Confined Spaces

Every day, hundreds of workers enter "confined spaces."  By definition, a confined space is a workplace that is configured in a way that limits the way a worker can enter or exit the space.  Confined spaces are not intended for continuous occupancy.

Annually, as many as 20 workers die from asphyxiation or drowning after entering a confined space.  The most well-known example of a confined space is a manhole.  Other examples include:
  • underground vaults;
  • underground tanks (e.g., septic tanks);
  • storage bins;
  • drilling shafts;
  • pits;
  • boilers;
  • tunnels;
  • vats;
  • ship compartments;
  • silos; and
  • pipelines.
Typically, confined spaces contain a dangerous atmosphere such as a toxic chemical, low oxygen (less than 19.5%), or too much oxygen (more than 23.5%).  They may also contain or present the risk for a material to suffocate an entrant, such as grain in a silo or sewage in a distribution tank.  Confined spaces should be marked appropriately and workers should receive OSHA-compliant training concerning safe entrance.

According to a recent study, almost every confined space death also resulted in the death of the rescuer.  This is because most rescues are attempted without personal protective equipment in place, and almost always before the space is tested to determine the availability of natural ventilation, flammability of the atmosphere, the potential for release of hazardous energy, limited ingress/egress, physical barriers to movement, and product instability.

At Bottar Law, PLLC, our team of New York confined space wrongful death lawyers have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict cases involving confined spaces.  If you or a loved have been injured while working at a jobsite, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Syracuse New York confined space attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at