Confined Space Entry for Public Employees in Massachusetts

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 149, section 18B contains instructions for providing safety entry conditions for workers entering a confined space.    To see MGL c. 149, section 18B click here.

Private employers: To comply with Confined Space requirements, private employers working on public or private property must comply with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.146.

Public employers: To comply with Confined Space requirements, public employers must provide at a minimum:

  • Evaluate space hazards
  • Remove all hazards, if possible
    • ie. Lockout tagout; drain and rinse contents
  • Control all hazards that cannot be removed
    • ie. Ventilation; fall-arrest protection
  • Verify safe entry conditions
    • ie. Test the air for Oxygen, flammable gas, carbon monoxide. Test the air for Hydrogen Sulfide, acids or volatile organic solvents as applicable.
  • Document on a Permit: removal or control of hazards; and safe entry conditions
  • Pre-plan and install self-rescue
  • Train workers.

Under MGL c. 149 s 6, the Department of Labor Standards can issue a civil penalty for each violation. Public employers who implement a comprehensive Permit Required Confined Space program in compliance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.146 will be considered to meet Massachusetts requirements for public employees.

Technical Assistance Bulletins:

Hazard Alert: Confined Space Entry for Employees in Massachusetts     

Model Confined Space Program for Public Works