Employers must create and implement a confined space hazard assessment and control program in order to manage the hazards related to working in confined spaces. For work in every single confined space, a confined space hazard assessment and control program tailored to the task at hand should be written. The following should be part of a confined space hazard assessment and control program: Roles and responsibilities of each person or party are described (e.g., employer, supervisor, workers, attendants, and emergency response team). Tips on recognizing limited places. the detection and evaluation of all potential risks, including those present at the outset of the activity and those that might arise as a result of the work activities. an approach to testing and monitoring the atmosphere as necessary. a strategy to get rid of or manage all risks. Scripted working practices. All employees who will access tight spaces will receive training. the creation of an entry permit system that requires a permit for each admission into a small area. creation of an emergency plan that includes training and supplies in case an unforeseen circumstance arises. a system of emergency response. researching and reporting accidents involving restricted space work control over records and paperwork. Every time there is a change in conditions, or at least once a year, the program should be reviewed to find any flaws and make any necessary adjustments. The OSH Answers document Limited Spaces - Introduction has more information about confined spaces.
What is a system for entry permits?
An entry permit is a management tool used to record the successful conclusion of a danger assessment for each entry into a confined location. The entry permission should be completed by a person with extensive restricted space job training and experience. Some governments demand a permission for each entry into a limited space. If the hazard and risk assessment determines that the measures to control the risk involve any of the following—atmospheric monitoring, isolation, lockout, ventilation, safeguarding devices, respiratory protection—or any other control that the risk assessment deems necessary to be verified by a permit, then an entry permit is necessary. An entry permit must be completed prior to entering a confined location. It should at the very least include the following details: the duration of the permit's validity. The name(s) of the employee(s) with access rights to the confined place. The attendant(s)' name(s) (safety watch). The title of the manager in charge of the work. The location and details of the enclosed area. the size of the project that must be completed in the little area. Potential dangers that could be found both inside and outside the place. potential risks that could emerge throughout the work activity. the day, time, and expected hour of entry and exit from the enclosed environment. Information on any atmospheric testing done in the restricted space, including when, where, results, and the most recent calibration date for monitoring equipment. Calibration should ideally be performed soon before each use. Follow the calibration frequency recommendations provided by the equipment's manufacturer if this is not possible. Hazard control procedures will be followed by each worker who enters the restricted space, including the use of mechanical ventilation, any other protective gear required, and other safety precautions. a way for the attendant and the people working in the limited environment to communicate. Any individual who participates in a rescue or responds to other emergency circumstances in the confined space is required to use the emergency plan, protective equipment, and emergency equipment. a worker's signature from the confined space air testing. The permit's signature would show that sufficient measures are being taken to control the foreseen hazards. The supervisor's signature on an authorization form attests that the area has been correctly assessed, prepped, and is secure for use. The entry permission needs to be displayed at the confined place and should stay there until the job is finished. A copy of the completed permit should be kept on file by the employer.
What should take place when working in a small area?
To stop unauthorized access to the limited location, use warning signs.
Anyone working in a restricted location needs to be on the lookout for any shifting conditions there. Workers should exit the restricted space as soon as there is a monitoring device alarm or any other sign of danger. The attendant, who is also known as the safety watch or standby, is stationed outside the confined space and continuously keeps an eye on the workers within. The attendant is responsible for the following: recognizes the indications, symptoms, and behavioral consequences that workers in the confined area may feel, as well as the nature of the potential risks that may be present there. keeps an eye on the area around the enclosed space and is alert for any dangers. stays outside the restricted area and refrains from performing any other tasks that can conflict with their principal responsibility of keeping an eye on the confined space personnel. keeps in regular two-way communication with the confined space personnel. if a potential threat is found and it hasn't been controlled for, orders the urgent evacuation. calls for assistance right away in case of an emergency. When necessary, is always on hand to offer non-entry emergency help. only when the strictest safety measures have been taken and another attendant is instantly ready to take up the attendant duties. When a worker leaves a restricted space for a brief period of time (for instance, to get a cup of coffee or collect more supplies for their task), the space should be retested before the worker enters. If the confined space has been continuously observed by equipment that can display the specifics of the atmosphere during the time that a person has been away from the confined space and this information can be seen from outside the confined space, it can be re-entered without having to undergo additional testing. The danger evaluation needs to be done again if there is no continuous air monitoring. No confined space should be closed off until it has been verified that no person is inside it. After exiting the confined space, the time of exit should be noted on the entry permit.
What are some emergency response precautions?
The detailed plan for emergency response to an injury or other emergency within the confined space should be described in detail in the confined space hazard assessment and control program.
If a situation arises where there is a hazardous condition and the worker does not leave or is unable to leave the confined space, rescue procedures should begin immediately. Rescue personnel who are qualified in confined spaces rescue procedures should be available immediately nearby the confined space to provide emergency assistance if needed. The rescue personnel should be familiar with the structural design of the confined space. Rescue the victims from outside of the confined space, if possible. No worker should enter a confined space to attempt a rescue unless that worker is fully trained in the rescue procedures and is wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment. More than 60% of deaths in confined spaces are would-be rescuers, who are not fully trained and adequately equipped. An attendant should remain outside the confined space to monitor the space while there are rescue procedures taking place. Rescue personnel should not use the same air as the confined space workers they are rescuing. Wear SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) or supplied air respirator with an escape bottle where possible. Personnel who can provide first aid and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are also required. These persons can be the attendant or other rescue personnel, as long as providing first aid or CPR does not interfere with their other duties.
How many people must be present while work is being done in a confined space?
Some jurisdictions require a certain number of workers be present. For example, New Brunswick requires three - the entrant, a person standing at the entrance (attendant), and a back-up employee within sight and shouting distance with no obstructions or barriers to overcome to reach the space (for example, not in another room or a parking lot). Each person has to be trained to carry out their responsibilities. Other jurisdictions describe the qualifications that must be fulfilled, which may vary in the number of people present. For example, Ontario describes this requirement as having an adequate number of persons trained in the following to be immediately available to begin on-site rescue procedures as required: On site rescue procedures First aid and CPR Use of the rescue equipment required by the confined space plan.
Is worker training important?
Yes, appropriate training is extremely important to working safely in confined spaces, as well as for attendant and rescue personnel. Hands-on training should be an essential part of the confined space training. Every worker that enters a confined space must be fully trained on the following: Recognition and identification of potential hazards associated with the confined spaces that will be entered. Evaluation and control procedures for the identified or potential hazards. Set-up, use, and limitations of all equipment such as emergency equipment, ventilation equipment (blowers), hazardous energy control, isolation and lockout equipment, air quality monitors (e.g., oxygen/combustible meters) and other control equipment that will be used while in the confined space. Set-up, use, and limitations of all personal protective equipment (e.g., full-body harness, respirators) that the worker will be using while in the confined space. Communication systems and retrieval systems (set-up and operation). All safe work procedures for entering the confined space as outlined in the employer's confined space hazard assessment program. Procedures to follow in the event of a situation developing that could present additional risk to the worker or an emergency. First aid and CPR. The specific work to be done while in the confined space. To work in a manner that will not endanger lives. Workers with emergency rescue responsibilities will need additional specialized training. All confined space training should include some hands-on training with the safety equipment including the personal protective equipment and safety harnesses. Rescue procedures should be practiced frequently so there is a high level of proficiency. Employers should keep records of all confined spaces training including refresher courses."""