Confined workspaces hinder employees from getting in or out, thus, keeping them from completing certain jobs. Employees who work in confined spaces also face increased risk of exposure to serious physical injury from hazards such as getting stuck or not being able to get out in hazardous situations. These spaces must meet OSHA's requirements for permits and safety regulations.
The employer must use alternate procedures for worker entry into a permit space to be OSHA approved. If an employer can demonstrate that a hazard is an actual or potential hazardous can be made safe for entry using continuous forced air ventilation, the employer may be exempt from some requirements, such as permits and attendants.
In these circumstances must test the environments for the following:
● Oxygen levels
● Flammable materials such as gas and vapor
● Toxic air
● Dangerous machinery
● Easy access and exits.
The employer must also provide continuous ventilation and verify that they have performed the required measurements before entry.
Checklist for Confined Spaces
Before an employer considers a confined space OSHA-approved, they need to answer the following questions:
● Does the confined space contain known or potential hazards?
● Can the employer contain or eliminate the hazards?
● Are the employees aware of the confined space conditions?
● Who is qualified to enter the spaces and for what reason?
● Under what conditions are workers allowed in the space?
● Do the workers have the proper gear and equipment to enter the space?
● Does the employer have an OSHA-approved permit to enter the space?
Program Implementation for Entering a Confined Space
Any employer who allows an employee to enter into a confined space must develop and implement a clearly understood program for execution including:
● Implement strategies to prevent unauthorized entry into the confined space.
● Identify and evaluate permit space hazards,
● Test the space for oxygen, combustible and toxic gases or vapors.
● Establish procedures to eliminate or control hazards.
● Identify worker job duties.
● Provide and maintain protective equipment and gear.
● Ensure an attendant is standing outside the permit space.
● Coordinate entry procedures and operation.
● Implement appropriate procedures for certified rescue and emergency.
● Review operations annually and revise entry as necessary
Containing and Controlling Potential Hazards
Employers should establish proper procedures to control or contain hazards in confined spaces including the following:
● Describe acceptable entry conditions.
● Isolate and contain the confined space.
● Provide barriers and shields to prevent unauthorized entry.
● Assess and establish acceptable entry conditions
● Create adequate ventilation or flushing for the confined space as it applies.
● Test and monitor all equipment used to perform the job in the confined space.
● Offer exit devices such as ladders, ropes, chains, or other safety equipment.
Detection Procedures for Employers and Workers
If an employer or worker detects a hazardous condition before, during, or after a job, the employer or worker must immediately exist the space and report the condition to all applicable parties. The employer must evaluate the space to determine the hazardous condition and the solution for removing them.
When entry to permit spaces is prohibited, the employer must take effective measures to prevent unauthorized entry. If the space no longer contains a hazard, an employer may grant entry or re-apply for a new OSHA-approved permit.
Proper Communication With Employees
Employers must inform any employers, contractors, or third parties about potential hazards or conditions within a confined space including:
● The permit entry requirements
● Equipment or gear the employer requires to enter the space
● A detailed list or description of the hazards
● Previous experience or observations about the confined space
● All procedures that all parties must follow when entering the confined space
Safety Equipment From MC Tool & Safety
If you need safety equipment for confined spaces or other hazardous condition, then contact MC Tool & Safety. We offer a wide range of products for workers in various industries.
To find out more about the products and services we provide, as well as safety education opportunities, call us at 888-206-2569, or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.