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Confined Space Hazards & Procedures. What you will Learn. What is a Confined Space Hazards of Confined Spaces Basic Entry Requirements. General Requirements. All employees required to enter confined or enclosed spaces must be instructed in: nature of the hazards

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what you will learn
What you will Learn

What is a Confined Space

Hazards of Confined Spaces

Basic Entry Requirements

general requirements
General Requirements

All employees required to enter confined or enclosed spaces must be instructed in:

  • nature of the hazards
  • necessary precautions to be taken
  • use of protective and emergency equipment

The employer must comply with any specific regulations that apply to work in dangerous or potentially dangerous areas.

what is a confined space
What is a Confined Space?

Confined space …

  • Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work
  • Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (for example, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, and pits are spaces that may have limited means of entry.)
  • Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.
what is a permit required confined space
What is a Permit Required Confined Space?

A Permit-required confined space is confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics:

permit required spaces
Permit Required Spaces
  • Contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
  • Contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant
  • 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 cross-section
  • Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard
typical confined spaces
Typical Confined Spaces
  • Boilers & Furnaces
  • Pipelines
  • Pits
  • Process Vessel
  • Silo & Storage Tanks
  • Sewer & Manholes
  • Trenches & Excavations
hazards of confined spaces
Hazards of Confined Spaces
  • Atmospheric
  • Physical Configuration
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Thermal
  • Noise
  • Vibration
  • Engulfment or Entrapment
controlling confined space hazards
Controlling Confined Space Hazards

Each Confined Space has different hazards.  Hazards can also change with time and usage.

  • Post signs to warn of the dangers.
  • Use barriers to prevent uncontrolled access
  • Develop and use a written space entry program.
  • Conduct air monitoring and tests to identify and evaluate hazards.
  • Define acceptable entry conditions.
  • Monitor entry conditions
  • Eliminate or control the space's atmospheric hazards before entry
  • Lockout all internal hazards prior to entry
entry point hazards
Entry Point Hazards
  • Small Openings make entry and rescue difficult
  • Sharp edges can tear protective clothing or air lines
  • Temporary ladders and vent gear can make even large openings difficult to transit
  • Vertical entry points are fall hazards
ventilation needed
Ventilation Needed
  • Deadly gases can be trapped inside
  • Rotting Organic materials create hazardous gases
  • Pipe leaks, welding, system material can create hazardous atmospheres.
  • Rust consumes the oxygen you need.
atmospheric hazards
Atmospheric Hazards
  • Oxygen Deficient Atmospheres
  • Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres
  • Flammable Atmospheres
  • Toxic Atmospheres
  • Corrosive Atmospheres
  • Asphyxiating Atmospheres  
oxygen deficient
Oxygen Deficient

19.5 % is the minimum acceptable oxygen level for work with out an air supplied respirator.

12-14% Respiration increases. Poor judgment.

10-12% Lips blue Mental Confusion

8-10% Fainting & Nausea

6-8% Causes Death

asphyxiating atmospheres
Asphyxiating Atmospheres

Reduction of oxygen in a confined space may be the result of either consumption or displacement.

  • Consumption of oxygen takes place during
  • Combustion of flammable substances, as in welding, heating, cutting, and brazing
  • Bacterial action, as in the fermentation process
  • Chemical reactions as in the formation of rust
oxygen enriched
Oxygen Enriched

Oxygen level above 21%.

  • Causes flammable and combustible materials to burn violently when ignited. Such as:
    • Hair, clothing, oil soaked materials
  • Never use pure oxygen to ventilate.
  • Never store or place compressed gas tanks in a confined space.
flammable atmospheres
Flammable Atmospheres

Required Factors:

  • Oxygen
  • Flammable Gas, Vapor or Dust
  • Ignition Source
    • Welding
    • Electric Tools
    • Sparks
    • Smoking
flammable atmospheres1
Flammable Atmospheres

Caused by…

  • enriched oxygen atmospheres
  • vaporization of flammable liquids
  • byproducts of work
  • chemical reactions
  • concentrations of combustible dusts
  • fumes from chemicals on inner surfaces
toxic atmospheres
Toxic Atmospheres
  • Material in space
      • Absorbed materials can “gas off”.
      • Decomposition of materials
  • Work being performed
      • Welding, cutting, brazing, soldering.
      • Painting, scraping, sanding, degreasing.
      • Sealing, bonding, melting.
      • Cleaning, descaling
corrosive atmospheres
Corrosive Atmospheres

Corrosive atmospheres can be not only a respiratory problems but also cause skin exposure reactions and damage to your nervous system though skin absorption or breathing.

Examples of Corrosives 

  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Acids
physical configuration hazards
Physical Configuration Hazards

The use and shape of a space can create hazardous conditions

  • Use of Ladders & Scaffolding
  • Wet or slippery surfaces
  • Uneven bottoms
  • Bends in tunnels
  • Narrow areas that can entrap workers
  • Poor lighting

Use retrieval & fall protection when possible

mechanical hazards
Mechanical Hazards

Some confined spaces have unguarded mechanical equipment such as:

  • Paddles
  • Blades
  • Shafts
  • Chain or belt drives

All equipment must be Locked and Tagged before entry

electrical hazards
Electrical Hazards

Electric Shock is a possible hazard in Confined Spaces

Hazard Sources include:

  • Broken lighting
  • Electrical sensing devices
  • Limit switches
  • Level indicating devices
  • Hazards from equipment taken inside
temperature hazards
Temperature Hazards

High and Low Temperatures are Hazards



Heat Stress

Wearing Protective clothing can increase the heat stress on a worker

worker comfort
Worker Comfort

Factors affecting worker comfort:

  • Air temperature
  • Air velocity though the space
  • Humidity
  • Radiant heat
engulfment hazards
Engulfment Hazards

Engulfment is the entrapment of a person by the contents of a space

  • Liquids
  • Small granular product such as grain
  • Crusting or Bridging of material
  • Flooding
  • Water Flow

Completely empty the contents before entry

Use retrieval and fall arrest equipment to prevent sinking into contents of a space.

noise hazards
Noise Hazards

Noise creates a hazard by

  • Causing hearing loss
  • Preventing communication
  • Lowering worker's effectiveness

Eliminate noise sources prior to entry

Use proper hearing protection

surface hazards
Surface Hazards

Slippery, Wet or Damp Surfaces

  • Slips & Falls
  • Chemical Exposure
  • Possible increased possibility of electric shock
vibration hazards
Vibration Hazards
  • Vibration of the body can cause damage to the body
  • Using Vibrating tools can cause damage to fingers & hand
  • Eliminate equipment vibrations prior to entry
  • Use Vibration dampening tools & gloves
basic confined space entry procedure
Basic Confined Space Entry Procedure

All entrants, supervisors and entry attendants must be fully qualified

1. Conduct Pre-Entry Briefing

2. Assemble and check equipment

3. Establish Acceptable Entry Conditions

4. Conduct initial air sampling

5. Execute & Complete Entry Permit

6. Station Entry Attendant

entry continued
Entry (continued)

7. Establish Monitoring of Atmosphere

8. Establish Communication

9. Execute Hot Work Permit if applicable

10.Post Confined Space Entry Permit

11. Enter Space

12. Post–entry debrief if problems were encountered

testing the atmosphere
Testing The Atmosphere

Verify presence of safe work atmosphere.

  • Calibrate Air Monitoring Equipment before use
  • Test all areas of a confined space
      • Top, Middle, Bottom
      • Check for Explosive & Toxic Gases
      • Check Oxygen level
  • Record all readings
  • Consider best of exhaust or supply or both
  • Provide workzone exhaust if welding
  • Plan ventilation supply and exhaust paths
  • Ensure no “re-circulation” of air supply
  • Use continuous ventilation
  • Retest the confined space before and during entry
  • Lock & tagging ALL electrical sources.
  • Blank & bleeding fluid lines
  • Disconnect mechanical drives &shafts.
  • Secure mechanical parts
  • Lock & Tag all valves
rescue team
Rescue Team
  • A Qualified Rescue Team and rescue equipment must be available for entry into all Permit Required Confined Spaces
  • Qualified Entry Attendant must be in constant communication with workers in the space
  • Entry Attendant must have source of communication with the Rescue Team

All persons involved in Permit Required Confined Space Entry must be qualified:




Rescue Team

Confined Spaces are Dangerous Places – Know how to control or eliminate hazards