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Theme - 1

Confined Space Safety


industrial Disaster Risk Management

Confined Space
Safe Work
Permit Required

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Fax +91-755-2466653
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MoEF

Imprint

The Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) is the nodal agency in the administrative
structure of the Central Government for the planning, promotion, coordination and
overseeing the implementation of Indias environmental and forestry policies and
programmes.
The Ministry also serves as the nodal agency in the country for the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP), South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme
(SACEP), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and for
the follow-up of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
(UNCED). The Ministry is also entrusted with issues relating to multilateral bodies such
as the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), Global Environment Facility
(GEF) and of regional bodies like Economic and Social Council for Asia and Pacific
(ESCAP) and South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) on matters
pertaining to the environment.

Chief Editor
Praveen Garg, IAS,
Executive Director, DMI, Bhopal, India

Editors
Dr. Rakesh Dubey, Director, DMI, Bhopal, India
Florian Bemmerlein-Lux, Sr. Advisor, InWEnt, Germany

Support
Sudheer Dwivedi, Dy. Director, DMI, Bhopal, India
Dr. Asit Patra, Asstt. Director, DMI, Bhopal, India
Neeraj Pandey, Content Manager, InWEnt India
Amit Kumar Dadhich, Content Manager, InWEnt India
Huda Khan, Content Manager, InWEnt India

COOPERATION
REPUBLIC OF
INDIA

FEDERAL REPUBLIC
OF GERMANY

Published under
InWEnt-gtz-ASEM Capacity Development Programme
for industrial Disaster Risk Management (iDRM)
Edition 2, 2010

InWEnt
International Weiterbildung und Entwicklung gGmbH
Capacity Building International,
Germany Division for Environment, Energy and Water
Ltzowufer 6-9, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Dr. Christina Kamlage
Phone +49 30 25487-117
christina.kamlage@inwent.org
Steffi Mallinger
Phone +49 30 25487-116
steffi.mallinger@inwent.org

Disaster Management Institute


Paryavaran Parisar, E-5, Arera Colony, PB No. 563
Bhopal-462 016 MP (India),
Fon +91-755-2466715, 2461538, 2461348,
Fax +91-755-2466653
www.hrdp-iDRM.in

GTZ ASEM
Advisory Service in Environmental Management
A-33, Gulmohar Park,
New Delhi 110049
Fon +91-11-26528840
Fax +91-11-26537673
www.asemindia.com

Disclaimer
Though all care has been taken while researching and compiling the
contents provided in this booklet. DMI-InWEnt-gtz-ASEM accept no
liability for its correctness.
The reader is advised to confirm specifications and health hazards
described in the booklet before taking any steps, suitability of action
requires verifications through other sources also.
Information provided here does not constitute an endorsement or
recommendation.

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Germany

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worldwide operations dedicated to human resource development, advanced training,
and dialogue. Our capacity building programmes are directed at experts and
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We are commissioned by the German federal government to assist with the
implementation of the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. in
addition, we provide the German business sector with support for public private
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Detailed Information can be explored using our WEB sites:
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COOPERATION
REPUBLIC OF
INDIA

FEDERAL REPUBLIC
OF GERMANY

gtz-ASEM
The Advisory Services in Environmental Management (ASEM) Programme, is a joint
programme of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the Indian Ministry of
Environment and Forests (MoEF). The German Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports several environment related projects
in India through GTZ. ASEM focuses on seven major thrust areas -Sustainable
Industrial Development, Sustainable Urban Development, Sustainable Consumption
and Consumer Protection, Sustainable Environmental Governance and the cross
cutting areas. Climate Change and Human Resource Development. Public Private
Partnership (PPP) project with Indian and German companies contribute towards
identified project activities. Detailed Information can be explored using our WEB sites:
www.asemindia.com
www.hrdp-net.in

Disaster Management Institute


(DMI) Bhopal
The Disaster Management Institute (DMI) was set up in 1987 by the Government of
Madhya Pradesh (GoMP) as an autonomous organization in the aftermath of the
industrial disaster in Bhopal.
Since inception, DMI has built vast experience in preparation of both On-site and
Off-site Emergency Management Plans, Safety Audit, Risk Analysis and Risk
Assessment, Hazard and Operability Studies (HAZOP), etc.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) constituted under the
chairmanship of the Prime Minister selected DMI as a member of the Core Group
for preparation of the National Disaster Management Guidelines- Chemical Disaster.
It is a matter of pride that NDMA has selected DMI for conducting Mock Exercises on
chemical (industrial) Disaster Management at key industrial locations in the country.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests, InWEnt and gtz-ASEM Germany have
recognized DMI as a Nodal Training Institutes for capacity building in industrial Disaster
Risk Management.
www.HRDP-iDRM.in

Contents

1. What is a confined space ?


Generally speaking, a confined space is an enclosed or partially enclosed space that:

1. What is a confined space ?

-2

2. What are the hazards in a confined space ?

-3

is not primarily designed or intended for human occupancy,


has a restricted entrance or exit by way of location, size or means,
can represent a risk for health and safety of anyone who enters, due to one or more
of the following factors:

3. Why is working in a confined space more hazardous


than working in other work spaces ?
3.1. Oxygen-deficient Atmosphere
3.2. Flammable Atmosphere
3.3. Toxic Atmospheres

-3

4. What should be done when preparing to enter the


confined space ?
4.1 Air quality testing
4.2 How are hazards controlled in confined spaces ?
4.3 How is air quality maintained ?
4.4 How are fire and explosion prevented ?
4.5 How are energy sources controlled ?

its design, construction, location or atmosphere,


the materials or substances in it,
work activities being carried out in it, or
mechanical, process and safety hazards present.

-4
-5
-6

-7
-7
-9
-9
- 13
- 14

Confined spaces can be below or above ground. Confined spaces can be found in
almost any workplace. A confined space, despite its name, is not necessarily small.
Examples of confined spaces include silos, vats, hoppers, ESPs, reaction vessels, utility
vaults, tanks, sewers, pipes, access shafts, truck or rail tank cars, aircraft wings. Ditches
and trenches may also be a confined space when access or egress is limited.

5. What should happen when work is being done in a


confined space ?

- 14

6. What are some emergency response precautions ?

- 15

7. Is worker training important ?

- 17

8. What are other safety precautions ?

- 17

9. What is an Entry Permit System (EPS) ?

- 18

10. Other points to consider

- 18

11. Standby/Rescue

- 20

12. Checklist

- 22

13. Glossary

- 27

14. References

- 29

Tunnels

2. What are the hazards in a confined space?

The entrance/exit of the confined space might not allow the worker to get out in
time if there be a flood or collapse of free-flowing solid or hazardous gases.
Rescue of the victim is more difficult. The interior configuration of the confined
space often does not allow easy movement of people or equipment within it.
Self-rescue by the worker is more difficult.
Natural ventilation alone will often not be sufficient to maintain breathing quality
air. The interior configuration of the confined space does not allow easy movement
of air within it.
Conditions can change very quickly due to chemical/physical reactions.
The space outside the confined space can impact on the conditions inside the
confined space and vice versa.
Work activities may introduce hazards not present initially.

All hazards found in a regular workspace can also be found in a confined space.
However, they can be even more hazardous in a confined space than in a regular
worksite.
Hazards in confined spaces can include the following, for example:
Poor air quality: There may be an insufficient amount of oxygen for the worker to
breathe. The atmosphere might contain a poisonous substance that could make the
worker ill or even cause the worker to lose consciousness. Natural ventilation alone
will often not be sufficient to maintain breathable quality air.
Chemical exposures due to skin contact or ingestion as well as inhalation of 'bad' air.
Fire Hazard: There may be an explosive/inflammable atmosphere due to inflammable
liquids and gases and combustible dusts which, if ignited, would lead to fire or
explosion.
Process-related hazards such as residual chemicals, release of contents of a supply
line.
Noise.
Safety hazards such as moving parts of equipment, structural hazards,
entanglement, slips, falls, etc.
Radiation.
Temperature extremes including atmospheric and surface.
Shifting or collapse of bulk material.
Barrier failure resulting in a flood or release of free-flowing solid.
Uncontrolled energy including electric shock.
Visibility.
Biological hazards.

3. Why is working in a confined space more hazardous than


working in other work spaces?
Many factors need to be evaluated when looking for hazards in a confined space. There
is smaller margin for error. An error in identifying or evaluating potential hazards can
have more serious consequences. In some cases, the conditions in a confined space are
always extremely hazardous. In other cases, conditions are life threatening under an
unusual combination of circumstances. Due to this variability and unpredictability, the
hazard assessment is extremely important and must be taken very seriously each and
every time.
Some examples include:

One should not ignore the following:


3.1. Oxygen-deficient Atmosphere
An oxygen-deficient atmosphere
has less than 19.5% available
oxygen (02). Any
atmosphere with less than
19.5% oxygen
should not be entertained
without an approved
Self-Contained Breathing
Apparatus (SCBA).
The oxygen level in a
confined space can be
decreased because of
work being done,
such as welding, cutting,
or brazing; or, it can
be decreased by certain
chemical reactions
(rusting) or through
bacterial action
(fermentation).
The oxygen level is
also decreased if
oxygen is displaced
by another gas,

21%

O2Enriched
Minimum for
Safe Entry

19.5%

16%

Impaired Judgement
and Breathing

14%

Faulty Judgement
Rapid Fatigue

6%

Difficult Breathing
Death in Minutes

Oxygen Scale

such as carbon dioxide or nitrogen or chlorine. Total displacement of oxygen by another


gas, such as carbon dioxide, or nitrogen or chlorine will result in unconsciousness,
followed by death.
3.2. Flammable Atmospheres

3.3. Toxic Atmospheres


Most substances (liquids, vapours, gases, mists, solid materials, and dusts) should be
considered hazardous in a confined space. Toxic substances can come from the
following:
- The product stored in the space:

Two things make an atmosphere inflammable:


1) the oxygen in air; and
2) an inflammable gas, vapour, or dust in the proper mixture. Different gases have
different inflammable ranges. If a source of ignition (e.g. a sparking electrical tool)
is introduced into a space containing an inflammable atmosphere, an explosion will
result.
An oxygen-enriched atmosphere (above 21%) will cause inflammable materials, such as
clothing and hair, to burn violently when ignited. Therefore, never use pure oxygen
to ventilate a confined space. Ventilate with normal air.

AIR

The product can be


absorbed into the walls
and give off toxic gases,
when removed or when
cleaning out the residue
of a stored product,
toxic gases can be given
off. Example: Removal
of sludge from a tank decomposed material can
give off deadly hydrogen
sulfide gas.
- The work being performed
in a confined space:
Examples of such include
welding, cutting, brazing,
painting, scraping, sanding,
degreasing, etc.
Toxic atmospheres are
generated in various
processes. For example,
cleaning solvents are
used in many industries
for cleaning/degreasing.
The vapours from these
solvents are very toxic
in a confined space.

FLAMMABLE ATMOSPHERE

Source of
Ignition

Gas, Vapour,
or Dust

- Areas adjacent to the confined space:


Toxicants produced by work in
the area of confined spaces can
enter and accumulate in confined spaces.

The Ignition Triangle

4. What should be done when preparing to enter the


confined space ?

The results of the tests for these hazards are to be recorded on the Entry Permit
(as discussed in section 9) along with the equipment or method(s) that were used in
performing the tests.

The important thing to remember is that each time a worker plans to enter any work
space, the worker should determine if that work space is considered a confined space.
Be sure that the confined space hazard assessment and control program has been
followed.

Air testing may need to be ongoing depending on the nature of the potential hazards
and the nature of the work. Conditions can change while workers are inside the
confined space and sometimes a hazardous atmosphere is created by the work
activities in the confined space.

The next question to ask - Is it absolutely necessary that the work be carried out
inside the confined space? In many cases where there have been deaths in confined
spaces, the work could have been done outside the confined space.

It is important to understand that some gases or vapours are heavier than air and will
settle to the bottom of a confined space. Also, some gases are lighter than air and
will be found around the top of the confined space. Therefore, it is necessary to test all
areas (top, middle, bottom) of a confined space with properly calibrated testing
instruments to determine which gases are present. If testing reveals oxygen-deficiency,
or the presence of toxic gases or vapours, the space must be ventilated and re-tested
before workers enter. If ventilation is not possible and entry is necessary (for emergency
rescue, for example), workers must have appropriate respiratory protection.

Before entering any confined space, a trained and experienced person should identify
and evaluate all the potential hazards within the confined space. An important step in
determining the hazards in a confined space is air testing.
4.1 Air quality testing
The air within the confined space should be tested from outside of the confined space
before entering into the confined space. Care should be taken to ensure that air is tested
throughout the confined space side-to-side and top to bottom. A trained worker
using detection equipment which has remote probes and sampling lines should do the
air quality testing. The sampling should show that:

NEVER TRUST YOUR SENSES TO DETERMINE


IF THE AIR IN A CONFINED SPACE IS
SAFE! YOU CAN NOT SEE OR SMELL MANY
TOXIC GASES AND VAPOURS, NOR CAN YOU
DETERMINE THE LEVEL OF OXYGEN
PRESENT.

The oxygen content is within safe limits - not too little and not too much.
A hazardous atmosphere (toxic gases, flammable atmosphere) is not present.
Ventilation equipment is operating properly.
Methane
( lighter than air)

Carbon Monoxide
( same as air)

Oxygen/Combustible
Gas Detector

Piston-Type

Oxygen Detector
Hydrogen Sulfide
( heavier than air)

Bellows-Type

4.2 How are hazards controlled in confined spaces?

openings, the gases to be exhausted (e.g. are they inflammable?), and the source of
makeup air.

The traditional hazard control methods found in regular worksites can be effective in a
confined space. These include engineering controls, administrative controls and
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Engineering controls are designed to remove the
hazard while administrative controls and Personal Protective Equipment try to minimise
the contact with the hazard.
However, often because of the nature of the confined space and depending on the
hazard, special precautions, not normally required in a regular worksite, may also need
to be taken. The engineering control commonly used in confined spaces is mechanical
ventilation. The Entry Permit system is an example of an administrative control used in
confined spaces. Personal protective equipment (respirators, gloves, ear plugs)
is commonly used in confined spaces as well.

Under certain conditions where inflammable gases or vapours have displaced the
oxygen level, but are too rich to burn, the forced air ventilation may dilute them until
they are out of the explosive range. Also, if inert gases (e.g. carbon dioxide, nitrogen,
argon) are used in the confined space, the space should be well ventilated and re-tested
before a worker enters.
A common method of ventilation requires a large hose, one end attached to a fan and
the other lowered into a manhole or opening. For example, a manhole would have the
ventilating hose run to the bottom to blow out all harmful gases and vapours
(see diagram). The air intake should be placed in an area that will draw in fresh air only.
Ventilation should be continuous where possible, because in many confined spaces the
hazardous atmosphere will be formed again when the flow of air is stopped.

4.3 How is air quality maintained ?


Natural ventilation (natural air currents) is usually not reliable and sufficient to
maintain the air quality. Mechanical ventilation (blowers, fans) is usually necessary to
maintain air quality.
If mechanical ventilation is provided, there should be a warning system in place to
immediately notify the worker in the event of a hazard or a failure in the ventilation
equipment.
Care should be taken to make sure the air being provided by the ventilation system
to the confined space is 'clean'.
Ease of air movement throughout the confined space should be considered, because
of the danger of pockets of toxic gases still remains even with the use of mechanical
ventilation.
Do not substitute oxygen for fresh air. Increasing the oxygen content will
significantly increase the risk of fire and explosion.
The use of mechanical ventilation should be noted on the entry permit.

Ventilating with Fan and Trunk Hose

Isolation
Isolation of a confined space
is a process where the space is
removed from service by:
Locking out by
DANGER
electrical sources,
DO
preferrably at
DANGER
NOT
disconnected switches
OPERATE
DO
remote from the
NOT
equipment
OPERATE
Blanking and bleeding of
pneumatic and hydraulic lines
Examples of Lockout
Disconnecting belt and chain
drives, and mechanical linkages on shaft driven equipment where possible, and

The following paragraphs provide information on ventilation, isolation and respirators.


All these are important for air quality maintenance and safety of workers. All these are
monitored and regulated as per regulations of industrial health and hygiene.

Rged by
Date

Ventilation
Ventilation by a blower or fan may be necessary to remove harmful gases and vapours
from a confined space. There are several methods for ventilating a confined space. The
method and equipment chosen are dependent upon the size of the confined space

10

Securing mechanical moving parts within confined spaces with latches, chains,
chocke, blocks, or other devices.

Full-Facepiece

Half-mask

Air-Purifying Respirators
(Do Not Use in Oxygen-Deficient Atmosphere)

Method of Blanking Hydraulic/Pneumatic Lines


Respirators
Respirators are devices that can allow workers to safely breathe without inhaling toxic
gases or particles. Two basic types are air-purifiers, which filter dangerous substances
from the air, and air-suppliers, which deliver a supply of safe breathing air from a tank
or an uncontaminated area nearby.

ONLY AIR-SUPPLYING RESPIRATORS SHOULD BE


USED IN CONFINED SPACES WHERE THERE IS NOT
ENOUGH OXYGEN

Selecting the proper respirator for the job, the hazard, and the person is very important,
as is thorough training in the use and limitations of respirators. Questions regarding the
proper selection and use of respirators should be addressed to a certified industrial
hygienist.

11

Supplied Air Respirator with


Auxiliary, Escape-only SCBA

Self-contained Breathing
Apparatus (SCBA)

Air-Supplying Respirators

12

4.4 How are fire and explosion prevented ?

entry to the confined space is allowed. Only after the air testing is within allowable
limits entry should occur as the gases used for purging can be extremely hazardous.

Work, where a flame is used or a source of ignition may be produced (hot work), should
not normally be performed in a confined space unless:
All inflammable gases, liquids and vapours are removed prior to the start of any hot
work. Mechanical ventilation is usually used to:
keep the concentration of any explosive or flammable hazardous substance less
than 10% of its Lower Explosive Limit.
make sure that the oxygen content in the confined space is not enriched. Oxygen
content should be less than 23% but maintained at levels greater than 18%.
(These numbers can vary slightly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction).

4.5 How are energy sources controlled ?


All potentially hazardous energy sources must be de-energised and locked out prior to
entry to the confined space so that equipment cannot be turned on accidentally.

5. What should happen when work is being done in a


confined space?
There should be warning signs to prevent unauthorised entry to the confined space.

Surfaces coated with combustible material should be cleaned or shielded to prevent


ignition.
Standby Worker

While doing the hot work, the concentrations of oxygen and combustible materials
must be monitored to make certain that the oxygen levels remain in the proper range
and the levels of the combustible materials do not get higher than 10% of the Lower
Explosive Limit. In special cases it may not be possible, and additional precautions must
be taken to ensure the safety of the worker prior to entering the confined space.

Alarm Horn

Gas and
Fume Extractor

Emergency SCBA
Lifeline to
Safety Harness
Gas and
Fume
Collected
at source

Anyone working in a confined space must be constantly alerted for any changing
conditions within the confined space. In the event of an alarm from monitoring
equipment or any other indication of danger, workers should immediately leave the
confined space.

Continuous Monitor
for Oxygen and Combustible Gases
If a potential flammable atmospheric hazard is identified during the initial testing, the
confined space should be cleaned or purged and ventilated and tested again before

13

Another device, the Safety Watch or Standby, must be posted outside the confined
space and continuously monitor the workers inside the confined space. The

14

Safety Watch has the following duties:


Understands the nature of the hazards that may be found inside a particular
confined space and can recognise signs, symptoms and behavioral effects that
workers in the confined space could experience.
Monitors the confined space and surrounding area and is on the look out for
dangerous conditions.
Remains outside the confined space and does no other work which may
interfere with their primary duty of monitoring the workers inside the confined
space.
Maintains constant communication with the workers in the confined space.
Orders the immediate evacuation if a potential hazard, not already controlled for, is
detected.
Calls for emergency assistance immediately if an emergency develops.
Is immediately available to provide non-entry emergency assistance when needed.
Can provide entry rescue only after the most stringent precautions are taken and
another Safety Watch is immediately available.

Have an alarm for calling for help.


Have all required rescue equipments (for example, safety harnesses, lifting
equipment, a lifeline) immediately available and must be trained in its use.
Hold a basic first aid certificate.
Can do Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

Should a worker leave a confined space for a short time (for example, coffee break,
getting additional material for their work.), the confined space should be re-tested,
before the worker re-enters. If the confined space has been continuously monitored by
equipment that can show the details of the atmosphere during the time absent from
the confined space and this information can be seen from outside the confined space,
it can be re-entered without retesting. If there is not continuous air monitoring then
the hazard assessment needs to be repeated.
Confined space should not be closed off until it has been verified that no person is
inside it.
After exiting the confined space, the time of exit should be noted on the entry permit.

6. What are some emergency response precautions?


If a situation arises where there is a hazardous condition and the worker does not leave
or is unable to leave the confined space, rescue procedures should begin immediately.
The Safety Watch should be qualified in confined spaces rescue procedures and will be
available immediately outside the confined space to provide emergency assistance if
needed. The Safety Watch should be familiar with the structural design of the confined
space. The Safety Watch is in constant communication with the worker inside the
confined space and will:

15

The detailed plan for emergency response to an injury or other emergency within the
confined space should be described in detail in the Confined Space Hazard Assessment
and Control Programme.
Rescue the victims from outside of the confined space, if possible. No other worker
should enter a confined space to attempt a rescue unless that worker is fully trained in
the rescue procedures and is wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment.
More than 60% of deaths in confined spaces are due to rescuers, who are not fully
trained and adequately equipped.
Another worker qualified in confined spaces the rescue procedures must be present
outside the confined space before the first rescuer enters the confined space. Do not
use the same air as the workers in confined space you are rescuing. Wear SCBA (self
contained breathing apparatus) or supplied air respirator with an escape bottle.

16

7. Is workers training important ?

9. What is an Entry Permit System (EPS)?

Yes, appropriate training is extremely important for working safely in confined spaces.
Hands-on training should be an essential part of the confined space training.

An Entry Permit is an administrative tool used to document the completion of a hazard


assessment for each confined space entry. Someone fully trained and experienced in
confined space work should complete the Entry Permit.

Every worker that enters a confined space must be fully trained on the following:
Recognition and identification of potential hazards associated with the confined
spaces that will be entered.
Evaluation and control procedures for the identified or potential hazards.
All equipment such as ventilation equipments (blowers), harnesses and air quality
monitors (e.g., Oxygen/combustible meters) that will be used while in the confined
space.
All personal protective equipments (e.g., respirators) that the worker will be using
while in the confined space.
All procedures for entering the confined space as outlined in the employer's
Confined Space Hazard Assessment Programme.
Procedures to follow in the event of a situation developing that could present
additional risk to the worker or in emergency.
The specific work to be done while in the confined space.
Workers with emergency rescue responsibilities will need additional specialised
training. All confined space training should include some hands-on training with the
safety equipments including the personal protective equipment and safety harnesses.
Rescue procedures should be practiced frequently so there is a high level of proficiency.
Employers should keep records of all confined space trainings including refresher
courses.

8. What are other safety precautions?


Many other situations or hazards may be present in a confined space. Be sure that all
hazards are controlled including:
Any liquids or free-flowing solids are removed from the confined space to
eliminate the risk of drowning or suffocation.
All pipes should be physically disconnected or isolation blanks bolted in place.
Closing valves are not sufficient.
A barrier is present to prevent liquids or free-flowing solids from entering the
confined space.
The opening for entry into and exit from the confined space must be large enough
to allow the passage of a person using protective equipments.

17

Before entering a confined space, an entry permit should be written. It should contain at
least the following information:
The length of time the permit is valid for.
The name(s) of the worker(s) that will enter the confined space.
The name(s) of the attendant(s) (safety watch) and/or supervisor.
The location of the confined space.
The work that is to be done in the confined space.
The date and time of entry into the confined space and the anticipated time of exit.
The details of any atmospheric testing done of the confined space - when, where,
results, date monitoring equipment was last calibrated. Ideally, calibration would be
done just before each use. If this is not possible, follow the equipment
manufacturers guidelines for frequency of calibration.
The use of mechanical ventilation and other protective equipment needed and any
other precautions that will be followed by every worker who is going to enter the
confined space.
The protective equipment and emergency equipment to be used by any person who
takes part in a rescue or responds to other emergency situations in the confined
space
A signature of a worker who did the confined space testing. The signature on the
permit would indicate that adequate precautions are being taken to control the
anticipated hazards.
The entry permit should be posted at the confined space and remain so until the work is
completed. The employer should keep a copy of the completed permit on file.
A checklist is given in section 11.

10. Other points to consider


Loose, granular material stored in bins and hoppers such as grain, sand, coal or
similar material, can engulf and suffocate a worker. The loose material can crust or
bridge over in a bin and break loose under the weight of a worker. Figure below shows
the engulfment hazard and it is very common in silos and effluent treatment areas.

18

11. Standby/Rescue
A standby person should be assigned to remain outside of the confined space
and be in constant contact (visual or speech) with the workers inside. The standby
person should not have any other duties but to serve as standby and know who
should be notified in case of emergency. Standby personnel should not enter a
confined space until help arrives, and then only with proper protective equipments,
life lines, and respirators.

Over 50% of the workers who die in confined spaces are attempting to rescue other
workers. Rescuers must be trained in and follow established emergency procedures
and use appropriate equipment and
techniques (lifeline, respiratory
protection, standby persons, etc.).
Steps for safe rescue should be
included in all confined
space entry procedures.
Rescue should be well
planned and drills should
be frequently conducted
on emergency procedures.
Unplanned rescue,
such as when
someone instinctively
rushes in to help
a downed co-worker,
can easily result in
a double fatality,
or even multiple
fatalities if there
are more than
one would-be
rescuers.

The Hazard of Engulfment in Unstable Material

In certain working environments such as confined spaces, an inadequate


amount of oxygen can lead to simple asphyxiation and death

Entry with Hoist and


Standby Personnel

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12. Checklist

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SAFE ENTRY: A CHECKLIST


Use the following checklist to evaluate the confined space.
DO NOT ENTER A CONFINED SPACE UNTIL YOU
HAVE CONSIDERED EVERY QUESTION, AND HAVE
DETERMINED THE SPACE TO BE SAFE.

REMEMBER:
AN UNPLANNED
RESCUE WILL
PROBABLY BE
YOUR LAST.

YES

NO
Is entry necessary?

TESTING
Are the instruments used in atmospheric testing
properly calibrated?
Was the atmosphere in the confined space tested?
Was Oxygen at least 19.5% - not more than 21%?
Were toxic, flammable, or oxygen-displacing
gases/vapours present?
Which of the following gases are
identified
Hydrogen Sulfide
Carbon Monoxide
Methane
Carbon Dioxide
Other (list) ___________________

___________________

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YES

NO

YES

NO

MONITORING

ISOLATION

Will the atmosphere in the space be monitored while work


is going on?

Has the space been isolated from other systems?

Continuously?

Has electrical equipment been locked out?

Periodically? (If yes, give interval:________________)

Have disconnects been used where possible?

REMEMBER - ATMOSPHERIC CHANGES OCCUR


DUE TO THE WORK PROCEDURE OR THE
PRODUCT STORED. THE ATMOSPHERE MAY
BE SAFE WHEN YOU ENTER, BUT CAN
CHANGE VERY QUICKLY.

Has mechanical equipment been blocked, chocked,


and disengaged where necessary?
Have lines under pressure been blanked and bled?

CLOTHING/EQUIPMENT

CLEANING
Is special clothing required (boots, chemical suits,
glasses. etc.) ?

Has the space been cleaned before entry is made?

(If so, specify: __________________________


Is special equipment required (e.g. rescue equipment,
communications equipment, etc.)?

Was the space steamed?


If so, was it allowed to cool?

(If so. specify: __________________________


Are special tools required (e.g., Sparkproof)?

VENTILATION

(If so. specify: __________________________


Has the space been ventilated before entry?

RESPIRATORY PROTECTION
Will ventilation be continued during entry?

Are approved respirators of the


type required available at the worksite?

Is the air intake for the ventilation system located in


an area that is free of combustible dusts and vapours
and toxic substances?
If atmosphere was found unacceptable and then
ventilated, was it re-tested before entry?

Is respiratory protection required (e.g., Airpurifier, supplied


air, self-contained breathing apparatus.
etc.)?
(If so, specify type:.___________________)

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YES

NO

YES
Can you get through the opening with a respirator on?
(If you dont know, find out before you try to
enter.)

NO
PERMIT

TRAINING

Have you received first aid/CPR training?

(The permit is an authorisation in writing that states


that the space has been tested by a qualified person,
that the space is safe for entry; what precautions,
equipment, etc. are required ; and what work is to be
done.)

Have you been trained in confined space entry and do


you know what to look for?

Has a confined space entry permit been issued?

Have you been trained in proper use of a respirator?

STANDBY/RESCUE

Does the permit include a list of emergency telephone


numbers?

Will there be a standby person on the outside for


constant visual or auditory communication with the
person inside?

For further information on confined spaces, occupational hazards, safe work practices,
and other topics which could affect your well-being, write to or consult to Chief
Inspectorate of Factories/Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health of your state.

Will the standby person be able to see and/or hear the


person inside at all times?
Has the standby person(s) been trained in rescue procedures?
Will safety lines and harness be required to remove a
person?
Are company rescue procedures available to be
followed in the event of an emergency?
Are you familiar with emergency rescue procedures?
Do you know who to notify and how, in the event of an
emergency?

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Hazard: A potential that cancause danger to life, health, property or the environment.

13. Glossary
This glossary defines term likely be encountered in material safety data sheets (MSDS)
Acute: the effect caused by a single short term exposure to a high amount of
concentration of a substance.
Asphyxiation: A condition whereby oxygen is replaced by an inert gas such as
nitrogen, carbon dioxide, ethane, hydrogen or helium to a level where it cannot sustain
life. Normal air contains 21 percent of oxygen. If this concentration falls below about
17 percent, the human body tissue will be deprived of supply of oxygen, causing
dizziness, nausea and loss of coordination. This type of situation may occur in confined
work places.

Local exhaust: A system or device for capturing and exhausting contaminants from
the air the point where the contaminants are produced (e.g. Dust in shaving and
buffing).
Poisoning: Normally the human body is able to cope with a variety of substances
within certain limits. Poisoning occurs when these limits are exceeded and the body is
unable to deal with a substance (by digestion, absorption or excretion).
Risk: the measured probability of an event to cause danger to life, health, property or
the environment.
Toxicity: the inherent potential of a chemical substance to cause poisoning.

Auto-ignition temperature: The minimum temperature at which a material ignites


without application of a flame.
Chronic (health) effect: An adverse effect on a human body with symptoms
development slowly over a long period of time.
Chronic toxicity: A chronic effect resulting from repeated doses of or exposure to a
substance over a relatively prolonged period of time.
Confined space: Any area that has limited opening for entry or exit that would make
escape difficult in an emergency, has a lack of ventilation, contains known and
potential hazard, and is not normally intended or designed for continuous human
occupancy (e.g. A storage tank, manhole of collection conveyances systems in effluent
treatment plants.)
Explosion proof-equipment: Apparatus or device enclosed in a case capable of
withstanding an explosion of specified gas of vapour and preventing the ignition of
specified gas or vapour surrounding the enclosure by spark, flash or explosion and
operating at an external temperature so that surrounding flammable atmosphere will
not be ignited.
Flammable: A flammable liquid is defined as a liquid with a flash point between 21
and 55 degrees celsius. It may catch fire on contact with a source of ignition.
Flammable/explosion limits: Flammable/explosion limits produce a minimum and a
maximum concentration of gases/vapours/fumes in air that will support combustion.
The lowest concentration is known as the lower flammable/explosion limit (LEL), the
highest concentration is know as upper flammable/explosion limit (UFL).

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Notes

14. References
Indian Factories act 1948 and subsequent amendements.
A guide to safety in confined spaces by US Department of Health and
Human Services, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,
1987.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 2002.

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30

Notes

Notes

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