The Entry Permit Program
Before entry is authorized, each entry employer must document the completion of protective measures for permit space entry by preparing an entry permit.
The Entry Permit Process
The employer must also develop a procedure for issuing an entry permit that describes how to:
- Evaluate the space's hazards
- Evaluate work-related hazards
- Identify safe entry conditions
Employees must have access to the completed permit before they enter a permit space so they can confirm that pre-entry preparations have been completed.
Before entry is authorized, each entry employer must document the completion of protective measures for permit space entry by preparing an entry permit. Use the following procedure when preparing
- Before entry begins, the entry supervisor identified on the permit must sign the entry permit to authorize entry.
- The completed permit must be made available at the time of entry to all authorized entrants or their authorized representatives, so that the entrants can confirm that pre-entry preparations
have been completed. Provide the permit by posting it at the entry portal or by any other equally effective means.
- The duration of the permit may not exceed the time required to complete the assigned task or job identified on the permit.
The Entry Permit
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The entry permit complies with OSHA requirements and authorizes entry to a permit space must identify:
- The permit space to be entered.
- The purpose of the entry.
- The date and the authorized duration of the entry permit.
- The authorized entrants within the permit space, by name or through the use of rosters or tracking systems. If a roster or tracking system is used, indicate their use on the permit.
- The means of detecting an increase in atmospheric hazard levels in the event the ventilation system stops working.
- Each person, by name, currently serving as an attendant.
- The person, by name, currently serving as entry supervisor, and the signature or initials of each entry supervisor who authorizes entry.
- The hazards of the permit space to be entered.
- The measures used to isolate the permit space and to eliminate or control permit space hazards before entry. Those measures can include, lockout/tagout and procedures for purging, inerting,
ventilating, and flushing permit spaces.
- The acceptable entry conditions.
- The results of tests and monitoring including the names or initials of the testers and when the tests were performed.
- The rescue and emergency services that can be summoned and the means for summoning those services.
- The communication procedures used by authorized entrants and attendants to maintain contact during the entry.
- Equipment being used, such as personal protective equipment, testing equipment, communications equipment, alarm systems, and rescue equipment.
- Any other information necessary, given the circumstances of the particular confined space, to ensure employee safety.
- Any additional permits, such as for hot work, that have been issued to authorize work in the permit space.
You can view more examples of confined space permits.
Duration of Testing
For each test required on the permit, you must allow enough time for the air from the space to be drawn into the equipment and for the sensor (or other detection device) to react to
the chemical if it is present. This is considered the "minimum response time" and it will be noted by the manufacturer in the operator's manual. Be aware that you will need to add time
to this "minimum response time" if you have attached hosing or a probe extension to the inlet. The additional time is needed to allow the air from the different depths of the space to be
pulled into the equipment inlet.
Canceling Permit Space Entry
The entry supervisor shall terminate entry and cancel the entry permit when:
- When entry operations covered by the entry permit have been completed, cancel the permit.
- A condition that is not allowed under the entry permit arises in or near the permit space.
Recordkeeping and Review
The employer should keep the entry document where the space is located for the duration of the entry.
Permit entry: The entry employer must retain each canceled entry permit for at least 1 year to facilitate the review of the permit space program. Review permits within
one year of their cancellation to ensure that the procedures for issuing them are still effective and the information on them still protects employees who enter the space. Any problems
encountered during an entry operation must be noted on the pertinent permit so that appropriate revisions to the permit space program can be made.
Alternate entry: The employer should keep the entry document where the space is located for the duration of the entry; after the entry, there is no requirement to keep
it. However, the document may be helpful when you review the effectiveness of your confined space program.
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