A confined space is a space with limited entry and exits and not designed for human continuous occupancy. An example is the interior of a storage tank, occasionally entered by maintenance workers but not intended for human occupancy. Confined spaces also include, but are not limited to, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, etc. Hazards in a confined space often include harmful dust or gases, asphyxiation, submersion in liquids or free-flowing granular solids (for example, grain bins), electrocution, or entrapment.
OSHA uses the term “permit-required confined space” (permit space) to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics: contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.
What are acceptable entry conditions?
“Acceptable entry conditions” means the conditions that must exist in a permit space to allow entry and to ensure that employees involved with a permit-required confined space entry can safely enter into and work within the space.
Arguably, one of the most critical components of OSHA’s confined space entry standards is code 1910.146(i) which requires a confined space attendant. An attendant is the employee who remains outside the confined space and monitors the entrant, guards the space against unauthorized entry, warns the entrants of any unusual conditions and summons rescue personnel if needed.
When entering a confined space, the entrant must have a clear understanding of what he is responsible for. His key responsibilities include knowing the hazards that may be faced, maintaining a line of communication with the entry attendant and alerting him or her whenever any sign or symptom of a dangerous situation or prohibited condition arises. Then he must exit the space quickly and safely.
No worker should enter a confined space without the proper support team in place. There are 3 main members to a confined space team.
Duration: 2 Hours