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Confined Space Training Refresher/Overview


This confined space training aims to help refreshing memory and provides guidance to protect personnel from hazards of confined space entry. It outlines a systematic approach to identifying, eliminating, and controlling confined space hazards.

This training satisfies OSHA Regulation CFR.1910.146 to assure a safe working environment in confined spaces.

Highlights

  • Confined Space Entry permit must be obtained before a confined space is entered
  • Before you can obtain a confined space entry permit, you first must obtain an Authorized Work Permit
  • Everyone working on a Confined Space Permit must sign their full name on the permit
  • If changes are made to the Confined Space Permit, all persons signed on the permit must read, understand and then initial their name
  • Any person signed on permit who gets reassigned or is no longer affiliated with the activity prior to the task completion must place a single line through their name
  • The Confined Space Permit is valid for 24 hours and must be authorized by the Entry Supervisor
  • All blanks on the Confined Space Entry Permit should be filled-in with the requested information prior to permit authorization

Permit Location

  • The Confined Space Entry Permit (with a copy of the entry log sheet & rescue plan) is kept at the entry point
  • A copy of the completed Confined Space Entry blanking/tagging list must be attached to the Confined Space Entry Permit
  • The Work Permit is kept only in Control Room of the operating Unit

Definitions

  • Entry – Breaking the plane of the confined space opening with any part of the body, including arms/hands, when the opening is large enough to allow full body access to the space.
  • Confined Space - A space with limited or restricted means of entry or exit, and is large enough for an employee to enter and perform work but is not designed for continuous occupancy (For example, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, and pits are spaces that may have limited means of entry.). A Confined Space Entry Permit is required for any entry into a confined space.
  • Unattended Vessel - Any open vessel or confined space is considered unattended when all the entering personnel and the attendant have left the entry area. An atmospheric check must be completed prior to re-entry of the vessel. Entry into excavations 4 ft. deep or greater should be permitted as a confined space. This in accordance with OSHA 1926.
  • Entry Supervisor - The person who is authorized to verify that all conditions for entry into a confined space have been met, to define ongoing precautions to maintain safe working conditions during the entry, to authorize the entry to occur, and to cancel the permit allowing entry; also, known as proprietor, work group supervisor, or authorizing person.
  • Certified Attendant - Properly trained and certified individual, stationed outside the vessel who monitors the entrants and performs all duties assigned to them in the confined space entry procedure. An Attendant can be from Operations or Maintenance, or any contractor who is a certified confined space entry attendant (certified by a third party licensed provider). The attendant has complete authority over who can and cannot enter the confined space.
  • Back-up - Trained individual who remains in audible or visual contact with the attendant and initiates any emergency response.
  • Entrant - Person authorized to enter the Confined Space and who understands
    • Potential Hazards
    • Precautions to be taken
    • Scope/Limits of specified work
    • Evacuation & Communication Procedure
    • Familiar with other people involved with entry

Note:

  • Any space (except excavations) at least five feet deep and open on only one side, top, or bottom, should be evaluated by entering personnel, and an appropriate representative of the area responsible for the space in question, to determine if any of the hazards listed below could be present. If any of these hazards exist, the space should be considered a confined space.
  • Any routinely entered spaces that meet the Confined Space definition but are not judged to be hazardous will be listed in that area's safety rules as a long-term exception to this guideline after being approved according to the Safety Manual permanent exception procedure (maximum duration one year for any “long term” exceptions).
  • Entry into excavations 4 feet deep or greater should be permitted as a Confined Space Entry in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.146.

Hazards of Confined Spaces

Some hazards associated with Confined Spaces include:

  • Oxygen deficiency
  • Difficulty in escape/rescue
  • Exposure to toxic material
  • Temperature extremes
  • Skin irritants
  • Flammable material
  • Corrosive material
  • Moving equipment
  • Electrical shock
  • Poor ventilation
  • Radiation exposure
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Respiratory irritants
  • Explosion
  • NOx (while welding)

Labeling & Barricading

  • Each area should identify all confined spaces that could be accidentally entered and should place signs at those locations warning that a confined space permit is needed before entering.
  • Once a confined space is opened, a sign and barricade should be installed at each entry point to warn against accidental entry. The proprietor is responsible for initiating the barricade and the attendant is responsible for making sure it is in place before leaving the entry point unattended.

Blanking/Tagging

Each confined space to be entered should have a blanking/tagging list that:

  • Identifies all isolation points for piping that connects to the vessel.
  • Identifies diameter, material of construction, and pressure rating of each blank to be used. (This should be visible on the handle of the blank.)
  • Identifies any other hazardous conditions that should be isolated, such as: radiation sources, prime movers of equipment, electrical tracing, etc.
  • All piping should either be blanked or have an adequate length of piping removed and blinded on the piping side.
  • Relief systems should be disconnected.
  • A “Confined Space Entry” or “Vessel Entry” tag should be attached to all blanks installed and on the vessel side of all disconnect points.  All tagging points should be listed on the Confined Space Entry Blanking/Tagging List (see below example).
  • A copy of the completed Confined Space Entry Blanking/Tagging List should be attached to the Confined Space Entry Permit.


Grounding Checks

  • Confined Spaces should be adequately grounded before entry.
  • The electrical grounding check does not have to be repeated every work period during the job unless circumstances change.

Ventilation & Air Tools

  • Mechanical ventilation should be provided for all confined spaces.  The method of ventilation should be noted on the Confined Space Entry Permit.
  • Oxygen, process air systems, or instrument air systems should NOT be used to provide fresh air to the confined space or to supply air for air-driven tools.  Air-driven tools utilized within the Confined Space must be powered by a portable air compressor.
  • Venturi blowers and electric blowers should only be used to pull air out of a confined space.
  • Portable air conditioning units may be set up to blow air into a confined space for ventilation and cooling; however, the intake for portable air conditioning units and/or portable air compressors should NOT be located in an area containing hazardous vapors.

Atmospheric Tests

  • Initial atmospheric checks should be initially done WITHOUT forced ventilation.
  • Continuous monitoring should be done whenever workers are in the confined space.
  • Continuous monitors should be equipped with audible alarms to alert personnel to hazardous conditions .
  • Tests for toxic chemicals are done initially, and unless changes occur, do not have to be repeated throughout the job.
  • All results should be documented on the Confined Space Permit.
  • The oxygen content inside the confined space should remain between 19½ - 22%. Any atmosphere outside this range should only be entered for RESCUE purposes ONLY!
  • Toxic gases to be tested and their toxic limits should be noted on the permit along with the results of the tests.
  • If a confined space is left unattended, the atmospheric checks should be performed before re-entry.

Electrical Equipment

  • All electrical power and lighting equipment, except for battery powered, inside of a confined space should utilize a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) located outside of the confined space.
  • The GFCI should be located at the origin of the power source and should be tested for proper performance initially and prior to each day’s use. The person testing the GFCI should initial the confined space entry permit.
  • To prevent accidental unplugging, power cords being used inside a confined space, should be identified with instruction tags at the GFCI.

Rescue Plan

  • Each confined space being entered should have an approved rescue plan attached to the permit copy that is located at the entry point.
  • The Entry Supervisor should confirm adequate staffing of personnel on the Rescue Team before authorizing a Confined Space Entry Permit.
  • Note: Should a person become injured inside a confined space, they should normally be moved ONLY by trained rescue personnel.
  • In the case of continuing exposure to toxic or hazardous gases, a NON-Entry rescue can be performed.

Entry Equipment

The following equipment should be at the point of entry, set-up, ready to use, and be in excellent condition:

  • One (1) thirty minute air mask for each attendant.
  • One (1) five-minute air mask or a five-minute Emergency Life Support Apparatus labeled “Emergency or Egress Only” for each entrant.
  • One (1) falcon horn for summoning rescue assistance.
  • One (1) battery-powered light in case of power loss.
  • One (1) rescue tripod and hoist if rescue is to be done by lifting the person vertically.
  • A full-body harness should be worn by each entrant.
  • A full-body harness should be available for the attendant.
  • All entry equipment must have a current inspection prior to use at the Entry Point of a vessel. Failure to maintain current inspections is a violation of the Confined Space Entry procedure.

Permit Authorization

The Vessel Entry Personnel Log Sheet

  • All personnel who enter the vessel are required to put full name and time of entry and exit on this log sheet.
  • The status of the job must be entered on the log sheet.
  • Note - If the Attendant is entering the names of the entering personnel on the log sheet, it is still the responsibility of the entering personnel to confirm that their name & time is listed prior to entering the vessel.

Duties of Entering Personnel – Entrant

  • Know the possible hazards, signs and symptoms of exposure.
  • Be able to properly use equipment and PPE.
  • Communicate with the Attendant as necessary.
  • Alert Attendant to warning signs of exposure or of hazardous/unsafe conditions.
  • Exit the vessel as quickly and safely as possible when instructed to do so or if you become aware of unsafe conditions.

Duties of the Certified Attendant

  • Prior to reporting to a vessel as Attendant, you must review and sign the Confined Space Entry permit. Signing the Confined Space Entry permit signifies that you have been trained and certified, that you read and understand the permit and that you understand all the duties assigned to you as a Certified Attendant.
  • An Attendant can be anyone who is trained and knowledgeable in the procedure for confined space and vessel entry.
  • Wear proper PPE for potential exposure to fumes or chemicals at the entry point.
  • Make sure all required equipment is at the entry point and that it remains in good condition. This includes verifying that the monthly inspection and weekly area inspection on Self Contained Breathing Apparatus’s and monthly area inspections on Emergency Life Support Apparatus’s are current.
  • Know the possible hazards of the entry.
  • Be aware of behavioral effects due to possible chemical exposure.
  • Maintain an accurate list of entrants using the Personnel Entry Log sheet.
  • Stay outside of vessel until relieved by another Certified Attendant or until all entrants have exited the vessel.
  • Maintain contact with entrants. Visual contact is preferred. Means of communication is to be listed on the Confined Space Entry Permit.
  • Logs Atmospheric readings every 2 hours.
  • Get assistance in an emergency by contacting the Backup and by sounding the falcon horn to alert others in the area.
  • Assist in handling materials, tools, air lines, etc., for those inside the confined space. This can be done as long as it does not interfere with the other duties assigned to the attendant.
  • Whenever the confined space is left unattended, the Attendant is responsible for re-installing the appropriate barricade and sign to warn against inadvertent entry.

Duties of Backup

  • The Backup will review the Confined Space Entry permit and Rescue plan before signing the permit.
  • Signing the Confined Space Entry permit signifies the Back-up has read and understands the permit and understands all the duties assigned to him/her as Backup.
  • The Backup will remain in visual or audible signaling distance of the vessel, and be able to reach the Attendant’s location quickly. Communication method must be noted on the Confined Space Entry permit.
  • Be in a position to immediately summon assistance.
  • Perform normal duties as long as they don’t interfere with Backup responsibilities. The backup may serve as backup on simultaneous entries if able to send help to all the vessels and must be able to respond to the Attendant immediately.

Duties of Entry Supervisor

The Entry Supervisor authorizes the Confined Space Entry permit by signing his/her full name and is responsible for the following:

  • Verify that all required tests are done and all procedure & equipment are in place prior to authorizing the Confined Space Entry permit.
  • Verify that the Attendant, Back-up and Entrants have been trained in accordance with their role, as required by the confined space entry procedure.
  • Terminate the permit if work is complete or if any unsafe conditions exist.
  • Verify staffing and availability of rescue personnel.
  • Remove unauthorized individuals.



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