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Confined Space Policy


To protect employees from those hazards of entry into and work within confined spaces and to ensure that all activities requiring entry into a confined space are conducted in a manner consistent with Lehigh University's Confined Space Entry Program and 29 CFR 1910.146.


Any enclosed space which is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform work, has limited or restricted means for entry and exit, is not designed for continuous employee occupancy, and has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Contains or has a known potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere,
  • Has unfavorable natural ventilation,
  • Contains a material with the potential for engulfment of an entrant,
  • Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by an inwardly converging wall or a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section or,
  • Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.
  1. Deans, directors, department heads, chairpersons, and line supervisors shall assure compliance with the University's Confined Space Entry Program.
  2. No person shall enter a confined space except in accordance with the University's Confined Space Entry Program.
  3. An entry permit as specified in the written Confined Space Entry Program is required for entry into all permit-required confined spaces.
  4. Departments, Centers and Institutes who send their employees into permit-required confined spaces shall designate by name or title the individual who may authorize entry into a confined space.
  5. Departments, Centers and Institutes shall ensure that entrants, attendants and individuals authorizing or in charge of entry receive the appropriate training to perform their assigned duties.
  6. Departments, Centers/Institutes shall assure that all employees who may enter a confined space in the course of their employment have been trained and are aware of the appropriate procedures and controls for entry and are aware that unauthorized entry into such spaces is forbidden. Employees shall be made aware that the consequences of unauthorized entry can be fatal, and that their senses are unable to detect and evaluate the severity of the atmospheric hazards.
  7. Departments, Centers/Institutes, with employees who may enter a confined space, shall purchase or otherwise make available all equipment and supplies necessary for compliance with the Confined Space Entry Program.
  8. Departments, Centers/Institutes shall maintain and calibrate equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
  9. Attendants and employees and all other unauthorized persons shall not enter a confined space for rescue purposes.
  10. The University will utilize the Bethlehem City Fire Department for confined space rescue services.
  11. When Departments, Centers/Institutes arrange for outside contractors/employers who plan to send their employees into a confined space, the Departments, Centers and Institutes shall provide or otherwise make available the following to the contractor/employer:
    1. All available information for the confined space,
    2. Lehigh University's Confined Space Entry Program, safety rules and emergency procedures that the contractor needs to be aware of,
    3. Information on any other known workplace hazard
  12. Under no condition, shall contractors be allowed to use Lehigh University's gas detection monitors.
For more information regarding this policy, contact Environmental Health and Safety 610-758-4251.

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