Facilities

CONFINED SPACE

3. CONFINED SPACE ENTRY PROGRAM

Identifying All Confined Spaces

All confined spaces located within a facility or under the facility's control should be identified. Once the space has been identified as Confined, the supervisor in charge shall determine if a permit is required.  All employees shall be made aware of these confined spaces through training or instruction provided by supervisors or their designated representatives. 

Preventing Unauthorized Entry

All employees shall be instructed by supervisors or their designated representatives that entry into a confined space is prohibited without an authorized permit.

Supervisors or their designated representatives shall instruct all employees to list their names on the authorized permit before they will be allowed to enter a confined space.

The Permit System

When a confined space must be entered, a permit shall be completed and authorized by department heads, supervisors, or their designated representatives prior to entry of the confined space. This permit shall serve as certification that the space is safe for entry. The permit shall contain the date, the location of the space, and the signature of the person providing the certification.

A permit shall not be authorized until all conditions of the permit have been met.

Planning the Entry

The first step towards conducting a safe confined-space entry is to plan the entry. This will allow for the identification of all hazards, and for the determination of all equipment necessary, to complete the project.
  1. Gathering General Data
  2. Identifying the Hazards
  3. Ventilation of the Confined Space
  4. Isolating the Confined Space
  5. Purging/Cleaning the Confined Space
  6. Placement of Warning Signs
  7. Identifying All Personnel
  8. Identifying Necessary Equipment
1. Gathering General Data
Identify the confined space. Give the name or location of the confined space.
Give the reason for entering the confined space. Be specific. Also, identify if hot work will be done.
Identify the contents of the confined space. This refers to any chemicals or other materials and energy that are usually present in the confined space.

2. Identifying the Hazards

NOTE: Atmospheric testing shall be conducted prior to entering permit-required confined spaces. It is recommended that these tests be conducted by the entry supervisor; however, any competent person certified in confined space entry may do so.
The entry supervisor will determine the oxygen content and record this on the entry permit.
The entry supervisor will determine flammable gas content and record this on the entry permit.
The entry supervisor will determine levels of H2S and Carbon Monoxide and record this on the entry permit.
If a toxic substance is determined to be in the confined space during testing by the entry supervisor, Environmental Health & Safety shall be contacted to assist in obtaining a Material Safety Data Sheet or other chemical information to determine what type of personal protective equipment is required, the potential health effects, the Permissible Exposure Limits, and any other information needed to safely conduct the work.
Entry supervisors will determine mechanical and physical hazards. They should list all items and energy that will require lockout/tagout, blanking and bleeding, disconnecting, or securing. Physical hazards should also be listed.

3. Ventilation of the Confined Space

Indicate whether mechanical or natural ventilation will be used. Describe the procedures to be used.
NOTE: If mechanical ventilation is to be used, the exhaust must be pointed away from personnel or ignition sources. Also, mechanical ventilators should be bonded to the confined space.

4. Isolating the Confined Space

Describe the procedures for disconnecting equipment or lockout and tagout. All mechanical, electrical, or heat-producing equipment should be disconnected or locked and tagged out. This would also include any pumps that pull fluid from, or pump fluid into, the confined space.

5. Purging/Cleaning the Confined Space

Indicate if the confined space will be purged. Purging with inert gas is not recommended. If the space must be purged, describe the procedures.
Indicate the type of cleaning methods to be used. If chemical cleaners are to be used, name the type and describe the procedures. The MSDS for the chemical should be consulted prior to use.
NOTE: When introducing a chemical into a confined space, the compatibility of that chemical with the contents of the confined space must be checked. If in doubt, consult Environmental Health & Safety.
NOTE: If steam is to be used, the hose should be bonded to the confined space.

6. Placement of Warning Signs

Indicate if warning signs or barriers will be needed to prevent unauthorized entry or to protect workers from external hazards. If the confined space will be left open and unattended for any length of time, warning signs, and barriers such as barricades and/or caution tape will be required.

7. Identifying All Personnel

List all employees that will be required to prepare the confined space and complete the work inside the space.
8. Identifying Necessary Equipment
List all equipment that will be necessary to complete the project.

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