A Confined Space Program has been developed to establish a safe operating procedure for all employees and contractors entering confined spaces on university property.
Is it a confined space?
Confined spaces meet all of the following criteria:
- The space has limited or restricted means of entry or egress
- The space is large enough for an employee to enter and perform work assignments
- The space is not designed for continuous human occupancy
Is a permit required?
Permit-required confined spaces pose serious risks to entrants, such as physical injury from hazards of engulfment, entrapment, and hazardous atmospheric conditions (i.e. being overcome by toxic gases and/or oxygen deficient atmospheres).
If any one of the following conditions exist, the confined space is permit-required:
- The space contains, or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
- The space contains a material that may engulf the entrant
- The space has an internal configuration such that the entrant could become trapped of asphyxiated
- The space contains other recognized serious safety or health hazards
Confined spaces on campus
Permit-required confined spaces at American University include:
- Air handling units
- Elevator pits
- Cooling towers
- Smoke stacks and chimneys
- Sump pits
- Steam pits and tunnels
- Transformer vaults
- Trash compactors
- Crawl spaces
- Access areas above fixed ceilings
For a detailed list of known confined spaces at American University, please refer to the Confined Space Program.