If confined space entry procedures are required for a building or site, they must be written according to the site needs. A copy or copies of the procedure and applicable permits must remain onsite until work in the confined space has ceased. These procedures cannot be passed orally or electronically (embedded in an email) unless via an attachment in MS Word or PDF. Written procedures must contain at minimum provisions for the following:
- Notification of intended entry into a confined space. This must be given to the person’s supervisor or designate. The notification must include expected duration of time to be spent in the confined space and tasks that are going to be performed. The notification may be done by email provided there is a guaranty that there is a person on the other end to receive the email.
- Continuous air monitoring, ventilation, PPE, possible breathing apparatus and a permitting process will be required if:
- a situation exists where the atmosphere within the space is less than 19.8 % oxygen content
- or the intended work may change the atmosphere by significantly increasing the oxygen level, reducing the oxygen level (such as inerting) or releasing a hazardous substance
- or a hazardous substance already exists within the space
- A method for checking on the wellbeing of the worker or workers that will be working in the confined space. The duration of checks will be reflective of the level of risk involved in the task. The intervals between checks should be no more than one hour for well ventilated areas.
- Extrication and evacuation of a worker or workers from a confined space should mishap occur. This can also be achieved by having a written agreement with the local fire department, another business in close proximity or organization specializing in confined space rescue; this written agreement will need to be copied to the Manager, Safety and Facilities Services.
- A process for ensuring the following precautions for access point (hatch or door) or point of entry for a confined space is taken:
- The access point must be left open if practicable or the locking mechanism disabled
- The access point must be clearly marked or flagged indicating a person or persons are occupying a confined space
- If the access point is a hatch passing through the floor, a barricade to prohibit walking traffic must be erected around it if practicable. If the hatch is in a high traffic area (e.g. classroom) it must be tagged to indicate that the confined space is occupied.
- Any special equipment such as flashlights and communications devices that may be required prior to entry.
- A notification process in the event a dangerous situation such as gas leaks is discovered.
A process for yearly review to ensure effectiveness of the procedures
- Documentation confirming worker awareness and understanding of the procedures must be retained by the appropriate supervisor while the workers are employed by Northern Lights College.