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EKU’s Department of Safety, Security and Emergency Management Obtains New Confined Space Trainer

EKU’s Department of Safety, Security and Emergency Management Obtains New Confined Space Trainer

Since it was issued in 1993, OSHA's confined space regulation, 29 CFR 1910.146, has been geared toward general industry workers, with very little applying directly to the construction industry. Employers in the industry have tended to default to general industry standards but have not had a substantial regulation of their own to fall back on. On Aug. 3, 2015, however, the OSHA confined spaces in construction standard, 29 CFR Subpart AA 1926.1200, joined the existing general industry confined space standard and clearly defined rules for confined spaces in construction. It is estimated that this move can prevent roughly 780 serious injuries and five deaths each year.1

Confined Space vs. Permit Required Confined Space

What is a confined space. A confined space is a space large enough for a worker to enter, is not designed for "continuous employee occupancy," and has limited means for entry and exit.2 A permit-required confined space (PRCS) is a confined space with one or more of the following characteristics:

* Contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
* Contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entering employee
* Has an internal configuration such that an employee could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a downward-sloping floor
* Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.3

EKU students in the occupational safety program need hands-on training in monitoring and entering confined spaces for both industry and construction uses. This new confined space trainer will allow EKU students in both the occupational safety and Fire Administration programs to gain valuable experience in actually monitoring confined space entries as well as entry requirements and potentially hazardous environments upon entry. This new confined space trainer has a number of specific tools that allow students to experience this hazardous environments under a controlled exercise. The confined space trainer can spray water on the entrants, have a smoke filled confined space, create obstacles to entry and has a chute restriction plate to force entrants to remove their SCBA packs while crawling through the confined space. It also is fully electric and has a 4 camera systems to monitor the entrants. Simulations can work with two types of extractions, vertical and horizontal.

This confined space trainer is portable and can be rented out to fire departments, industrial users as well as EKU’s own OSHA Training Institute that trains working professionals in industry and construction. The trainer is housed at the OSH Safety Lab, on the corner of Lancaster and Kit Carson Drive.


1 United States Department of Labor, Press Teleconference on Confined Spaces: Remarks Prepared for Delivery by Dr. David Michaels, (May 28, 2015)
3 OSHA Confined Spaces in Construction standard, 29 CFR Subpart AA 1926.1200, p. 6,

Published on December 07, 2016

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