One of the core elements that a confined spaces entry program must include is a safe entry procedure. And one of the things required for entry into a confined space is an entry permit.
8 Things an Entry Procedure Must Include
The entry procedure sets out the measures, procedures and practices taken to ensure the entry is carried out safely and in accordance regulatory requirements. At a minimum, the entry procedure must do 8 things:
- Require identification and evaluation of permit space hazards before entry.
- Specify acceptable conditions of entry, including but not limited to atmospheric conditions.
- Allow for authorized entrants, i.e., workers authorized to enter the space, and/or workers’ representatives to observe atmospheric monitoring and testing.
- Require isolation of the permit space.
- Specify the method that must be used to eliminate or control atmospheric hazards—purging, inerting, flushing and/or ventilation.
- Require that barriers to confined spaces be provided to protect entrants from hazards created by pedestrians, vehicles or other external factors.
- Stipulate acceptable conditions must be verified throughout the duration of the entry.
- Require cancellation of the entry permit and isolation of the permit space after the authorized entry ends or entry operation is completed.
Review of Entry Procedure
The entry procedure must be reviewed at least once a year or whenever there’s reason to believe that the procedure or other confined spaces safety measures aren’t providing workers the necessary protection to identify and correct problems. Triggers of review include:
- Somebody enters a permit space without authorization.
- You detect a new hazard in the space not covered by the existing permit or procedure.
- You detect a hazard in the space not allowed by the permit or procedure.
- An injury or near miss occurs during entry operations.
- There’s a change in the configuration or use of the permit space.
- Workers complain the permit space program isn’t effective.
Specific examples of when an entry permit is required include any time the hazard and risk assessment determine the measures to control the risk involve the following:
- Atmospheric monitoring
- Safeguarding devices
- Respiratory protection
Entry into a confined space cannot occur until the permit is completed and approval to enter is given.
- The permit must be kept at the job site for the duration of the job.
- If there is an interruption in the work or a change in the alarm conditions for which entry was approved, a new Confined Space Entry Permit must be completed.
- A written copy of operating and rescue procedures must also be at the work site for the duration of the job.
The entry permit must list the following information:
- Space to be entered
- Location of the space
- Purpose of entry
- Date and authorized duration of permit
- Names or identification numbers of:
- Workers permitted to act as attendants.
- Authorized entrants, i.e., workers permitted to enter the space.
- Name of the entry supervisor and space to sign his/her name verifying entry conditions are acceptable and entry can begin.
- Hazards of the space
- Measures used to isolate the space and eliminate or control hazards before entry.
- Acceptable entry conditions
- Results of initial and periodic atmospheric tests performed and the names or initials of the testers and by an indication of when tests were performed.
- Rescue and emergency services available and the means (such as the equipment to use and the numbers to call) for summoning those services.
- Communication procedures used by authorized entrants and attendants to maintain contact during the entry.
- PPE, testing equipment, communications equipment, alarm systems and rescue equipment, to be provided.
- Any other information necessary under the circumstances to include to ensure employee safety.
- Any additional permits, such as for hot work, that have been issued to authorize work in the permit space.