Confined Space Entry Permit Requirements – What You Need to Know (2023)

Confined Space Entry Permit Requirements -Entry into confined spaces can be a dangerous and potentially fatal process if done incorrectly. As such, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict regulations in place regarding confined space entry, requiring all employers to inform workers of the risks of entering these areas and to obtain entry permits prior to entering them. If you want to learn more about confined space entry permit requirements, including who must obtain one and what must be included in your permit application, keep reading!

Why Are Confined Space Entry Permit Required?

There are many situations where a confined space entry permit may be required. First and foremost, there are several common hazards that make confined spaces potentially dangerous places for workers. Confined spaces often contain airborne particles, noxious fumes, or other harmful chemicals or gases. There is also a risk of electrical shock when working in a confined space due to exposed wiring and equipment that poses an electrocution hazard.

When workers must enter a confined space, there are certain procedures that must be followed. These procedures include how to prepare for entering and exiting a confined space as well as how workers should enter and exit. In addition, many confined spaces require specialized equipment in order for entry or exit to occur safely. Finally, a permit is required because all workers involved with an entry or exit procedure must be trained on it and receive instruction on what to do if anything goes wrong during the procedure.

A confined space entry permit is a document that contains essential information on how entry and exit should occur as well as any specific requirements that may apply. It will also include where a copy of the confined space entry procedure is located so that workers can review it before entering or exiting.

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Obtaining a confined space entry permit is a two-step process. The first step involves determining whether or not entry is required. In order for an entry permit to be required, certain conditions must be met including that there is no other means of entering or exiting and only trained workers may enter.

What Is Required On A Confined Space Entry Permit: A confined space entry permit will include essential information about how workers should proceed when entering or exiting a confined space. These procedures typically include special safety precautions such as wearing personal protective equipment like hard hats, goggles, and gloves. There may also be instructions about how to maintain proper ventilation inside the confined space. Other instructions might include how workers should dress for the job (safety vests or reflective clothing) and where they can find additional resources such as copies of confined space entry permits or confined space evacuation plans.

What Are Confined Space Entry Permit Requirements

There are several confined space entry permit requirements that must be met in order to ensure a safe and successful entry.

First, you must identify what makes a confined space permit required.

Second, you must assess the confined space hazards.

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Third, you must develop a confined space entry procedure.

Fourth, you must scale the business plan helps formalize your idea.

Finally, you must monitor the confined space during and after entry.

Confined space entry permit requirements are well worth taking into consideration, especially if you are considering beginning a career in confined space entry. Confined spaces can be some of the most dangerous work sites in your company because there is little to no visibility and limited ventilation. As such, they require a number of permits before they can be entered by any personnel.

Key Elements of Entry Permits

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A standard entry permit shall contain the following items:

  • Space to be entered
  • Purpose of entry
  • Date and authorized duration of the entry permit
  • Name of authorized entrants within the permit space
  • Means of identifying authorized entrants inside the permit space (i.e., rosters or tracking systems)
  • Name(s) of personnel serving as Attendant(s) for the permit duration
  • Name of individual serving as Entry Supervisor, with a space for the signature or initials of the Entry Supervisor who originally authorized the entry
  • Hazards of the permit space to be entered
  • Measures used to isolate the permit space and to eliminate or control permit space hazards before entry (i.e., lockout/tagout of equipment and procedures
    for purging, ventilating, and flushing permit spaces)
  • Acceptable entry conditions
  • Results of initial and periodic tests performed, accompanied by the names or initials of the testers and the date(s) when the tests were performed
  • Rescue and emergency services that can be summoned, and the means of contacting those services (i.e., equipment to use, phone numbers to call)
  • Communication procedures used by authorized entrants and Attendant(s) to maintain contact during the entry
  • Equipment to be provided for compliance with this Confined Space Program (i.e., PPE, testing, communications, alarm systems, and rescue)
  • Other information necessary for the circumstances of the particular confined space that will help ensure employee safety
  • Additional permits, such as for hot work, that has been issued to authorize work on the permit space

READ: OSHA Confined Space Air Monitoring Requirements: What You Need to Know

How To Avoid Problems With Unsafe Spaces

When working in or around a confined space, it’s important to be aware of the potential hazards. Before entering a confined space, you need to determine what makes a confined space permit required. Once you have determined that a confined space permit is needed, follow the confined space requirements outlined by your company. By being aware of the potential hazards and following the proper procedures, you can help avoid problems with unsafe spaces.

Most confined space hazards are preventable by implementing good practices. The best practice is always to avoid entering a confined space whenever possible. Consider all other options first—such as sending in an unmanned robot, lowering instruments or supplies, or accessing it from above. If you have determined that there is no way around entering a confined space, make sure your entry doesn’t pose any additional risks with unsafe spaces.

The regulations around confined space permits and entry are different for each country, state or province. It’s always a good idea to consult your governing body when determining whether or not a permit is required, as well as what procedures you need to follow. The first step is always ensuring that you are working in a safe environment with no potential hazards. If you work in an area that has known hazards, there may be additional regulations imposed on your work environment.

(Video) Entry Permits for Confined Spaces

Unsafe confined spaces can be encountered in any industry, from mining to construction and everything in between. Each industry has its own set of regulations, permits and procedures that must be followed. Whether you are working with a confined space permit or just avoiding unsafe spaces, being aware of all potential hazards is vital for safe work practices. Although it is not possible to eliminate all risks associated with entering a confined space, following correct procedures will help you prevent most hazards.

If you are working with a confined space permit, make sure that all procedures and regulations are followed. If you find yourself in an unsafe space, your safety equipment is designed to protect you from serious injuries or even death. There may be additional hazards that present themselves when you enter a confined space—but always follow safe practices and check your equipment before entering any area. Being aware of potential hazards is vital for both preventing accidents and staying safe while at work.

Checklist For Safe Entries

Here are some points we should consider in the confine space entry;

1. Make sure you have the proper permits and paperwork in order before beginning work.
2. Inspect the area for any potential hazards, and make sure it is well-ventilated.
3. Wear the proper safety gear, including a hard hat, goggles, and respirator mask.
4. Have a partner with you at all times, and stay in communication with them while working.
5. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
6. Try not to work alone, and be aware of all possible hazards.
7. Never hesitate to stop work if you feel unwell or otherwise unsafe. The well-being of your workers comes first.
8. Never take shortcuts in safety, and make sure all your documentation is up-to-date.
9. Be aware of your surroundings, and make sure everyone has a way out in case of an emergency.
10. Take breaks regularly, and never stay in a confined space for longer than 90 minutes at a time. If you feel faint or ill, try to get out as soon as possible.

Follow these checklists points and other important points depending on the type of confined space and the hazards present; these will help ensure that working in confined space is safe.

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Confined space checklist

Related

FAQs

What is confined space answer? ›

A confined space is a space with limited entry and egress and not suitable for human inhabitants. An example is the interior of a storage tank, occasionally entered by maintenance workers but not intended for human occupancy.

What must you check before entering a confined space? ›

if there is a risk of liquids or gases flooding in, you should establish whether the valves can be locked shut. if someone is going into a confined space and there is not enough oxygen to breathe properly, you must provide breathing apparatus or ventilate the space to increase oxygen levels before entering.

What should be the first consideration if you are planning to work in a confined space? ›

The first step would be to identify whether the space is hazardous before entry and if there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of hazards occurring during the job. The person in charge of the proposed work in the confined space needs to ascertain whether flammable substances or oxygen enrichment is present.

What 2 types of confined spaces are there? ›

Confined spaces are usually broken down into two groups: Non-Permit and Permit. Permit confined spaces are the most hazardous and require you or some qualified person to completed a safety checklist, simply called a permit, before you enter in to the space.

What are 5 examples of confined spaces? ›

Confined spaces include, but are not limited to, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, etc.

What are 3 different types of hazards in confined spaces? ›

Confined spaces may contain hazardous atmospheres, including insufficient oxygen, toxic (poisonous) air, or an explosive atmosphere. These spaces may also have physical hazards that may result, for example, in workers falling, being crushed or buried, or drowning. These hazards may not be obvious.

What are the 3 atmosphere hazards in a confined space? ›

Three main atmospheric hazards may be encountered in confined/enclosed spaces. These hazards consist of low or high oxygen levels, toxic gases or vapors, and flam- mable atmospheres. To ensure that these spaces are safe to enter, test the atmosphere prior to entry.

What is oxygen level in confined space? ›

19.5 % Minimum acceptable oxygen level.

What 3 substances gases must be tested for in a confined space? ›

Before an employee enters the space, the internal atmosphere shall be tested, with a calibrated direct-reading instrument, for oxygen content, for flammable gases and vapors, and for potential toxic air contaminants, in that order.

What are 4 hazards associated with working in a confined space? ›

What are some common hazards in a confined space?
  • Hazardous gases and vapor such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, Freon, hydrogen sulfide, welding gases, ammonia etc.
  • Asphyxiation due to limited oxygen.
  • Combustible dusts.
  • Flammable liquid or gases.
  • Explosion.
  • Engulfment.
  • Becoming trapped.
  • Fall hazards.
28 Jul 2017

What are the six specified risks in confined space? ›

What are the main confined space hazards?
  • Lack of Oxygen. Oxygen can be removed from the atmosphere within a confined space through naturally occurring reactions. ...
  • Gases, Fumes and Vapours. ...
  • Flooding. ...
  • Dust. ...
  • Fire and Explosions. ...
  • Temperature. ...
  • Access Restrictions.
11 May 2022

How much depth is confined space? ›

In general practice, all trench excavations over four feet in depth should be considered confined spaces until a competent person has ruled out all of the potential hazards associated with it. Confined spaces always have been presented with a question mark.

What are the two most important safety concerns when entering a confined space? ›

Before anyone enters a confined space, they must take steps to: Lock out energy hazards. Double block and bleed lines that run into the space.

How many types of gases are in a confined space? ›

The most common toxic gases found in confined spaces are Volatile Organic Compounds (ppm VOC), Carbon Monoxide (ppm CO) and Nitrogen Dioxide (ppm NO2). They are usually the by-product of operations such as painting and gas or diesel generators.

What is a high risk confined space? ›

A high risk confined space is a space in which a specified risk cannot be eliminated or controlled to an acceptable level, or where breathing apparatus is required. Entry may involve complex entry procedures and it will entail the use of breathing apparatus.

What is a Level 1 confined space? ›

Confined Space Level 1

Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH). Includes, but not limited to Oxygen Deficient, Flammable/Explosive Atmospheres and/or concentrations of toxic substances.

What are the four classifications of confined space? ›

There are three main types of confined spaces — permit required, alternate procedure and non-permit-required spaces. A permit-required confined space must have safety signage around the area to indicate there's potential for danger if entered. The employees should see this signage before they enter the confined space.

How many types of hazards are there in confined space? ›

It's important to know what they are, how to identify them and how to manage them safely. According to Safe Work Australia's “Confined Spaces: Code of Practice”, there are 16 major hazards associated with a confined space.

What are the 4 common hazard? ›

There are many types of hazards - chemical, ergonomic, physical, and psychosocial, to name a few - which can cause harm or adverse effects in the workplace.

How often should air be tested in a confined space? ›

To completely assess such dangers, OSHA's standards require that testing of the space be performed at 4-foot intervals.

What is the minimum safe oxygen level for entry in confined space? ›

xvi) If the workmen are using oxygen consuming equipment (torches, burners etc) ensure that the confined space is continuously provided with sufficient air to maintain minimum Oxygen concentration of 19.0% to 23% by volume.

Why are oxygen levels tested first in confined space? ›

To ensure that the air in a confined space is safe to breathe, it will be important for responders to test the oxygen levels before they enter the location. Once inside, they will also need to continue to periodically monitor those oxygen levels as the incident unfolds.

At what depth is 100% oxygen toxic? ›

Breathing air containing 21% oxygen risks acute oxygen toxicity at depths greater than 66 m; breathing 100% oxygen there is a risk of convulsion at only 6 m.

What percent LEL is safe? ›

Atmospheres with a concentration of flammable vapors at or above 10 percent of the lower explosive limit (LEL) are considered hazardous when located in confined spaces. However, atmospheres with flammable vapors below 10 percent of the LEL are not necessarily safe. Such atmospheres are too lean to burn.

At what level is oxygen explosive? ›

Nearly all materials including textiles, rubber and even metals will burn vigorously in oxygen. Even a small increase in the oxygen level in the air to 24% can create a dangerous situation. It becomes easier to start a fire, which will then burn hotter and more fiercely than in normal air.

What are the 4 gas tests? ›

Summary
TestObservationInference
Lighted splint held in a test tubePop sound heardHydrogen is present
Gas bubbled through limewaterLimewater turns milky or cloudy whiteCarbon dioxide is present
Damp litmus paper held in a test tubePaper turns whiteChlorine is present
1 more row

How much oxygen is in the air? ›

Air is mostly gas

The air in Earth's atmosphere is made up of approximately 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen. Air also has small amounts of other gases, too, such as carbon dioxide, neon, and hydrogen.

What are the two types of PTW form? ›

There are seven main types of work permits: Hot Work Permits, Cold Work Permits, Confined Spaces Work Permits, Chemical Work Permits, Height Work Permit, and Excavation Permit.

What is the main cause of death in confined space? ›

Asphyxiation is the leading cause of death in confined spaces. Asphyxiation occurs in spaces as a result of oxygen deficiency, exposure to toxic atmospheres or employees falling into narrow discharge pipes and dying from compression of the torso.

What is a confined space give 2 examples? ›

A confined space is any enclosed or partially enclosed structure that is intended or likely to be entered by any person, has limited or restricted entry or exit access and contains a potentially harmful atmosphere. Examples include tanks, pits, chimneys, silos, underground sewers, tunnels and wells.

How long should a confined space be ventilated before entry? ›

Prior to every entry when the space is vacant; After a 10 minute ventilation period (if ventilation is necessary); At least hourly for permit-required confined spaces.

What are normal temperature in confined space? ›

48-500C with high relative humidity.

What is pit hazards? ›

Working in pits and quarries poses many risks such as slides, cave-ins, being struck by powered mobile equipment and falling materials, vehicle rollovers, exposure to excessive noise, working near conveyors and moving parts, and exposure to dust.

What is a low risk confined space? ›

A low risk confined space is one where there is adequate natural or mechanical ventilation, where access appears simple and unobstructed, and where there is no likely risk of flooding. Examples of low risk confined spaces include pub cellars, valve chambers and stairwells.

What PPE should be worn in a confined space? ›

Personal protective equipment (such as respirators, gloves, hearing protection, etc.) is commonly used in confined spaces as well. However, wearing of PPE sometimes may increase heat and loss of mobility.

What PPE do you need for confined space? ›

Protective headgear is vital in confined spaces, where the potential for head injuries is high. It's important to find the best fit and to continually check your headgear for any damages that can compromise its effectiveness. According to OSHA, protective helmets or hard hats should: Resist penetration.

What are the rules for confined space? ›

Confined spaces need to be clearly identified and their locations and any specific hazards need to be made known to all people working in that area. Danger signs need to be clearly visible and suitable measures such as barriers or fences need to be in place to prevent anyone not authorized from entering these spaces.

What are the two types of confined spaces? ›

Confined spaces are usually broken down into two groups: Non-Permit and Permit. Permit confined spaces are the most hazardous and require you or some qualified person to completed a safety checklist, simply called a permit, before you enter in to the space.

What should be checked first in a confined space? ›

Test the atmosphere in the following order: (1) for oxygen, (2) for combustible gases, and then (3) for toxic gases and vapors. 2 The testing results -- the actual test concentrations -- must be recorded on the permit near the lev- els identified for safe entry.

How do you clean the air in a confined space? ›

Purify the Air

Confined spaces lack fresh air and sunlight; as a result, the air lacks the necessary oxygen for breathing. To purify the air, you can open the windows or skylight to let some fresh air in. If space lacks any type of opening, you can install a special hatch to let some air in.

What makes a space confined space? ›

an enclosed or partially enclosed space; not designed or intended for continuous human occupancy; with restricted access or exit; and. a space that is, or may become hazardous to a person entering it due to its design, construction, location, atmosphere or the materials or substances in it, or other conditions.

What is the maximum oxygen level in confined space? ›

19.5 % Minimum acceptable oxygen level. 15 - 19% Decreased ability to work strenuously. Impair coordination.

What is a safe LEL level? ›

Atmospheres with a concentration of flammable vapors at or above 10 percent of the lower explosive limit (LEL) are considered hazardous when located in confined spaces. However, atmospheres with flammable vapors below 10 percent of the LEL are not necessarily safe. Such atmospheres are too lean to burn.

What depth is a confined space? ›

Some examples of confined spaces include storage tanks, sewers, manholes, tunnels, ship voids, pipelines, silos, wells, pits and trenches. These also require a permit for entry. In the United States, any pit or trench with a depth equal to or greater than 4 feet is classified as a permit-required confined space.

What is the co2 level in confined space? ›

900-1000: Fair. 1100-1500: Mediocre – Indoor air contaminated, ventilation required. 1600-2000: Bad – Indoor air heavily contaminated, ventilation essential. Carbon Dioxide levels above 2000 are dangerously high and must be dealt with immediately.

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