CONFINED SPACE TRAINING
Confined spaces are among the most hazardous situations in the workplace. Failure to observe safe practices and OSHA rules can result in fatalities. OSHA has very strict requirements for working in confined spaces. These include special permits and procedures to keep unauthorized and untrained employees out of the area, as well as rules for testing and monitoring the potential hazards of confined spaces. We make sure the group understands the hazards of confined space work and the importance of following all rules designed to guard against these hazards.
By the end of this session, students should understand:
• The hazards of confined spaces;
• The rules that apply to permit-required confined spaces;
• Other safety procedures that apply to confined spaces;
• Confined spaces (both permit and non-permit required)
LENGTH OF CLASS:
• Initial – 8 hours with rescue
• Annual refresher – 8 hours with rescue
1. Introduction: Confined Space entry is a leading cause of occupational fatalities in this country.
a. The standard covers 240,000 workplaces and 12.2 million workers.
b. Workers make 4.8 million entries/year.
c. Standard may prevent 85% of fatalities and nearly 11,000 injuries.
a. Confined Space:
• Can be bodily entered
• Not designed for continuous occupancy
b. Permit Required Confined Space:
• Contains or has potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
• Contains the potential for engulfment
• Internal configuration that can trap or asphyxiate entrant
• Any other serious safety or health hazards
a. Permit Required Confined Spaces:
• Chemical storage tanks, silos, manholes etc.
• Waste or storage pits
• Grain bins
• Underground tunnels
• Railroad cars under construction
b. Non-Permit Required Spaces:
• Utility closets
• Below-grade trenches
• Storage vaults
• Utility sub-basements
4. Potential Confined Space Hazards
• Oxygen deficiency <19.5% caused by:
-fire or explosion that uses up the oxygen
-displacement of oxygen by other gases (such as methane, carbon dioxide)
-corrosion or rust – uses up oxygen when formed on metal
• Oxygen enrichment >23.5%
• Flammable gases or vapors
• Combustibility (fires and explosions) caused by:
- chemical vapors or residues left in the space
- flammable vapors or gases that have become concentrated and could be ignited by sparks or flames
• Toxic substances
- effects on respiratory and nervous system can injure or kill you
chemical asphyxiation – toxics in lungs can cut off oxygen
- Symptoms: headache, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea
- Examples: carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide
• IDLH atmospheres
• Physical hazards
- moving parts (must be locked out and tagged out)
- valves and pipes with hazardous substances (must be disabled)
- engulfment (suffocation hazard from material like grain or dirt)
- noise (temporary or permanent hearing damage)
- heat (can cause exhaustion or heat stroke)
- live wires (should be de-energized)
- falls (might be hard to get out of the space)
- odd shapes (can cause disorientation, entrapment, suffocation)
5. Atmospheric Testing
a. Hazards must be tested in this order:
• Oxygen content
• Toxic atmospheres
b. Entrants must be allowed to observe monitoring
c. Reasons for Space Ventilation
• Maintain oxygen levels >19.5%
• Maintain toxic gases and vapors at an acceptable level
6. Types of Personal Protective Equipment
• Retrieval lines
• Chemical protective clothing
• Welding apron/sleeves
• Safety glasses/face/shield
7. Safety Department Responsibilities
a. Formulate and manage the confined space program.
b. Maintain a space inventory.
c. Maintain a list of “authorized personnel”.
d. Maintain copies of confined space permits.
e. Direct the confined space training program.
f. Maintain rescue equipment.
g. Coordinate contractor activities.
8. Entry Supervisor Responsibilities
a. Conduct a pre-entry briefing.
b. Ensure that personnel are evacuated when necessary.
c. Ensure that permits are complete and removed when work is finished.
d. Ensure that all necessary equipment is returned to its proper location.
e. Oversee all necessary confined space activities.
f. Sign the permit to authorize entry, checks permit requirements.
9. Watchmen Responsibilities
a. Attend pre-entry briefing.
b. Know the hazards of the space.
c. Control access to the space.
d. Maintain communication with entrants.
e. Not to enter the space for rescue.
f. Summon emergency services.
g. Assist rescue efforts from outside the space.
h. Remain at the site while entrants are inside.
i. Order a space evacuation when conditions warrant such an action.
j. Maintain an accurate count of the number of entrants.
10. Entrant Responsibilities – ONLY AUTHORIZED AND TRAINED personnel may enter – must have a permit.
a. Attend pre-entry briefing.
b. Know the hazards of the space, symptoms of exposure, and safety procedures.
c. Use appropriate equipment properly.
d. Exit the space if:
• An alarm is activated
• Communication is lost
• Unknown exposures are encountered
• Ordered to do so.
11. Authorized Entrant Responsibilities
a. Familiarize themselves with characteristics of spaces.
b. Verify that all hazards and sources of energy have been controlled in the space.
c. Ensure that confined space permit is posted.
d. Rescind any permit for non-compliance with permit requirements.
12. Rescuer Responsibilities
a. Understand the hazards of the space.
b. Be certified in emergency first aid & CPR.
c. Understand appropriate entry procedures.
d. Know how to use rescue equipment.
e. Many deaths result from untrained workers attempting a rescue in a confined space – never attempt a rescue if you’re not a member of a rescue team.
f. Practice confined space rescues at least annually.
• Ask for final questions.
• Make-sure everyone signed in.