Confined Space Entry Policy

Purpose and Application

This policy document is written to protect employees from potential hazards associated with entering and working within confined spaces such as manholes, vaults, or tunnels.

This policy document describes safe work procedures to reduce physical and/or atmospheric hazards and applies to any employee or contractor who enters a confined space as described by this program or defined by regulatory standards.

Definitions and Scope

A “Confined Space” is any space that is large enough for an individual to enter bodily, that has limited or restricted means of entry or exit, and is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

“Permit-Required Confined Spaces” may not be entered without following a formal permit procedure. These spaces are designated as such because they have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • A hazardous atmosphere or potentially hazardous atmosphere
  • A material that has a potential for engulfing a person.
  • Any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.
  • Inwardly converging walls or a floor such that a person could be trapped or asphyxiated.

An “Authorized Entrant” is an individual designated by the entry supervisor to enter a confined space. Authorized entrants must be trained and certified annually.

An “Attendant” is an individual who is continuously stationed outside the confined space and in constant communication with the entrant.

An “Entry Supervisor” is an individual who remains at the opening of the confined space and directs and controls the entry.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Environmental Health and Safety office (EHS) is responsible for developing and maintaining the Confined Space Entry (CSE) Program. EHS maintains and updates the inventory of confined spaces, and prepares, and updates the written plan. EHS and affected departments will arrange to provide the necessary training and issue CSE permits accordingly. EHS monitors the proper maintenance and use of testing and monitoring equipment. EHS will periodically inspect CSE projects and conduct the annual program review.

Where needed, Physical Plant will provide all necessary CSE equipment and ensures that it is used.

Contractors performing work in CSB|OSB confined spaces must comply with this program. The contractor must inform our project representative and our representative will in-turn apprise the contractor of the hazards, precautions or procedures that must be implemented. Office of the Physical Plant representative will coordinate entry operations with the contractors. Any contractor hired to work in these permit-required confined spaces must make reasonable efforts to obtain all available information.

Procedure

Space Inventory
The EHS, in conjunction with the Physical Plant will maintain an inventory of all identified confined spaces, including non-permit required spaces. All permit-required confined spaces will be posted with danger signs.

Written Plan
EHS maintains written Confined Space Entry plans for both campuses. These plans describe the program and procedures. The plan is accessible from EHS website and a hard copy can be provided at request.

Permit System
Before any confined space can be entered, pre-entry procedures must be followed and a permit determination made. Supervisors or EHS will issue CSE permits.

Training
Qualified personnel as determined by EHS will provide the CSE training. The training will cover physical and atmospheric hazards, ventilation, respiratory protection, fall protection, and retrieval systems.

Record Keeping
EHS is provided with all copies of CSE permit and training records.

Annual Program Review
The CSE program will be reviewed annually to ensure effective performance and that current standards are met.

29 CFR 1910. 146 - Confined Space Standards