All employees are required
to read this info on
- Know the
characteristics and hazards of confined spaces
Understand how to follow confined space
rules and regulations to protect thems
What are confined
provide air and exhaust toxic vapors during
confined space entry. The use of a guardrail would
also be necessary to protect workers from
contain areas that are considered "confined spaces"
because while they are not necessarily designed for
people, they are large enough for workers to enter and
perform certain jobs. A confined space also has
limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is
not designed for continuous occupancy. Confined spaces
include, but are not limited to, tanks, vessels,
silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes,
tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, etc.
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
a 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
Guide to Safety Confined Spaces
Word Doc Form
What is an Entry
An Entry Permit is an
administrative tool used to document the completion of
a hazard assessment for each confined space entry.
Someone fully trained and experienced in confined
space work should complete the Entry Permit.
Before entering a confined
space, an entry permit should be written. It should
contain at least the following information:
- The length of time the
permit is valid for.
- The name(s) of the
worker(s) that are authorized to enter the
- The name(s) of the
attendant(s) (safety watch) and/or supervisor.
- The location and
description of the confined space.
- The work that is to be
done in the confined space.
- Possible hazards that may
be encountered inside and outside the space.
- Possible hazards that may
develop during the work activity.
- The date and time of
entry into the confined space and the anticipated
time of exit.
- The details of any
atmospheric testing done of the confined space -
when, where, results, date monitoring equipment
was last calibrated. Ideally, calibration would be
done just before each use. If this is not
possible, follow the equipment manufacturers
guidelines for frequency of calibration.
- Hazard control measures,
including the use of mechanical ventilation and
other protective equipment needed and any other
precautions that will be followed by every worker
who is going to enter the confined space.
- Means of communication
between the persons working in the confined space
and the attendant.
- Emergency plan, and the
protective equipment and emergency equipment to be
used by any person who takes part in a rescue or
responds to other emergency situations in the
- A signature of a worker
who did the confined space air testing. The
signature on the permit would indicate that
adequate precautions are being taken to control
the anticipated hazards.
- Authorization signature
by the supervisor certifying that the space has
been properly evaluated, prepared, and it is safe
for entry and work.
The entry permit should be
posted at the confined space and remain so until the
work is completed. The employer should keep a copy of
the completed permit on file.
What should happen when work is being done in a
There should be
warning signs to prevent unauthorized entry t
Anyone working in a confined
space must be constantly alert for any changing
conditions within the confined space. In the event of
an alarm from monitoring equipment or any other
indication of danger, workers should immediately leave
the confined space.
Another worker, the attendant
(also knowns as the Safety Watch or Standby), is
posted outside the confined space and continuously
monitors the workers inside the confined space. The
Safety Watch has the following duties:
- Understands the nature of
the hazards that may be found inside the
particular confined space and can recognize signs,
symptoms and behavioural effects that workers in
the confined space could experience.
- Monitors the confined
space and surrounding area and is on the look out
for dangerous conditions.
- Remains outside the
confined space and does no other work which may
interfere with their primary duty of monitoring
the workers inside the confined space.
- Maintains constant
two-way communication with the workers in the
- Orders the immediate
evacuation if a potential hazard, not already
controlled for, is detected.
- Calls for emergency
assistance immediately if an emergency develops.
- Is immediately available
to provide non-entry emergency assistance when
- Can provide entry rescue
only after the most stringent precautions are
taken and another Safety Watch is immediately
Should a worker leave a
confined space for a short time (for example, coffee
break, getting additional material for their work.),
the confined space should be re-tested before the
worker re-enters. If the confined space has been
continuously monitored by equipment that can show the
details of the atmosphere during the time absent from
the confined space and this information can be seen
from outside the confined space, it can be re-entered
without retesting. If there is not continuous air
monitoring then the hazard assessment needs to be
No confined space should be
closed off until it has been verified that no person
is inside it.
After exiting the confined
space, the time of exit should be noted on the entry
What are some
emergency response precautions?
If a situation
arises where there is a hazardous condition and the
worker does not leave or is unable to leave the
confined space, rescue procedures should be begin
The Safety Watch is
qualified in confined spaces rescue procedures and
will be available immediately outside the confined
space to provide emergency assistance if needed. The
Safety Watch should be familiar with the structural
design of the confined space. The Safety Watch is in
constant communication with the worker inside the
confined space and will:
- Have an alarm for
calling for help.
- Have all required
rescue equipment (for example, safety harnesses,
lifting equipment, a lifeline) immediately
available and be trained in its use.
- Hold a basic first
- Can do
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
The detailed plan for
emergency response to an injury or other emergency
within the confined space should be described in
detail in the Confined Space Hazard Assessment and
Rescue the victims from
outside of the confined space, if possible. No other
worker should enter a confined space to attempt a
rescue unless that worker is fully trained in the
rescue procedures and is wearing the appropriate
personal protective equipment. More than 60% of deaths
in confined spaces are would-be rescuers, who are not
fully trained and adequately equipped.
qualified in confined spaces rescue procedures must be
present outside the confined space before the first
rescuer enters the confined space. Do not use the same
air as the confined space workers you are rescuing.
Wear SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus) or
supplied air respirator with an escape bottle.
What are the hazards
in a confined space?
All hazards found in a regular
workspace can also be found in a confined space.
However, they can be even more hazardous in a confined
space than in a regular worksite.
Hazards in confined spaces can
- Poor air quality: There
may be an insufficient amount of oxygen for the
worker to breathe. The atmosphere might contain a
poisonous substance that could make the worker ill
or even cause the worker to lose consciousness.
Natural ventilation alone will often not be
sufficient to maintain breathable quality air.
- Chemical exposures due to
skin contact or ingestion as well as inhalation of
- Fire Hazard: There may be
an explosive/flammable atmosphere due to flammable
liquids and gases and combustible dusts which if
ignited would lead to fire or explosion.
- Process-related hazards
such as residual chemicals, release of contents of
a supply line. Noise.
- Safety hazards such as
moving parts of equipment, structural hazards,
entanglement, slips, falls. Radiation.
- Temperature extremes
including atmospheric and surface.
- Shifting or collapse of
- Barrier failure resulting
in a flood or release of free-flowing solid.
- Uncontrolled energy
including electrical shock.
- Visibility. Biological
Entry into confined space
Entry Into Confined
A worker was performing TIG welding
inside a titanium tank. Argon gas was being used
as a shielding for the weld. The worker was not
wearing any respirator equipment. He was found
unconscious in the tank and died from oxygen
WCB I.H. & S.
regulation 13.05 states: "No worker shall enter a
tank, vessel, tunnel, sewer or other confined
space in which a harmful atmosphere exists or may
(a) tests to determine the
nature and quantity of harmful vapours, gases,
fumes, mists, dusts, and oxygen quantity have been
(b) written work procedures have
been established to ensure a safe environment for
What are other safety
Many other situations
or hazards may be present in a confined space. Be sure
that all hazards are controlled including:
- Any liquids or
free-flowing solids are removed from the confined
space to eliminate the risk of drowning or
- All pipes should
be physically disconnected or isolation blanks
bolted in place. Closing valves is not sufficient.
- A barrier is
present to prevent any liquids or free-flowing
solids from entering the confined space.
- The opening for
entry into and exit from the confined space must
be large enough to allow the passage of a person
using protective equipment.