Safety picture for the month of April. This shows an open manhole which is guarded properly to prevent an accidental fall.
Standard for utility work.
Before an employee enters a street opening, such as a manhole or an unvented vault, it shall be promptly protected with a barrier, temporary cover, or other suitable guard.
No entry shall be permitted unless forced ventilation is provided or the atmosphere is found to be safe by testing for oxygen deficiency and the presence of explosive gases or fumes.
Standards for confined spaces.
When entrance covers are removed, the opening shall be promptly guarded by a railing, temporary cover, or other temporary barrier that will prevent an accidental fall through the opening and that will protect each employee working in the space from foreign objects entering the space.
Before an employee enters the space, the internal atmosphere shall be tested, with a calibrated direct-reading instrument, for oxygen content, for flammable gases and vapors, and for potential toxic air contaminants, in that order. Any employee who enters the space, or that employee’s authorized representative, shall be provided an opportunity to observe the pre-entry testing required by this paragraph.