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 Great Western Painting
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 Safety Questions Call Bob   208-371-7757

                                                                                                 

 Patrick  1 - 877-749-5554   /     pat@greatwesternpainting.com

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Confined spaces
All employees are required to read this info on
Confined Space
  • Know the characteristics and hazards of confined spaces  Understand how to follow confined space rules and regulations to protect themselves

 

What are confined spaces?

 

Ventilation hoses provide air and exhaust toxic vapors during confined space entry. The use of a guardrail would also be necessary to protect workers from potential falls.

Ventilation hoses provide air and exhaust toxic vapors during confined space entry. The use of a guardrail would also be necessary to protect workers from potential falls.

 

Many workplaces 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 stress.

 

 

A  Guide to Safety Confined   Spaces

Word Doc Form

 

 

 

What is an Entry Permit System?

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 confined space.
  • 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 confined space
  • 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.

 

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What should happen when work is being done in a confined space?

There should be warning signs to prevent unauthorized entry t
o the confined space.

Confined Space

 

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 confined space.
  • 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 needed.
  • Can provide entry rescue only after the most stringent precautions are taken and another Safety Watch is immediately available.

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 repeated.

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 permit.


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 immediately.

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 aid certificate.
  • Can do Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
Rescue Equipment Available

 

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 Control Program.

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.

Another worker 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 include:

  • 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 'bad' air.
  • 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 bulk material.
  • Barrier failure resulting in a flood or release of free-flowing solid.
  • Uncontrolled energy including electrical shock.
  • Visibility. Biological hazards.

 

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Confined Space
 
Entry into confined space

Entry Into Confined Spaces
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 deficiency.

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 develop until:
(a) tests to determine the nature and quantity of harmful vapours, gases, fumes, mists, dusts, and oxygen quantity have been recorded, and
(b) written work procedures have been established to ensure a safe environment for the worker.

What are other safety precautions?

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 suffocation.
  • 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.
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