, crawl spaces, utility tunnels, tanks, pits, manholes, ventilation plenums and electrical vaults.

1.3.2. A "permit-required confined space" means 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 for engulfing an entrant; has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section; or contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety maintains a list of all identified permit-required confined spaces in facilities owned and leased by East Carolina University.

2. Responsibilities and Delegation of Authority.

2.1. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety shall adopt and publish standard operating procedures that each ECU employee and contractor must comply with prior to entry into any permit-required confined space within a facility owned or leased by East Carolina University. This procedure may include, but is not limited to:

2.1.1. A process for identification and inspection of permit-required confined space facilities;

2.1.2. Identification of responsibilities of employees and contractors with regard to entry and/or modification of confined space facilities, including, but not limited to equipment and permitting requirements;

2.1.3. A process through which the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, or such other unit as may be designated in the adopted and published procedures, issues permits for entry in to confined space facilities;

2.1.4. Requirements for evaluation and monitoring of hazards relating to or arising from entry into confined space facilities;

2.1.5. Required training for employees and contractors in connection with safety of and within confined space facilities;

2.1.6. Requirements for access to and coordination with emergency services, including hazard response and rescue; and

2.1.7. Review of the related safety program on an established, periodic basis.

2.2. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety and his designee(s) in the ECU Office of Environmental Health and Safety has the following responsibilities:

2.2.1. Authorize and coordinate all confined space activities that are within the scope of this regulation;

2.2.2. Issue confined space entry permits;

2.2.3. Establish acceptable entry conditions;

2.2.4. Identify and maintain an up-to-date list of confined spaces;

2.2.5. Evaluate on a regularly scheduled basis confined spaces and designate as permit or non-permit space;

2.2.6. Develop procedures for safe entry operations;

2.2.7. Calibrate and maintain monitoring equipment;

2.2.8. Provide training opportunities for ECU employees and contractors working in confined spaces;

2.2.9. Periodically inspect and audit entry activities and equipment;

2.2.10. Maintain compliance with the agreement with Greenville Fire and Rescue for rescue and emergency services (said agreement to be signed only in compliance with applicable delegations of contract authority);

2.2.11. Conduct an annual review of all entries into permit-required confined spaces and update the written safety and monitoring program accordingly; and

2.2.12. Contractors conducting confined space entry work are required to have their own confined space program and confined space entry permit; provided, however, said contractors must also comply with the requirements of ECU's confined space program.

3. For additional information, contact the Office of Environmental Heath and Safety or visit our website.