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CONFINED SPACE DEFINITIONS

Date First Published on OHS Insider: January 21st, 2010
Topics: Confined Spaces |

Here’s how your jurisdiction’s OHS law defines “confined space”:

FEDERAL: An enclosed or partially enclosed space that: a) isn’t designed or intended for human occupancy except for the purpose of performing work; b) has restricted means of access and egress; and c) may become hazardous to any person entering it due to: i) its design, construction, location or atmosphere; ii) the materials or substances in it; or iii) any other condition relating to it [Canada OHS Regs., Sec. 11.1].

ALBERTA: A restricted space that may become hazardous to a worker entering it because of: a) an atmosphere that is or may be injurious by reason of oxygen deficiency or enrichment, flammability, explosivity or toxicity; b) a condition or changing set of circumstances within the space that presents a potential for injury or illness; or c) the potential or inherent characteristics of an activity that can produce adverse or harmful consequences within the space [OHS Code 2009, Sec. 1)]. “Restricted space” is defined as an enclosed or partially enclosed space, not designed or intended for continuous human occupancy, that has restricted, limited or impeded means of entry or exit because of its construction [Sec. 1].

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Except as otherwise determined by the Board, an area, other than an underground working, that: a) is enclosed or partially enclosed; b) isn’t designed or intended for continuous human occupancy; c) has limited or restricted means for entry or exit that may complicate the provision of first aid, evacuation, rescue or other emergency response service; and d) is large enough and so configured that a worker could enter to perform assigned work  [OHS Reg., Sec. 9.1].

MANITOBA: An enclosed or partially enclosed space that: a) except for the purpose of performing work, isn’t primarily designed or intended for human occupancy; and b) has restricted means of access or egress [Workplace Health & Safety Reg., Sec. 1.1].

NEW BRUNSWICK: An enclosed or partially enclosed space not designed or intended for continuous human occupancy with restricted access or egress and which is or may become hazardous to a person entering it because of its design, construction, location, atmosphere or the materials or substances in it or other conditions, but doesn’t include a development heading in an underground mine [General OHS Reg., Sec. 262].

NEWFOUNDLAND/LABRADOR: An enclosed or partially enclosed place that: a) isn’t designed or intended for human occupancy except for the purpose of performing work; b) has restricted means of access and egress; and c) may become hazardous to a person entering it as a result of: i) its design, construction, location or atmosphere; ii) the materials or substances in it; or iii) any other condition relating to it [OHS Regs., Sec. 511(2)].

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES/NUNAVUT: A bin, pipeline, pit, sewer, silo, tank, tunnel, utilities vault, vat, vessel or other enclosed or partially enclosed space having restricted access and egress and which, owing to its design, construction, location, atmosphere, the materials or substances in it or other condition, is or may become immediately dangerous to the life or health of a worker required to enter it [General Safety Regs., Sec. 1(1)].

NOVA SCOTIA: An enclosed or partially enclosed space: a) not designed or intended for regular human occupancy; b) with restricted access or exit; and c) that is or may become hazardous to a person entering it because of its design, construction, location, atmosphere or the materials or substances in it or other conditions [Occupational Safety General Regs., Sec. 129(1)].

ONTARIO: A fully or partially enclosed space: a) that isn’t designed and constructed for continuous human occupancy; and b) in which atmospheric hazards may occur because of its construction, location or contents or because of work that’s done in it [Confined Space Reg. Sec. 1; Construction Projects Reg., Sec. 221.2; Industrial Establishments Reg., Sec. 119.1; Mines and Mining Plants Reg., Sec. 294; Health Care and Residential Facilities Reg., Sec. 43].

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: An enclosed or partially enclosed space: a) not designed or intended for human occupancy; b) with restricted access or exit; and c) that is or may become hazardous to a person entering it because of its design, construction, location, atmosphere or the materials or substances in it or other conditions and includes any bin, tank, tanker, tunnel, silo, sewer, vault, chamber, pipeline, pit, vessel, vat and flue [OHS General Regs., Sec. 13.1].

QUÉBEC: Defines “enclosed area” as any area that’s completely or partially enclosed, especially a reservoir, silo, vat, hopper, chamber, vault, tank, sewer (including a ditch and temporary manure storage ditch), pipe, chimney, access shaft, truck or freight car tank, which has the following inherent conditions: a) isn’t designed for human occupation nor intended to be but may occasionally be occupied for the performance of work; b) access to which can only be had by a restricted entrance/exit; c) which can represent a risk for the health and safety of anyone who enters, owing to any one of the following factors: i) its design, construction or location except for the entrance/exit previously provided for; ii) its atmosphere or insufficiency of natural or mechanical ventilation; iii) that material or substances that it contains; and iv) other related hazards [Regulation respecting occupational health and safety, Sec. 1].

SASKATCHEWAN: An enclosed or partially enclosed space that: a) isn’t primarily designed or intended for human occupancy except for the purpose of performing work; and b) has restricted means of entrance or exit [OHS Regs., Sec. 266(a)]. Defines “hazardous confined space” as a confined space that is or may become hazardous to a worker entering the confined space due to: a) the design, construction or atmosphere; b) the materials or substances in it; c) the work activities or processes used in the confined space; and d) any other conditions relating to the confined space [Sec. 266(b)].

YUKON: An area, other than an enclosed mine, that: a) is enclosed or partially enclosed; b) isn’t designed or intended for human occupancy; c) has limited or restricted means for entry or exit that may complicate the provision of first, aid, evacuation or other emergency response services; and d) is large enough and so configured that a worker could enter to perform assigned work [OHS Regs., Sec. 2.01].