Confined Space Entry Permit
The Confined Space Entry Permit is the major tool in assuring safety during entry into confined spaces with known hazards or with unknown or potentially hazardous atmospheres. The entry permit process guides the supervisor and workers through a systematic evaluation of the space to be entered. The permit should be used to establish appropriate conditions. Before each entry into a confined space, an entry permit will be completed by a qualified person and the contents communicated to all employees involved in the operation and conspicuously posted near the work location. In addition, all personnel involved with the confined space entry must be given a briefing before operations commence.
Training must be provided for all personnel associated with a confined space entry. This training must train personnel in the recognition of hazards, and how to safely enter a confined space. The crew supervisor or lead man should always give a safety briefing covering all protective measures, emergency response plans and preparations, and each person's role and responsibilities at the start of each entry or shift change. He or she must perform a final inspection and complete a checklist to ensure that all items required by the permit are in place before an entry is made.
Elements of a Confined Space
• Permit space to be entered,
• Purpose of the entry,
• Date of the permit and the duration of the entry,
• Name of authorized entrants within the permit space,
• Personnel serving as attendants,
• Individual serving as entry supervisor,
• Hazards of space to be entered,
• Acceptable entry conditions,
• Results of initial and periodic tests performed, accompanied by the names or initials of the testers,
• Rescue and emergency services that can be summoned,
• Communication procedures used by authorized entrants and attendants to maintain contact during the entry,
• Equipment to be provided for compliance, and
• Other information that is necessary, given the circumstances of the particular confined space, in order to ensure employee safety.
An effective means of communications between employees inside a confined space and the safety attendant must be used whenever conditions in the space require use of respirators or whenever entrants are out of sight of the safety attendant at any time. It is important that the communication system be tested before each use, and frequently thereafter, to ensure that it is working properly.
An approved harness and an attached line must be used. The free end must be secured outside the confined space. The line should be at least 0.5 inches in diameter and able to withstand a 2,000 pound test. Exception: A line may be eliminated in situations where it would further endanger the worker or not contribute to rescue. At least one other employee who may have other duties must be within calling distance to assist the safety attendant in an emergency. If required by the entry procedure, the safety attendant must have an appropriate, NIOSH-approved, SCBA respirator available for immediate use. The safety attendant may enter the confined space, but only in case of emergency and after notifying another employee. This employee will then become the safety attendant and assume all duties outside of the confined space. The safety attendant must wear appropriate protective equipment, including self-contained breathing apparatus, during the emergency entry and ensure that another employee is standing by outside.