Preparing the Confined Space for Entry

Once the entry has been planned and personnel have been trained, the next step is to prepare the confined space for entry.

The following steps are to be followed when preparing the confined space for entry:

  1. Place warning signs or barriers around the confined space to prevent unauthorized entry as necessary.

  2. Place all tools, safety equipment, monitoring equipment, etc., near the confined space.

  3. Isolate all mechanical and/or electrical hazards as necessary.

  4. Purge/ventilate the confined space as necessary.

  5. Test the atmosphere using an appropriate gas monitor.

    If oxygen content is less than 19.5% or greater than 21.5%, perform additional ventilation. Then, shut off ventilation equipment and re-test the oxygen content.

    If oxygen content is between 19.5% and 21.5%, continue entry preparation.

  6. Test for flammable gases.

    If the meter reading is less than 10% of the lower explosive limit (LEL), continue entry preparations.
    If the meter reading is above 10% of the LEL, continue ventilation of the confined space. Then, shut off the ventilation and have the atmosphere re- tested.

    If the meter reading is still above 10% of the LEL, the confined space must be cleaned before entry is permitted. If the confined space must be entered for cleaning purposes, the procedures outlined in Item 9 of this section must be followed.

  7. Test for toxics (Carbon in the atmosphere. If a toxic atmosphere is present, no person should be permitted to enter the confined space at a level exceeding the Permissible Exposure Limit without proper Personal Protective Equipment. A consultant should be called to assist in identifying proper precautions and the protective measures to be taken.

  8. Assemble all personnel involved and conduct a simulated rescue drill.

  9. The entry supervisor will then add any needed information, then complete and sign the permit.