Confined Spaces

What is an confined space?

An upright silo, manure pump reception pit, and grain bin are example confined spaces that are common in agriculture.

OSHA defines a confined space as a space that:

  • Is large enough and so configured that a person can bodily enter and perform assigned work;
  • Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit; and
  • Is not designed for someone to continually be in it.

Additional criteria make some spaces to be classified as “permit-required”.  These additional criteria are:

  • Contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere;
  • 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.

For further information on the OSHA confined space standard see