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Before entering any manhole remember that the interior may be rated as a confined space and could be hazardous.  

Consult applicable codes before proceeding.



  • Cover
    • The manhole cover should be secure upon arriving at the site.

    • The manhole cover should be in good operating order, allowing ease of entry / exit from the manhole.

    • A confined space entry sign should be present either on the underside of the manhole cover or at the first ladder rung.

  • Ladder (if present):
    • Each ladder rung should be inspected for connection to the ladder uprights, signs of damage, missing / worn / loose rung non-slip surface.

    • The ladder mounting brackets that mount the ladder to the manhole wall should be inspected to ensure that they are securely fastened.

    • Ladder rungs may need periodic cleaning to keep them free of bioslime or other debris that would otherwise make the rung slippery.  A mild detergent may be used.

  • Accessories (if present):
    • Inspect any lights, fans, or electrical equipment for condition.

    • Make sure ventilation piping is unobstructed.

    • Manhole benching should be periodically cleaned to keep it free of bioslime or other debris accumulation. A mild detergent may be used.

For manholes incorporating flow measuring devices, refer to the operation and maintenance of those items for additional details.

Open channel grinders represent a considerable hazard to operators entering a Grinder Manhole.  Refer to the grinder manufacturer’s operations and maintenance manual.