Thursday, October 23, 2014

Confined Space Entry

The Occupational Safety and Health Administrations (OSHA) Confined Space Standard (29 CFR 1910.146) establishes uniform requirements to ensure that the hazards of confined spaces in U.S. workplaces are evaluated, safety procedures are implemented, and proper hazard information is transmitted to all affected workers. 

Permit Required

In any space that is large enough and configured in such a way that an employee can enter and perform his or her assigned work, the space will be designated as permit-required confined space if any of the following occur:

  • The space has limited or restricted means of entry/exit (i.e. a tank, vessel, silo, vault, pit, etc).
  • The space is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.
  • The space contains, or has a potential to contain, a hazardous atmosphere.
  • The space has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls, or by a floor that slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section.
  • The space contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.  

    As an employer with these types of spaces you must implement a Permit-Required Confined Space Program, which addresses the issues of:

    • Identifying and evaluating potential confined spaces 
    • Communicating information concerning these spaces to employees 
    • Establishing appropriate procedures and protective measures for employees

Training

Training must be provided in such a way that all employees acquire the knowledge, understanding, and skills necessary for the safe performance of their duties. 

Training must be provided:

  • Before the employee is first assigned duties that require confined space entry.
  • Before there is a change in assigned duties.
  • Whenever there is a change in permit space operations that presents a hazard about which an employee has not previously been trained.
  • Whenever there is reason to believe that there are or have been deviations from the permit space entry procedures required  by this program or inadequacies in the employee's knowledge or use of these procedures.

A written Permit-Required Confined Space Program must be reviewed and revised annually, when changes occur to the standard, or when operations in the facility change. Also, a review of the program must be conducted using the cancelled confined space entry permits retained for one year. The program must be available for inspections by employees, their authorized representatives, and authorized government inspectors. 

Clas Consulting LLC is an expert in Confined Space Programs.

Safety and Health Topics: Confined Space Entry [Occupational Safety and Health Administration]

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