Interpretations by OSHA for confined space compliance in basements

Is a basement in a residential home that is designed for continuous occupancy by a homeowner a confined space under the standard?

No, provided the basement is configured as designed (e.g., has permanent stairs, walk-out entry/exit, or egress window installed).

Before a set of stairs is installed in a residential home into a basement, home builders may access the space through a walk-in door to/from the outside (i.e., walk-out basement). Under these circumstances, would the basement be considered a confined space?

No. Provided there is a door to/from the outside to the basement, the basement would not be considered a confined space as there would not be limited or restricted means of egress.

In some homes, before a set of stairs is installed into a basement, home builders may access the space through a basement egress window that complies with Section R310 of the 2012 or 2009 International Residential Code. Under these circumstances, would the basement be considered a confined space?

No. If the basement has an egress window that meets the specifications of Section R310 of the 2012 or 2009 International Residential Code, the basement would not be considered a confined space as there would not be limited or restricted means of egress to and from the basement.

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