Penn State's Confined Space Program has been established to protect employees during their work in "confined spaces" from serious or life-threatening health and safety hazards, such as:
- Atmospheric hazards by build-up of toxic or asphyxiating vapors, gases or particles
- Electrical or mechanical hazards
- Engulfment by contained materials
- Entrapment by structures or inwardly converging walls
- Other serious health or safety hazards
Penn State confined spaces may include: underground pits, manholes, crawlspaces, silos, tanks, ventilation equipment, process and storage areas or vessels, furnaces, bins, and other similar spaces not designed for continuous occupancy and with limited means of ingress and egress. This program is based upon OSHA's permit-required confined spaces standard (29 CFR 1910.146), and identifies the necessary training, controls, permitting and other aspects for safe confined space entry work.