From potentially toxic atmospheres, to physically hazardous conditions such as extreme temperatures, unstable materials, or the potential for falls, confined spaces often present unseen challenges.
Confined spaces are areas that meet all of the following criteria:
No two confined spaces are exactly alike. Type, size and hazards vary greatly, along with different standards, regulations and company policies that can apply to each working environment.
Safely handling entries and exits starts with identifying your work spaces:
Working safely in confined spaces is universal, but different industries present their own challenges:
Each year, an average of 96 deaths occur within confined spaces in the United States alone:
Physical Hazards (61% of deaths):
Atmospheric Hazards (34% of deaths):
Be ready before getting to work, so your team can safely handle all entries and exits.
Before working in a confined space, always start with:
Plan, Access, Work Inside, and Rescue & Retrieval: Learn what they mean and how to address each step.
View the video to learn more about the basic elements that make up confined space entry, retrieval and rescue.
Trust your team and your tools. Workers must have adequate preparation and experience in the work involved to function safely in confined spaces.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and your access and rescue equipment can mean the difference between getting in and out safely or not.
Training can help ensure confined space entrants, attendants, supervisors, and rescuers are aware of hazards they may face and know how to carry out their job safely. 3M can support you with our instructor-led Confined Space courses.
Elevate your knowledge by entering to win a Confined Space Industrial Rescuer course.
Many health and safety challenges are associated with confined spaces. We’re here to help with a comprehensive collection of videos