Confined space entry issues
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Confined Space Entry Issues. Craig Schroll, CSP, CUSA FIRECON [email protected] Overview of Program. Overall confined space issues Ways to address these issues Strategies for entries Types of confined spaces Hot work. The Problem. We continue to kill & injure people Lack of warning

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Confined space entry issues

Confined Space Entry Issues

Craig Schroll, CSP, CUSA


[email protected]

Overview of program

Overview of Program

  • Overall confined space issues

  • Ways to address these issues

  • Strategies for entries

  • Types of confined spaces

  • Hot work

The problem

The Problem

  • We continue to kill & injure people

  • Lack of warning

  • Lucky versus smart



Remember that compliance is the price of admission not the achievement of excellence.

Osha information

OSHA Information

  • Standard

  • Compliance Instruction

  • Interpretive letters

  • All are available on the web site –

Other standards

Other Standards

  • ANSI Z117

  • NFPA

  • API

  • International

    • Australian

    • United Kingdom

    • European Union

Hazard exposure risk

Hazard + Exposure = Risk

Risk assessment

Risk Assessment



  • Eliminate the confined space

  • Eliminate the need for entry

  • Eliminate hazards

  • Minimize risk

Eliminate confined space

Eliminate Confined Space

  • Change access

  • Design in hazard elimination

Eliminate need for entry

Eliminate Need for Entry

  • Design space/process to not require internal maintenance

  • Access ports

  • Pull out panels

  • Pull up equipment i.e. pumps

Eliminate hazards

Eliminate Hazards

  • Design confined space with hazard elimination in mind

  • For example, improved isolation systems

Minimize risk

Minimize Risk

  • Reduce number of entries

  • Reduce duration of entries

  • Reduce number of personnel

Types of spaces

Types of Spaces

  • Confined space

  • Permit-required confined space

    • Reclassified space

    • Space eligible for alternate procedures

  • Non-permit space

Confined space

Confined Space

Large enough

to bodily enter

A space must have all three characteristics to meet the confined space definition.

Limited or restricted


Not designed for

continuous occupancy



Permit required confined space

Permit-Required Confined Space

Has or has the


to contain a



  • Oxygen deficient (19.5% or less)

  • Oxygen enriched (23.5% or more)

  • Flammable (10% LEL or more)

  • Toxic (above PEL)

  • Combustible dust (at or above LEL)

  • Other IDLH

Permit required confined space1

Permit-Required Confined Space

Has the potential

for engulfment?

Engulfment may occur by materials being introduced or removed from the space or by an entrant being drawn down into materials.

Permit required confined space2

Permit-Required Confined Space

Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to

a smaller crosssection.




Permit required confined space3

Permit-Required Confined Space

Any other

recognized serious

safety or health


Other hazards capable of causing death, serious physical harm, or interfering with the entrants ability to escape.

Non permit confined space

Non-Permit Confined Space

Does not contain or, have potential to contain any hazard capable of causing death or serious physical harm.



  • No atmospheric hazards

  • Eliminate all hazards

  • Document reclassification

  • Certification available to employees

Elimination versus control

Elimination versus Control

  • Elimination means hazard cannot return during entry operation.

  • Control means that return of hazard is possible if control measures fail.

Alternate procedures

Alternate Procedures

  • Atmosphere is only hazard

  • Ventilation can make space safe

  • Monitoring data

  • Data available to employee

Alternate procedures1

Alternate Procedures

  • Safe to remove entry cover

  • Guard opening

  • Test atmosphere

  • Continuous ventilation

  • Periodic atmospheric testing

  • Written certification





Recognition of an area as a confined space is a critical first step to safe operations.

Confined space hazards

Confined Space Hazards

  • Atmospheric

  • Content

  • Potential Energy

  • Environment in Space

  • Configuration of Space

  • Nature of Work

  • External

  • Miscellaneous

Sources of hazards

Sources of Hazards

  • Inside the space

  • External to the space

  • From the work

General requirements

General Requirements

  • Evaluate workplace

  • Inform employees

  • Develop & Implement written program



  • General policy

  • Specific guidelines

  • Training requirements

  • Permit system



  • Supervisor’s role

  • Employee’s role

  • Contractor procedures

  • Emergency procedures

  • Monitoring system

Confined space policy procedures

Confined Space Policy & Procedures

  • Simple

  • Brief

  • Useful

  • Clearly communicated

  • Consistently enforced

Evaluating your confined spaces

Evaluating Your Confined Spaces

Confined space inventory

Confined Space Inventory

  • Survey entire facility

  • Identify all potential CS

  • Classify spaces

  • Maintain documentation

Confined space evaluation

Confined Space Evaluation

  • Evaluate prior to entry (OSHA)

  • Evaluate initially from a practical perspective

    • Equipment

    • Procedures

    • Training

Confined space evaluation1

Confined Space Evaluation

  • Must be conducted

  • Maintain documentation

  • May be electronic

  • May be a form

  • Actually use the information

  • Update at least annually

  • Teach people to do review prior to entries

Safe system of work

Safe System of Work

  • Risk assessment

  • Hazard evaluation

  • Work process that eliminates hazards when possible and controls them when not

  • Safe system of work

  • Catch variations

Planning entry

Planning Entry

  • Is entry necessary?

  • Work plan

  • Space preparation

  • Permit

  • Briefing



  • Hazards

  • Permit items

  • Job tasks

  • Emergency procedures

Job surveys

Job Surveys

  • Inspect area

  • Review work

  • Confirm safety issues

  • Review preparations

  • Check PPE

  • Check equipment & supplies

Entry supervisors

Entry Supervisors

  • Role is much more than a signature on a form

  • Actually evaluate and resolve hazards



  • Establish and maintain competence

  • All personnel involved in entries must be competent

Program audit

Program Audit

  • Review permits

  • Update surveys

  • Update policies & procedures

  • Update training

  • Review equipment condition & needs

  • Job site surveys

Hot work

Hot Work

  • Numerous safety & health issues

  • A few specific to confined space work

  • Ventilation

  • Introduction of ignition source

  • Heating can contribute to release of contaminants

Confined space entry issues

Q & A

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