Permit-Required Confined Space

Policy Summary

It is the policy of The George Washington University to protect all employees from toxic, explosive, or asphyxiating atmospheres, and from engulfment or entrapment while working in and around confined spaces.  The Confined Space Entry Program details the procedures and training that GW will utilize in complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Permit-Required Confined Space Standard (29 CFR 1910.146).

Who is Governed by this Policy 

  • Staff
  • Contractors


The university has developed a Confined Space Entry Program to protect employees who may be required to enter confined spaces such as manholes, boilers, crawl spaces and sewer pits during the course of their work. 

These workspaces are considered "confined" because they are large enough to be entered to perform work, have limited means for entry/exit, and are not designed for continuous employee occupancy. 

Confined spaces that pose additional hazards including atmospheric, engulfment, and entrapment hazards are referred to as "permit-required confined spaces." 

The Confined Space Entry Program has identified the locations of permit required and non-permit spaces on campus. A confined space entry permit is available at the Office of Health and Safety and must be filled out prior to any GW employee entering a permit-required confined space. 

Permit-Required Confined Spaces 

The Office of Health and Safety will identify permit-required confined spaces according to the presence of explosive gases, oxygen deficiency or enrichment, carbon monoxide or hydrogen sulfide concentrations, electric shock equipment, heat stresses, noise hazards, working and walking spaces, or any other hazards.   

Employee Training 

The Office of Health and Safety will provide training to all employees whose work is regulated by this policy.  The training will establish employee proficiency in the duties required by OSHA and will introduce the entry requirements for each confined space on campus.  Verification of training will be filed with the Office of Health and Safety. 

Contractor Responsibilities 

University contractors must be informed of confined spaces in their work area.  Any confined space entry must be conducted in compliance with the contractor’s permit program.  This policy enforces the procedures set forth by the Confined Space Entry Program. 


Confined Space: A space large enough to enter and work in, with a limited entry and exit area, which is not designed to be occupied for extended periods.  Examples include tanks, silos, furnaces, tunnels, sewers, manholes, and pipelines. 

Related Information


Contact Phone Number Email Address
Environmental Health and Safety 202-994-4347  [email protected]


Responsible University Official: Assistant Vice President for University Resilience
Responsible Office: Environmental Health and Safety

Noncompliance with this policy can be reported through this website.