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Confined space HVAC safety talk

Confined space HVAC safety talk

Identifying whether there is a confined space in the workplace can sometimes be tricky. This can especially be true in HVAC due to working in a different home or building each day. Each comes with a new area to assess and work in. Confined spaces for this industry vary widely including attics, crawl spaces, small closets etc.

Is it a confined space?

An area is a confined space if the answer is yes to these three questions:

  • Is it large enough for a person to enter?
  • Is the entry/exit restricted?
  • Is the area designed for occupancy?

Is a permit required?

A permit-required confined space exists if one of these conditions are present:

Yes, to one = permit required

  • Is the atmosphere hazardous?
  • Engulfing hazard present?
  • Does it slope or have walls?
  • Other hazards present?

Simplifying the process of determining if a confined space exists will ensure employees are properly protected in areas that have a potential threat to life and health. There are no room for shortcuts. The result could have deadly consequences.

What to do when encountering a confined space:

  • Employees should not enter a confined space unless they have been through confined space training within the last 3 years
  • Determine if the space is permit required
  • Follow the company’s confined space written program
  • Remove any hazards that can be removed before entering
  • Ensure there is adequate safety equipment before entering such as ventilation equipment, air monitors and an emergency plan in place
  • An attendant should be present just outside of the area anytime someone is working inside

If there is question of whether an area is considered a confined space, a manager should be contacted.


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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