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The Confined Space Entry Permit

Purpose of Confined Space Entry Permit

An entry permit is a document prepared by the employer or employer representative. It is designed to be used as a checklist to document the completion of all steps necessary to prepare for safe entry and work in a confined space.

The entry supervisor must sign the entry permit to:

  1. make sure acceptable conditions have been attained in the permit space; and
  2. authorize entry.

Further, you must post the permit near the confined space entry for entrants to verify that pre-entry procedures have been completed.

Sections of the Entry Permit

Permits properly posted.
(Click to enlarge)

Below is a list of items the entry permit must include:

  • The location of the permit space to be entered. The specific location within the facility or site should be noted.
  • The purpose of the entry. The permit must state the specific purpose of the work being performed.
  • The date and the authorized duration of the entry permit. The permit must indicate when and how long the work will occur.
  • The names of authorized entrants, attendants, and entry supervisors. The permit must list all workers who will be working within the space, attending to the workers, and the person supervising the entry.
  • The hazards of the permit space. All hazards (electrical, mechanical, environmental, etc.) must be listed.
  • The measures used to eliminate, isolate, or control permit space hazards before entry. The permit must list the procedures used to totally eliminate a hazard, isolate the space from hazards, or control the hazards. Lockout, blockout, and ventilation are common measures.
  • The acceptable entry conditions. The permit must list acceptable LELs, PELs, etc.
  • The results of initial and periodic tests performed, along with the names of the testers and when these tests were performed.
  • The verified rescue and emergency services to be summoned. Enter the on-site or off-site rescue services.
  • The communication system. List the type of equipment that will be used to make sure direct communication is available.
  • The equipment to be used during entry. Tools, equipment, personal protective equipment, electrical protective equipment, fall protection, etc., must be listed.
  • Any additional information necessary to ensure employee safety.
  • Any additional permits issued to authorize special work in the space. For example, a Hot Work Permit may be required.
Click here for a sample confined space permit.
Supervisor validating the permit.
(Click to enlarge)

Permit Validity

The entry permit is valid once it has been signed by the entry supervisor. An entry permit is valid for more than one shift if it contains adequate information and the following criteria is met:

  • Names of all involved employees (entry team plus next shift).
  • Clearly delineated transfer of responsibilities from one shift to another.
  • Acceptable entry conditions are maintained.
  • Entry operations remain consistent with terms of the entry permit.

Canceling Entry Permits

Permits properly posted.
(Click to enlarge)

The entry supervisor must cancel entry permits when an assignment is completed or when new conditions exist. New conditions must be noted on the canceled permit and used in revising the permit space program. The OSHA confined space standard requires that the employer keep all canceled entry permits for at least one year.

Entry Permit Maintenance

The entry permit should be kept on file for one year. The annual review of canceled permits allows employers to assess and revise, if needed, their permit space program to ensure that confined space workers are protected from space hazards.

Confined Spaces- Deadly Spaces


Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. Which of the following is a purpose for the confined space entry permit?

2. Which of the following is not a required section on the confined space entry permit?

3. Who must sign the entry permit before it is considered valid?

4. The entry supervisor must cancel entry permits when an assignment is completed or when new conditions exist.

5. The OSHA confined space standard requires that the employer keep all canceled entry permits for at least _____.

Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.