The Confined Space Entry Team
Your safety department will probably be responsible for developing the confined space program. Your line managers should always be responsible for deploying or implementing the program. Remember, safety is a line responsibility, not a staff support responsibility. Line and staff managers should:
- Ensure that a list of confined spaces is maintained,
- Ensure that canceled permits are reviewed for lessons learned,
- Ensure training of entry team members (authorized entrants, attendants, and entry supervisors) and other affected persons are conducted,
- Ensure coordination with outside emergency responders,
- Ensure personal protective equipment is in compliance with standards, and
- Maintain a master inventory of identified confined spaces.
Confined Space Entry Supervisor Responsibilities
The Confined Space Entry Supervisor holds a key position with important responsibilities. This position is in charge of confined space work and should:
- Ensure requirements for entry have been completed before entry is authorized.
- Authorize entry and oversee entry operations.
- Ensure confined space monitoring is performed by personnel qualified and trained in confined space entry procedures.
- Ensure a list of monitoring equipment and personnel qualified to operate the equipment is maintained by the employer.
- Ensure that the rescue team has simulated a rescue in a confined space within the past twelve months.
- Know the hazards that may be faced during entry, including the mode, signs or symptoms, and consequences of exposure.
- Fill out a permit when it is required.
- Determine the entry requirements and that conditions are acceptable for entry.
- Notify all involved employees of the permit requirements.
- Post the permit in a conspicuous location near the job.
- Renew the permit or have it reissued as needed (a new permit is required every shift).
- Determine the number of attendants required to perform the work.
- Perform duties as the confined space attendant if required.
- Ensure the attendant knows how to communicate with the entrants and how to obtain assistance.
- Ensure measures are in place to keep unauthorized personnel clear of the area.
- Post any required barriers and signs.
- Remain alert to changing conditions that might affect the conditions of the permits, (i.e., require additional atmospheric monitoring or changes in personal protective equipment).
- Serve as an attendant, as long as the person is trained and equipped appropriately for that role.
- Change and reissue the permit, or issue a new permit as necessary.
- Ensure periodic atmospheric monitoring is done according to permit requirements.
- Ensure that personnel doing the work and all support personnel adhere to permit requirements.
- Ensure the permit is canceled when the work is done.
- Ensure the confined space is safely closed and all workers are cleared from the area.
- Check the work at least twice a shift to verify and document permit requirements are being observed (more frequent checks should be made if operations or conditions are anticipated that could affect permit requirements).
- Ensure that necessary information on chemical hazards is kept at the work site for the employees or rescue team.
- Ensure a rescue team is available and instructed in their rescue duties (e.g., an on-site team or a prearranged outside rescue service).
- Ensure at least one member of the rescue team has current certification in first aid and CPR.
- Terminate entry procedures as required.
Confined Space Entrant Responsibilities
Employees who are granted permission to enter a confined space should:
- Read and observe the entry permit requirements.
- Stay alert to the hazards that could be encountered in a confined space.
- Use the protective equipment required by the permit.
Confined space entrants must immediately exit the confined space when:
- They are ordered to do so by the attendant.
- An automatic alarm sounds.
- They perceive they are in danger.
- They notice physiological stresses or changes in themselves or co-workers (e.g., dizziness, blurred vision, shortness of breath).
Confined Space Attendant Responsibilities
The Attendant should be stationed outside the work space and should:
Confined Space Attendant Responsibilities
(Click to enlarge)
- Be knowledgeable of, and be able to recognize potential confined space hazards.
- Maintain a sign-in/sign-out log with a count of all persons in the confined space and ensure all entrants sign-in/sign-out.
- Monitor surrounding activities to ensure the safety of personnel.
- Maintain effective and continuous communication with personnel during confined space entry, work and exit.
- Order personnel to evacuate the confined space if he/she:
- Observes a condition which is not allowed on the entry permit;
- Notices the entrants acting strangely, possibly as a result of exposure to hazardous substances;
- Notices a situation outside the confined space which could endanger personnel;
- Notices within the confined space a hazard which has not been previously recognized or taken into consideration;
- Must leave his/her work station; or
- Must focus attention on the rescue of personnel in some other confined space that he/she is monitoring.
- Immediately summon the Rescue Team if crew rescue becomes necessary.
- Keep unauthorized persons out of the confined space, order them out, or notify authorized personnel of the unauthorized entry.
Confined Space Rescue Team Responsibilities
The Rescue Team members should:
- Complete a training drill using mannequins or personnel in a simulation of the confined space prior to the issuance of an entry permit for any confined space and at least annually thereafter.
- Respond immediately to rescue calls from the Attendant or any other person recognizing a need for rescue from the confined space.
- In addition to emergency response training, receive the same training as that required of the authorized entrants.
- Have current certification in first-aid and CPR.
Confined Spaces - Precious Time
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