Confined Spaces SP#
2.0 Scope and Applicability
5.0 General Responsibilities
6.2 General Provisions
6.2.2 Confined Spaces
6.2.3 Hazards of Confined Spaces
6.2.4 Identifying Confined Spaces
6.2.5 Evaluating Confined Spaces
6.2.6 Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry Requirements
6.3 General Responsibilities
6.3.6 Entry Supervisor
6.3.7 Qualified Person
6.3.8 Safety Risk Management
6.3.9 Division of Purchase and Services
APPENDIX A: Training Certification Form
APPENDIX B: Confined Space Inventory Form
APPENDIX C: Atmospheric Testing Procedure
APPENDIX D: Confined Space Evaluation Form
APPENDIX E: Confined Space Entry Permit
APPENDIX F: Confined Space Entry Program Element Contact List
APPENDIX G: Confined Space Entry Team Responsibilities
APPENDIX H: Confined Space Decision Tree Flowchart
APPENDIX I: Confined Space Entry Flowchart
The purpose of this safety policy is to provide information and guidance for the protection of North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) employees who work around or enter confined spaces.
A confined space/area by design
limited openings for entry and exit; has unfavorable natural
ventilation, can contain or produce dangerous air contaminants, and is
not intended for continuous employee occupancy. Therefore, confined spaces can
have, or create, hazards for NCDENR employees who
work activities in them. Confined spaces may
be permitted or non-permitted confined spaces.
Confined spaces are
throughout the state and are present at many NCDENR worksites, jobsites
and facilities; as well as client facilities served and inspected by
NCDENR employees, each having its own set of hazards associated with them.
This safety policy provides guidelines for the protection of NCDENR employees that must work in or around confined spaces. It includes training components and discussion on what defines a confined space. This safety policy lists practices to identify confined spaces and notes the hazards of confined spaces. Additionally, it lists methods to evaluate confined spaces and the requirements for permit-required confined space entry. This document also provides recordkeeping requirements.
This safety policy details the areas of responsibility for NCDENR managers, supervisors, employees, entrants, attendants, entry supervisors, qualified persons, Safety Risk Management, and Division of Purchase and Services. It also applies to NCDENR employees who do not enter, but may be exposed to work around confined spaces.
This document applies to any operation that requires NCDENR employees to enter or work inside any existing tank, tower, sewer, manhole, sump, vault, vat, processing vessel, pit, tunnel, or similar confined spaces. This safety policy applies, but is not limited, to the following NCDENR employees and operations:
This safety policy is established in accordance
Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry (29 CFR
1910.146), Occupational Safety and Health
Standards for the Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926.65), Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the
(29 CFR 1915.11-16) and
the NC Office of State Personnel's Workplace Safety Requirements policy
It is the policy of NCDENR to provide a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards to its employees and the general public by utilizing a proactive approach to safety. Therefore, at each NCDENR facility and/or jobsite, confined spaces will be identified and, as applicable, permitted and posted with warning signs. All confined spaces shall initally be considered permit-required confined spaces until pre-entry procedures confirm that conditions are not present to do so.
space hazard exists that cannot be eliminated, the following measures
will be implemented to minimize the hazards and to
the safety of employees and the public:
engineering practices, administrative practices, safe work practices, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and proper Confined Space Entry training.
NCDENR employees that provide on-site services to
public or private facilities where confined spaces are known to exist
or may be
present shall be trained to recognize the
hazard and the steps they may take to avoid injury from confined space
It is the responsibility of each manager, supervisor, and employee to ensure implementation of NCDENR's safety policy on Confined Space Entry.
It is also the responsibility of each NCDENR employee to immediately report unsafe conditions to his or her supervisor. Specific responsibilities are found in Section 6.3.
This section provides applicable definitions, establishes general processes, and identifies responsibilities required by NCDENR's Confined Space Entry safety policy.
Person who remains outside the permitted space while the work is being done.
A confined space by design has limited openings for entry and exit, may lack adequate ventilation, and may contain or produce dangerous air contamination.
A employee who is authorized by the employer to enter a permitted space.
A written document that is provided by the employer to allow and control entry into a permit required space.
The person responsible for determining if acceptable entry conditions are present at a permit space where entry is planned, for authorizing entry and overseeing entry operations, and for terminating entry as required.
Hot Work Permits
A permit allowing employees to perform work involving welding, cutting, or any task that would deplete oxygen, create toxic fumes and vapors, or create the potential for fire or explosion.
Lower Flammable Limit (LFL)
The minimum concentration of a combustible/flammable gas or vapor in air which will ignite if an ignition source is present.
Non-permit confined space
A confined space that does not contain or, with respect to atmospheric hazards, have the potential to contain any hazard capable of causing death or serious physical harm.
An atmosphere containing oxygen at a concentration of less than 19.5% by volume as measured by an oxygen measuring device.
An atmosphere containing oxygen at a concentration of more than 23.5% by volume as measured by an oxygen measuring device.
confined space (permit space)
A confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics:
The employer's written procedure for preparing and issuing permits for entry and for returning the permit space to service following termination of entry.
A person who has been trained and authorized by the employer to perform atmospheric testing.
Upper Explosive Limit (UEL)
The maximum concentration of a combustible/flammable gas or vapor in air before its saturation point which will ignite if an ignition source is present.
This section notes the general areas of this safety policy with each area discussed in a separate subsection. The sections are:
The formal written confined space training program will provide employees with the necessary understanding, skills, and knowledge to safely perform their jobs. The components of this formal written training program include instruction on:
Employees designated to enter confined space work areas will be trained in the following areas (this includes entrant, attendant, and rescue team):
In addition to the above, the Qualified person shall be trained in:
In NCDENR, a confined space is one that:
6.2.3 Hazards of Confined Spaces
Due to the nature of a confined space's shape, size, lack of ventilation, proximity to toxic gases, and other contributing substances, confined spaces present many hazards to employees. Potential confined space hazards include hazardous atmospheres, and general safety hazards.
Hazardous atmospheres expose employees to the risk of death, incapacitation, injury, or acute illness. Hazardous atmospheres include:
Structural hazards include confined space areas that may contain structural defects.
Electrical hazards include shock, burns, and/or electrocution due to exposed or ungrounded electrical energy sources.
Mechanical hazards include any inadvertent mechanical movement of or within a confined space that threatens the safety of the employee working in the confined space.
Biological hazards include bacterial action that can consume oxygen to produce carbon monoxide or emit hydrogen sulfide or methane.
Radiation hazards include those sources that can inadvertently expose employees to dangerous levels of radiation.
All confined spaces at each NCDENR worksite/facility must be identified and located so the permit-required confined space permit program can be established. Visually survey your worksite/facility to identify confined spaces that are present and that will be included in the confined space inventory list for your site. List all suspected confined spaces.
If a work space meets the confined space
note it for inclusion into your worksite/facility's confined space
Appendix B provides a convenient format for inventorying your confined
For non-DENR sites where DENR employees provide
services and inspections, ask
the facility/site to provide
you with a list of any confined space
areas where you will be subject to work in as part of your jobtask. Do
not enter any confined spaces at those sites unless you are trained to the Permit-Required
Confined Space Entry
Once all the confined spaces have been identified, then those confined spaces must be evaluated to determine the hazards that may be present. Hazardous atmospheres and general safety hazards must be evaluated for all the confined spaces.
A hazardous atmospheric evaluation must be conducted through atmospheric testing to assess the conditions in the confined space. Appendix C lists atmospheric testing procedures that will be followed by the qualified person. Results of the atmospheric testing should be documented for later use.
General safety hazards should be assessed by visual observation. This observation should include a visual assessment of:
A confined space is a "permit-required
confined space" if any of the above listed
If none of these hazards are present, then the space or area is not designated as a permit-required confined space.
If a change in use or configuration of a non-permit-required confined space increases hazards to an entrant, then the space must be reevaluated for possible reclassification to a permit-required confined space.
A permit-required confined space may be reclassified to a non-permit-required confined space if:
Once all permit-required confined spaces are identified, each one will be marked with a sign (examples shown in Figure 2) advising personnel and the general public as to the dangers involved. Where practical, all permit-required confined spaces will be locked or blocked to prevent entry.
A qualified entry supervisor must authorize entry, prepare and sign written permits, order corrective measures if necessary, and cancel permits when work is completed. The entry permit is completed and posted in a conspicuous location near the entrance. Permits must be available to all permit space entrants at the time of entry and should extend only for the duration of the task. They must be retained for a year to facilitate review of the confined space program.
Once all permit-required confined spaces have been identified, no employee may enter that space until several requirements are met. These requirements include:
Pre-entry atmospheric testing for the
space shall be performed prior to employee entrance. See Appendix C for
atmospheric testing procedures.
If welding is to be performed in the confined
(permit-required or non permit-required), a hot work permit must also
obtained. See chapter 19, Welding,
SP # 1910.252 for additional information.
shows a Confined Space Entry
This permit must be completed prior to a permit-required confined space
Appendix F shows a Confined Space Entry Program Element Contact List. These forms shall be maintained at each facility or operation by the individual charged with administering the Confined Space Permit Program.
Energy sources will be completely isolated by physical disconnection, double blocking, bleeding, or by lockout/tagout procedures. Figure 3 shows some typical lockout/tagout devices. Also, see chapter 7, SP# 1910.147, Lockout/Tagout, for additional details.
Ventilation and cleaning shall be performed to empty, flush, or purge spaces using outside air, where feasible. Figure 4 shows a typical ventilation configuration to empty, flush, or purge a confined space.
During pre-entry ventilation, the blowing duct outlet should be positioned for uniform dilution and elimination of any hazardous atmospheric pockets as shown in Figure 5.
When a hazardous atmosphere is detected, ventilation will continue until:
The appropriate PPE shall be worn based on the hazard(s) and include:
The attendant shall be stationed immediately outside of the permit-required confined spaces and shall:
Appropriate communications shall be established,
such as radios or walkie-talkies, if the employee gets out of sight or
Rescue teams must be available for permit-required confined spaces. Rescue equipment and self contained breathing apparatus must be available.
Contractors who perform permit-required confined space entry must comply with all the OSHA requirements.
Recordkeeping requirements include:
Managers are responsible for ensuring that adequate funds are available and budgeted for the purchase of confined space equipment for their affected employees. They will also be responsible for identifying the employees affected by this safety policy.
Managers shall be responsible for ensuring that confined spaces at their worksite/facility are identified and labeled. Additionally, they will be responsible for ensuring all confined spaces are evaluated to determine if a permit is required prior to entry. Managers shall also designate entry supervisors and qualified persons. Managers will obtain and coordinate the required training for affected employees. Managers will also ensure compliance with this safety policy through their auditing process.
Supervisors will not allow any employee who has not received the required training to perform any of the tasks or activities associated with this safety policy.
Supervisors will be responsible for communicating appropriate needs to managers and/or supervisors.
Supervisors will be responsible for knowing where confined and permit-required confined spaces are located at their worksite/facility. They will also be responsible for ensuring permit-required confined spaces are posted with warning signs.
Supervisors will ensure employees are provided with PPE as necessary for their job.
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that
employees trained and qualified will operate material handling
Supervisors will be responsible for ensuring that the training required in this safety policy is provided to employees that provide services to public or private facilities that have confined space issues.
As applicable, supervisors will request that air monitoring data be evaluated by an Industrial Hygienist for completeness, accuracy, and precision.
Employees shall comply with all applicable guidelines contained in this safety policy and with division/program site specific practices and guidelines related to confined space.
It is the responsibility of the employee to follow all instructions pertaining to confined spaces. Employees are never to enter confined spaces unless authorized by training and job duties.Employees that provide service to public or private water and sewer treatment facilities are responsible for inquiring about any confined space issues at those facilities and notifying their immediate supervisor of any thus noted.
The entrant does the assigned task and is responsible for reviewing the permit before entry. Appendix G lists additional details on the entrant's responsibilities.
The attendant is responsible for maintaining
with the entrant at all times. Appendix
G lists additional details
the attendant's responsibilities.
6.3.6 Entry Supervisor
The entry supervisor is responsible for ensuring that only confined space trained employees are allowed to enter confined spaces. The entry supervisor is responsible for ensuring proper permits and safety procedures are followed closely at the jobsite.
The entry supervisor must also be familiar with all hazards associated with the entry operation. He is responsible for all safety precautions, rescue procedures, and safety equipment needed for the operation. Appendix G lists additional details on the entry supervisor's responsibilities.
The Qualified person is responsible for checking
atmosphere of a confined space and correctly reading and using the gas
detection instruments. This individual will
request from the manufacture guidelines for using the air
and gas detection equipment that they are using. This individual shall be responsible for conducting
calibration of the air monitoring/measuring equipment according to the
The Qualified Person is responsible for documenting all confined space atmospheric measurements.
Safety Risk Management will provide prompt consultative assistance to managers, supervisors, or others as applicable on matters concerning this safety policy. Upon request, Safety Risk Management will assist in securing the required training.
Where requested, training,
expertise, and guidance for the qualified person on atmospheric testing
will be located.
To ensure effective implementation of this safety policy, Division/Office/Program Safety Consultants and Safety Officers shall be responsible to provide consultative, training and audit assistance on this safety policy for their Division/Office/Program.
Division of Purchase and Services will ensure
that any confined space equipment and instruments purchased through their oversight have
the requesting Division/Office/Program's New Equipment Safety Review
or the staff Safety Consultant, or Safety Officer prior to any new
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|APPENDIX A: Confined Space Training Certification Form|
|Topic||Completion Date||Instructor's Signature||Employee's Initial|
|Types of Confined Spaces|
|Confined Space Hazards|
|Atmospheric Testing of Confined Spaces|
|Evaluating Confined Spaces|
|Cleaning and Ventilation|
|Lockout of Confined Spaces|
|Respirator Use and Care|
|Buddy System and Emergency Procedures|
|Employee designated to enter confined spaces (includes entrant, attendant, and rescue team) shall also be trained in the following topics|
|Emergency Entry and Exit Procedures|
|First Aid and CPR|
|Lockout Barriers at Worksites|
|Safety Equipment at Worksites|
|APPENDIX B: Division/Office/Program Confined Spaces Inventory|
|DENR Facility/Work Site:_____________________________________________|
All permit-required confined spaces shall be posted with signs stating it is permit-required.
must be kept up to date. All operational changes shall be evaluated for
impact on this facility's confined spaces.
APPENDIX C: Atmospheric Testing Procedures
A qualified person shall test spaces a minimum of
three (3) times at all levels immediately prior to entry. Figure 6
the common gases found at each of these levels.
Using a calibrated
with remote sampling capacity, the qualified person shall test for
oxygen content, for flammable gases and vapors, and for potential toxic
air contaminants, in that order. The testing shall assess for:
The qualified person shall record all atmospheric test results on the permit. A qualified person shall perform atmospheric testing while the employee is inside the confined space/area as follows:
|Location and Description of Confined Space:___________________________________________||Date:__________________________|
|Scheduled Work to be Done:___________________________________||Time Started:________________________|
|Persons Authorized to Enter:_________________________________________________________|
|LockOut - De-energize Escape Harness||Escape Harness|
|Lines Broken - Capped or Blanked||Tripod emergency escape unit|
|Purge - Flush and vent Lifelines||Lifelines|
|Ventilation Fire Extinguishers||Fire Extinguishers|
|Secure Area Spark Resistant Lighting||Spark Resistant Lighting|
|Breathing Apparatus Protective Clothing||Protective Clothing|
|Resuscitator - Inhalator Respirator (Air Purifying)||Respirator (Air Purifying)|
|Hot Work Permit|
(Valid for one 8-hour
At Initial Check
Checks after Isolation
|Hr 1||Hr 2||Hr 3||Hr 4||Hr 5||Hr 6||Hr 7||Hr 8|
|% of Oxygen||19.5% to 21%|
|% of L.E.L. * *||Any % over 10|
|Carbon Monoxide||35 ppm|
|Aromatic Hydrocarbon||10 ppm|
|Hydrocyanic Acid||4.7 ppm|
|Hydrogen Sulfide||10 ppm|
|Sulfur Dioxide||2 ppm|
|SAMPLING EQUIPMENT||Name||Type||Date Calibrated||Identification Number|
|ATTENDANT PERSON (S)||RESCUE PROCEDURES IN PLACE
|PROGRAM ELEMENT CONTACT PERSON|
Hazard Control ____________________________________________
Written Permit System ____________________________________________
Posting Confined Spaces ____________________________________________
Special Safety Equipment ____________________________________________
Written Rescue Plan and Procedures ____________________________________________
External Hazard Protection ____________________________________________
Contractor Notification ____________________________________________
Communication Equipment ____________________________________________
A confined space team performs four functions: