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Confined Spaces Roles and Responsibilities (1926.1200-1213)


Member Duties
Host Employer (property owner/manager)
  • Provide information on known permit spaces and hazards/potential hazards and precautions used to protect employees in the space to the controlling contractor - 1926.1203(h)(1)
Controlling Contractor*

*If there is no controlling
contractor the host employer
or another employer will
perform these duties (1926.1203(i))

  • Obtain information from the host employer and provide information collected to all affected entities on the site - 1926.1203(h)(2)
  • Coordinate with the entry employer when more than one permit entry occurs at once or other activities occur which could result in a hazard in the space - 1926.1203(h)(4)
  • Debrief each entity that entered a permit space - 1926.1203(h)(5)
  • Apprise the host employer of any information received from debriefings - 1926.1203(h)(5)
Competent Person
  • Identify all confined spaces and those which require a permit
  • Evaluate each space (testing if necessary)
  • Post signs or otherwise inform employees of the dangers
  • Inform the controlling contractor and the employees’ authorized representative - 1926.1203(a) and 1926.1203(b)
  • Reevaluate a non-permit space if there are any changes that might increase the hazards 
  • Reclassify a permit space as a non-permit space, only if: 
    • There are no hazards present
    • The hazards have been eliminated or isolated (forced air ventilation is not elimination or isolation)
    • Certification exists in writing of the elimination/isolation of all hazards
    • Reclassify a non-permit space if any hazards arise and evacuate all employees from the space 1926.1203(f) and 1926.1203(g)
Authorized Entrants
  • Must be familiar with and understand the hazards (including mode, signs and symptoms, consequences)
  • Properly use required equipment
  • Communicate with the attendant about entrant status
  • Alert attendant of the need to evacuate the space
  • Exit the space as quickly as possible when so ordered or if a dangerous situation is detected -  1926.1208

*It is best to have one
attendant per PRCS, but one attendant may cover more than one permit space
if they are close by and can fulfill their duties in multiple PRCSs.


*Attendants must never enter the PRCS.  

  • Must be familiar with and understand the hazards
  • Be aware of the possible behavioral effects of exposure
  • Continuously maintain an accurate count of authorized entrants and ensure the means to accurately identify who is in the permit space
  • Remain outside the space until relieved by another attendant
  • Communicate with entrants about their status and alert them to evacuate
  • Assess activities inside and outside the space to determine if there is a need to evacuate
  • Summon rescue and emergency services
  • Prevent unauthorized persons from entering the space
  • Perform non-entry rescues
  • Perform no duties that interfere with their primary attendant duties - 1926.1209
  • At least one attendant must be outside the permit space during the duration of operations
  • Attendants may be assigned to more than one permit space only if they can effectively perform their duties at each space
  • They can be at any location outside the space as long as they can effectively perform their duties
  • If they are attending more than one space, the means to do so and procedures for responding to emergencies must be included in the permit - 1926.1204(f) and 1926.1204(g)
Entry Supervisors

“Qualified person assigned by
employers to determine if acceptable
entry conditions are present in a
permit space, to authorize entry, oversee
operations and terminate them as required.”

  • Be familiar with and understand the entry hazards
  • Verify entry permits, including tests and procedures before endorsing each permit
  • Cancel or suspend entry when required
  • Verify rescue services are available and means of communication is operable
  • Notify employer immediately if rescue service is unavailable
  • Remove any unauthorized individuals and prevent their entry into the space
  • Determine if acceptable conditions are maintained as conditions change and whenever responsibility is transferred - 1926.1210
  • Sign the entry permit to authorize entry - 1926.1205(b)
  • Make the permit available by posting at the portal (or other equally effective means) - 1926.1205(c)
  • Terminate entry and
    • Cancel the permit when the operation is completed
    • Suspend/cancel the permit and fully reassess the space before allowing re-entry when a temporary condition that is not allowed arises in or near the space
    • Cancel the permit if a non-allowed condition arises - 1926.1205(e)
Entry Employer*

*Directs employees to enter
a permit space

  • Must document acceptable entry conditions by preparing an entry permit
  • Permits must not exceed the time to complete the task/job on the permit
  • Retain the canceled entry permit for at least one year to help in program review
  • Any problems encountered must be noted on the permit - 1926.1205
  • Designate a competent person to identify and assess confined spaces - 1926.1203(a)
  • Post signs or communicate with employees about each permit space - 1926.1203(b)(1)
  • Inform the controlling contractor and employees’ authorized representative about each permit space - 1926.1203(b)(2)
  • Prevent non-authorized employees from entering the permit spaces - 1926.1203(c)
  • Implement a written permit space program and make it available for inspection - 1926.1203(d)
  • Before entry, obtain all information from the controlling contractor - 1926.1203(h)(3)
  • Inform the controlling contractor of the permit space program and expected hazards - 1926.1203(h)(3)
  • Coordinate with the controlling contractor when there is more than one entity performing entry at the same time or when nearby activities may affect the space - 1926.1203(h)(4)
  • Must consult with affected employees and their authorized representatives on the development and implementation of all aspects of the permit space program - 1926.1212(a)
  • Must make available all information developed under this standard to affected employer and their authorized representatives - 1926.1212(b)
  • Designate each person that has an active role in the PRCS program and their duties; provide them with training - 1926.1204(h)
  • Develop and implement procedures for summoning rescue services, rescuing entrants, performing emergency services and preventing unauthorized personnel from attempting a rescue - 1926.1204(i)
  • Develop and implement a system to prepare, issue, use and cancel entry permits - 1926.1204(j)
  • Develop and implement procedures to coordinate entry operations when more than one employer’s employees are affected - 1926.1204(k)
  • Develop and implement procedures to conclude entry after operations have been completed - 1926.1204(l)
  • Review entry operations when measures may not protect employees and revise the program before any subsequent entries - 1926.1204(m)
  • Review the canceled permits within one year and revise the program as necessary - 1926.1204(n)

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