Prior to entry into a permit-required confined space, the following items must be completed:
- Notification The authorized entrant must notify his or her immediate supervisor and a qualified entry supervisor of the need to enter a permit-required confined space.
- Entry Permit Entry into a permit-required confined space shall be by permit only as approved by a qualified entry supervisor. The permit is an authorization for entry under specific conditions for an approved purpose and duration. Please use the Confined Space Entry Permit Form. The qualified entry supervisor will complete the permit and ensure that all requirements are completed before any employees open or access the space. Each permit is valid for up to 24 hours and must be made available to all confined space entrants. The duration of the permit shall not exceed the actual time required to complete the specific task. All permits should be retained and a copy forwarded to the Production Safety Consultant.
- Isolate the space using required isolation devices, examples include blocking, blanking, disconnection and lock out tag out.
- Purge, inert, flush or ventilate the space as required to eliminate the hazardous atmosphere.
- Provide barriers as required to protect entrants from pedestrians, vehicles and hazards from outside the space.
- Verify conditions are acceptable for entry utilizing the confined space permit, atmospheric monitoring and all required personal protective equipment.
Atmospheric Testing / Air Monitoring
Atmospheric testing of the confined space must be conducted by a qualified entry supervisor or approved employee trained in the use of approved equipment. The air must be monitored to determine if hazardous air contamination exists within the confined space. A hazardous air contamination scenario exists when:
- The oxygen level is less than 19.5% by volume,
- Flammable gas, vapor or mist is present in excess of 10% of the LEL,
- Asphyxiant, toxic or corrosive is present in concentrations above the PEL or CL.
- Any condition or contaminant which is defined as IDLH.
- An airborne combustible particle is present in concentrations in excess of 10% of its maximum explosive concentration.
At a minimum, air monitoring must include the items listed above. Monitoring for any toxic substances that may reasonably be expected to be present or develop must also be performed. All monitoring equipment must be in proper operating condition, calibrated and used in accordance with all manufacturers’ instructions. The results of all air monitoring must be recorded on the confined space entry permit.
All necessary equipment, including testing and monitoring devices, ventilation systems, communication devices, PPE and emergency rescue systems must be obtained and assembled by the entry team. All opened confined spaces shall be appropriately isolated from other work activities by means of signage and barriers as necessary.
Provide each authorized attendant an opportunity to observe pre-entry and subsequent testing and monitoring results.
Provide at least one attendant outside the space.
Designate persons who will have active roles in the permit space entry, document on the Confined Space Entry Permit Form.
Verify rescue and first aid / CPR services are on site and available.