Confined space entry fatalities occur every year in the workplace, and as a result OSHA requires permit-required confined space entry programs to form a system where specific procedures contribute to reducing and eliminating the risks from entry. Confined Spaces are defined as spaces where all three of the following characteristics exist.
- Is large enough and configured such that an employee can enter and perform work
- Has limited openings for entry and exit
- Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy
Employers are required to evaluate every job or project that involves a confined space, therefore a confined space permit program specific to each job location must be established and followed. Because of the acute hazards associated with confined space work, and the fact that workers’ lives are at stake, OSHA’s regulatory requirements are only minimum standards and employers and employees must strive to exceed them at all times.
ARC Enterprises recognizes creating the best program for your employee’s safety is important and can help guide you through the process that incorporates the following:
- Drafting written procedures and entry permit requirements
- Developing a rescue plan and program
- Provide training applicable to confined space entry. It is important to not that training may also include the development of a respiratory protection program and fall protection, rescue training, and use of atmospheric monitoring devices and products.
Confined spaces are present in many work settings and are characterized by the following conditions.
- No ventilation, such as pits and vaults which are seldom opened
- Presence of gases that are heavier which accumulate in low-lying spaces
- Oxygen depletion or oxygen deficiency at levels lower than are safe to breathe
- Hazardous materials from previous uses of the space, such as storage or fermentation tanks
- Hazardous atmospheres causing asphyxiation and/ or ignitable hazards
- Electrical hazards
- Moving machinery
- Falling objects
- Wet or slippery surfaces
The two types of confined space entry are distinguished as permit-required, where a permit is required to enter the tank, and non-permit required entry, where the confined space does not contain, or have the potential to contain, any atmospheric hazard capable of causing death or serious physical harm. We work with your employees to recognize the hazards in your confined spaces and to be prepared for any situation that may arise from working in a confined space.