in Confined Spaces
A confined space is any space large
enough for a person to enter, has restricted means of entry
or exit, and is not designed for continuous occupancy. Work
involving permit spaces must be viewed as a process; safe
entry is just a start. You want to enter, complete your work,
and exit safely.
A permit-required confined
space is any space that has:
atmospheres (asphyxiating, flammable, or toxic), or
engulfment, entrapment, or other serious hazards may exist
or develop, or
an internal configuration
such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly
converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers
to a smaller cross section, or
any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.
should I do?
entering or working in a confined space, you must first obtain
an entry permit. An entry permit must include:
Identification of the space.
Purpose of the entry.
Date and duration of the permit.
List of authorized entrants.
Names of attendants and supervisor.
List of hazards in the permit space.
List of measures to isolate the space and eliminate or control the
Acceptable entry conditions.
Results of tests initialed by the person(s) performing the tests.
Rescue and emergency services available and the means to summon them.
Communication procedures for attendants and entrants.
Other necessary information.
Additional permits (e.g., for hot work).
Before you enter
Once the entry permits
have been prepared check for:
Other physical hazards.
If hazards are in the atmosphere,
Test the air.
Ventilate the space.
Use an air-supplied respirator under certain conditions.
Lock out sources of hazardous energy (mechanical, electrical, etc.).
The entry supervisor will verify
that entry conditions are acceptable by signing the permit.
The permit, and test results, must be available to the entrants.
Continue to monitor air quality
during entry operations. Work being done may change the air
quality while you work. Affected employees can observe all
air monitoring tests.
Use locks and tags to prevent accidental
startup of equipment while you are working in the permit space.
Use only safe, grounded, approved equipment.
Safety requirements for permit spaces
When workers enter
a permit space, at least one person must remain outside to
summon help or provide assistance.
The entrants need to wear chest
or full body harnesses with retrieval lines to make non-entry
rescue attempts easier.
The attendant needs to communicate
with the entrants to monitor their conditions. If a situation
arises that requires emergency rescue, the attendant should
summon the rescue service and stay outside of the permit space
entrance. An attendant can be a trained member of the rescue
service, but cannot enter the permit space until the rest
of the team has arrived to start proper rescue procedures.