Industrial worker wearing breathing aperatus descending into a storage tank.
Get in easily. Get out safely.

The know-how to navigate job sites with confined spaces.

Confined Space: What it is and how to prepare

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:

  • Large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs
  • Limited or restricted means for entry or exit
  • Not designed for continuous occupancy

Confined spaces. Unique challenges.

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.

  • Worker in protective respiratory gear, coveralls and hard hat looking up from confined space
    Common types of confined spaces

    Safely handling entries and exits starts with identifying your work spaces:

    • Storage tanks
    • Culverts
    • Tunnels
    • Elevator shafts
    • Ductwork
    • Trench box
    • Utility vaults
  • Workers in protective gear using a confined space entry davit.
    Where they are found

    Working safely in confined spaces is universal, but different industries present their own challenges:

    • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
    • Chemical manufacturing
    • Food and beverage manufacturing
    • Oil and gas
    • Waste water treatment
  • Worker descending into a confined space storage tank wearing protective gear and breathing aparatus.
    Hazards workers face

    Each year, an average of 96 deaths occur within confined spaces in the United States alone:

    Physical Hazards (61% of deaths):

    • Heat
    • Impact
    • Falls
    • Engulfment


    Atmospheric Hazards (34% of deaths):

    • Oxygen deficiency
    • Toxic chemicals
    • Combustible dust


  • Four panels showing illustrations of workers preparing for and entering a confined space.
    Infographic: Four steps of a plan

    Plan, Access, Work Inside, and Rescue & Retrieval: Learn what they mean and how to address each step.

    Note: Email required to download

  • Two workers in protective gear preapring to enter a confined space using a davit.
    3M Confined Space Training Course

    Elevate your knowledge by entering to win a Confined Space Industrial Rescuer course.


Enter to Win Free Confined Space Training

Confined space safety somes from the right tools and the right training. We are offering the chance to help enhance your team's safety with Confined Space Entry Rescuer training, which we are giving to selected entrants who fill out the form below.

You could win:
• 24 hours of instruction from 3M confined space trainers
• Classroom instruction and hands-on training in a certified training facility
• Practical experience using pre-engineered rescue systems and techniques
• Instruction on the implementation and monitoring of a resuce plan
• Successful completion of the course earns participants a certificate recognizing that they have met OSHA and ANSI requirements

  • All fields are required unless indicated optional

  • 3M takes your privacy seriously. 3M and its authorized third parties will use the information you provided in accordance with our Privacy Policy to send you communications which may include promotions, product information and service offers. Please be aware that this information may be stored on a server located in the U.S. If you do not consent to this use of your personal information, please do not use this system.

  • Submit

Thank You

Your form was submitted successfully!

Our Apologies...

An error has occurred while submitting. Please try again later...

Developing a Confined Space Plan

Be ready before getting to work, so your team can safely handle all entries and exits.


Confined Space Products and Training

Trust your team and your tools. Workers must have adequate preparation and experience in the work involved to function safely in confined spaces.

Confined Space Resources and Support

Many health and safety challenges are associated with confined spaces. We’re here to help with a comprehensive collection of useful tools and tips.

  • You’ve selected the right equipment. See how to use it before stepping on the job.

  • Growing library for all roles and responsibilities in and around a confined space