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Permit Required Confined Spaces
Safety Instruction Number:2
Last Update:Tue, 05/15/2012
- This Safety Instruction prescribes the minimum requirements for preventing employee exposure to dangerous air contamination and/or oxygen deficiency within confined spaces such as tanks, ducts, sewers, boilers, vats, vessels, vaults, bins, pits, compartments, and pipelines.
- Certain environmental conditions within a confined space are capable of causing death to personnel who enter without taking precautionary measures
Policy and Responsibilities
- Each entry into a confined space must be evaluated by the supervisor of the employee entering the space to determine
- hazards involved
- appropriate safety measures to allow safe entry
- controls that must be taken to reasonably ensure a safe environment
- Safe entry into a confined space is the joint responsibility of the supervisor, the attendant and the employee who enters the space
- Supervisors must ensure that these entry procedures are followed and that personnel understand and comply with these safety requirements
- Employees must inform supervisors of any departure from these procedures
- EH&S will assist supervisors in the identification, evaluation and labeling of all confined spaces in facilities controlled by OSU.
- EH&S will maintain a list of known permit required confined spaces.
- Supervisors will report to EH&S the existence of locations in their work space that may be considered a confined space so they can be evaluated and labeled if required.
- Configuration of some confined spaces do not readily allow for the installation of a sign
- All sewer and storm drains that are entered through a manhole are to be considered permit required confined spaces, whether labeled as such or not.
- Employees must be trained by supervisors to
- Recognize areas that may be confined spaces
- Not enter these areas until a determination is made.
- They must not solely rely on the existence of a warning sign.
- CONFINED SPACE is a space defined by the existence of ALL of the following conditions:
- Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work,
- Has limited OR restricted means for entry or exit.
- Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.
- A PERMIT REQUIRED CONFINED SPACE has in addition one or more of the following characteristics:
- Contains or has a known potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere;
- Contains a material with potential for engulfment of an entrant.
- Has an internal configuration such an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a small cross-section; OR,
- Contains recognized serious safety or health hazard.
- ENTRY PERMIT is mandatory for entering all permit required confined spaces. No employee shall enter a confined space without first contacting their supervisor or entry authorizer and fulfilling the permit requirements to enter. Designated as permit required confined spaces are all manholes, meter vaults, valve boxes, etc., that are not directly connected to the main tunnel system
- AUTHORIZED ATTENDANT is an individual stationed outside the permit required confined space who is trained according to OSU confined space policy and who monitors the authorized entrants inside the permit required confined space
- AUTHORIZED ENTRANT is an employee who is authorized by the employer to enter a permit required confined space
- ENTRY AUTHORIZER is a supervisor who has received training as both an authorized entrant and attendant and has been designated by EH&S to authorize entry into a confined space with the issuance of a permit
- HOT WORK PERMIT is written authorization to perform operations which could provide a source of ignition.
- Must be done prior to any entry into a permit required confined space:
- No one shall enter a permit required confined space without having the proper annual training and obtaining a signed permit from an entry authorizer.
- OBTAIN ENTRY PERMIT:
- The entry permit is designed to ensure that a checklist of necessary precautions is taken before entry is made.
- The following items are included on the OSU confined space entry permit forms.
- Dates, location, job description, and entry supervisor/authorizer signature.
- Date and time of instrument test.
- The requirement to block and bleed all pipes and lines carrying hazardous material.
- Additional approval if welding is to be performed.
- Recording of periodic atmospheric tests.
- Obtain the following items before entry
- Entry permit form
- Air monitoring equipment
- Ventilation equipment and power supply
- Arrange for authorized attendant and communication equipment.
- Barricades, if needed
- Rescue Equipment
- Perform the initial monitoring evaluation.
- Determine potential hazards in the confined space atmosphere.
- Test, with the appropriate device or method to determine whether dangerous air contamination and/or oxygen deficiency exists. (EH&S may be contacted to assist with the test.)
- Record readings on the entry permit form.
- Unacceptable readings or alarms activated during any monitoring tests indicate that the atmosphere is contaminated and unsafe for employee entry
- DO NOT ENTER THE SPACE - contact EH&S.
- The source of the contamination must be investigated and eliminated before any work is performed.
- The space shall be emptied, flushed, or purged of flammable, injurious, or incapacitating substance with fresh air to the extent feasible.
- Venting with fresh air will continue as long as employee is working in the confined space.
- The air shall be monitored continuously to ensure that the development of dangerous air contamination and/or oxygen deficiency does not occur during the performance of any operation.
Confined Space Operation Procedures
- Apply to entry into and work within a Permit Required Confined Space
- Work may proceed only after:
- Initial tests are completed and determined to be within acceptable limits
- Entry authorizer has reviewed the results
- Entry authorizer has inspected the work area and signed the permit
- The following precautions must be met:
- One employee (authorized attendant) will remain outside of the space to be available in case of emergency. This individual must be in direct communication with the other worker(s) in the confined space, as well as have the capability to reach emergency response personnel.
- A portable blower will be used to provide a continuous supply of fresh air while personnel are working in the confined space, taking care to ensure that the expelled exhaust does not reenter the work atmosphere.
- Make subsequent tests for flammability, oxygen deficiency, and/or toxicity at intervals frequent enough to ensure a safe atmosphere during the time personnel are in such a space. (Despite a purge, enough toxic substance may remain in pores and scale to recreate a hazardous atmosphere.)
- Rescue equipment will be set up that will provide a quick means of entry and exit from the space when possible. If possible the authorized entrant will enter confined spaces from a side opening, rather than the top access.
- No sources of ignition, including smoking or welding, will be introduced into the confined space until a hot work permit is obtained.
- Authorized entrants must wear protective clothing and gloves when working in spaces that may contain corrosive substances that could be absorbed through the skin during accidental contact.
- Head, eye, and face, hearing and foot protection must be worn, if necessary.
- If an exception to these procedures must be made, EH&S should be consulted to ensure adequate safety precautions are taken and appropriate safety equipment is used.
- When the operation is finished, the entry permit will be completed, signed, returned to the supervisor and filed in the department's safety records.
- Restricted Areas are those areas that do not meet the definition of a confined space or permit required confinded space yet could pose significant hazards to personnel, depending on conditions.
- Atypical conditions that would restrict access to an area can include flooding, fire, smoke, high voltage electrical work, or other abnormal event.
- Examples of restricted areas: mechanical rooms, electrical or communication rooms, or utility tunnels with atypical conditions.
- An area that is designated "Restricted" should be done so in consultation with EH&S. Once an area is determined to be in a "Restricted" status, all personnel who plan on entering a Restricted Area will be required to take necessary safety precautions according to the existing conditions.
- On CAMPUS the authorized attendant shall call Public Safety dispatch and give details as to the nature of the hazard, location, injuries, and other problems.
- Dispatch shall immediately:
- Notify the local Fire department.
- Notify Environmental Health and Safety.
- Notify the Entry Supervisor/Authorizer.
- If the work in the Confined Space is not on the main campus then arrangements will need to be made for rescue and this information will be included on the permit.
Training and Duties
- AUTHORIZED ENTRANTS must be trained in the following areas and will be required to perform the following duties:
- Recognition of hazards which may be faced during an entry. This includes the signs and symptoms of an exposure to a hazard as well as an understanding of the consequences of that exposure.
- Authorized entrants will maintain communication with attendants and will notify the attendant in the event the entrants initiate evacuation.
- Authorized entrants will be provided with and use appropriate personal protective equipment as designated by the entry authorizer. In the case of respiratory protection being required, the entrant must have current respiratory protection training and respirator fit test. Entrant will be instructed in the use of the designated personal protective equipment. Any external barriers needed to protect entrants from external hazards will be explained and used.
- Authorized entrants will be instructed to exit the space, when the attendant orders evacuation, when an automatic alarm (e.g. gas meter, fire alarm) sounds, or when the authorized entrant perceives that they are in danger. The only exception to the entrants following these directions would occur when the entrant is not physically able to evacuate on their own power.
- AUTHORIZED ATTENDANTS must be trained in the following areas and be required to perform the following duties:
- Be trained as an authorized entrant.
- The attendant will be able to recognize hazards that the entrants may face in the permitted space as will as monitor activities inside and outside the permit space to determine if it is safe for entrants to remain in the space.
- Attendants will be trained in the proper use of rescue equipment and demonstrate ability to use that equipment.
- The entrants will be provided with and maintain an effective and continuous means of contact with the authorized attendants during entry. This may range from voice communications to radio communications. Other means may be used as deemed appropriate and effective by the authorizer.
- Attendant will order immediate evacuation of entrants from permitted spaces in the following conditions:
- attendant observes a condition not allowed in the entry permit,
- attendant detects behavioral effects of hazard exposure,
- attendant detects a situation outside the space which could endanger entrants,
- attendant detects an uncontrolled hazard within the permit space, or
- attendant must leave the work location.
- The attendant will continuously maintain an accurate count of all persons in the space.
- All attendants will have continuous radio communication capabilities with Customer Service or trained rescue personnel. The attendant will notify Customer Service or designated rescue personnel when an escape is ordered due to imminent safety hazards. In all ordered evacuations the authorizer will be notified immediately by Customer Service or designated rescue personnel.
- Attendants will not enter the permit space to attempt a rescue of entrants. At no time will the site be left without an attendant. Rescue equipment will be provided for attendants to use without entering the space.
- The attendant will take the following actions as necessary when an unauthorized person approaches or enters a permit space while entry is underway: a) warn the unauthorized person to exit immediately if they have entered the permit space. b) inform the authorized entrants and the designated authorizers if an unauthorized person entered the permitted spaces. The attendant may also contact Customer Service or designated rescue personnel who will contact Police and/or Security and request immediate assistance.
- Normally attendants will only be allowed to monitor one permit entry space at a time. Exceptions to monitoring more than one space at a time must be approved by Environmental Health & Safety prior to the entry.
- ENTRY AUTHORIZER will obtain training in the following areas and perform the following duties:
- Entry Supervisors/Authorizers will be trained in the same procedures as attendants and entrants.
- All authorizers will use only the official Oregon State University Confined Space Entry Permit and determine that all pertinent information is noted on the permit.
- They will determine that the necessary procedures, practices and equipment for safe entry are in effect before allowing entry.
- Authorizers will determine at appropriate intervals that the entry operations remain consistent with the terms of the entry permit and that acceptable entry conditions are present.
- Authorizers will cancel the entry authorization and terminate entry whenever acceptable entry conditions are not present. Authorizers will take the necessary measures for concluding an entry operation, such as closing off a permit space and canceling the permit, once the work authorized by the permit has been completed.
- Any authorizer may enter the permit space during the term of the permit provided the attendant is informed of that entry and appropriate protective equipment is worn.
- In the event of an ordered evacuation, the authorizer will be required to respond to the space immediately.
- When a contractor is expected to perform work in a confined space, OSU will inform the contractor if the space is considered a permit required confined space
- Contractor will
- be advised of the elements which make the space a permit required confined space and the associated hazards
- be advised of any safety provisions that may be in the area, including these written procedures
- be required to contact an entry authorizer at the completion of the entry to debrief with an authorizer on any hazards confronted or created during the entry
- When both a contractor and an OSU employee will be making a joint entry, the OSU entry authorizer will coordinate the entry