Entry Permits for Confined Spaces

Once a confined space has been identified and entry is required, controls must be determined and a permit completed.

A confined space entry permit provides a formal check to ensure that all elements of the safe system of work developed to manage entry into that confined space, are in place before a person is to enter the confined space. It is the final check and balance before entry into the confined space.

It also provides a level of communication between site management, supervisors and those carrying out the work and ensures that the organisation has checked and authorised the entry to the confined space and it is safe to proceed.

Watch the video below to hear Laurie run through this topic.

 

Types of Entry Permits

There are various types of confined space entry permits, many of which have been developed to address specific issues and needs of an organisation and the identified confined space entry risks.

Not all confined space entry requirements are the same in every organisation.

Some of the things that are confined space entry must include are:-

  • The space which is to be entered and the work that is going to be undertaken,
  • Details of the persons entering the confined space and their training and those that have been permitted to enter the space,
  • Detail a period of time to which the work applies.

Within the permit, it will then identify controls, such as isolation; is electrical, mechanical or other isolation required?

When entering a confined space, one of the primary issues is the atmospheric conditions that exist in that confined space. Because of this, the permit must outline:

  • Testing and evaluation of the atmosphere in the confined space
  • Any purging methods that need to be applied before a person enters the confined space
  • Any continuing ventilation that will be required within the confined space
  • Respiratory protective equipment that is to be worn by workers when entering the confined space.

 

What does a Confined Space Entry Permit Detail?

It will detail any hot work that is required in the confined space and in addition to the respiratory protective equipment it will also detail other types of protective equipment such as helmets, boots, fully enclosed coveralls, etc.

It will detail the communication methods within the confined space, that is between the person outside the confined space and the person within the confined space, are we going to use radios for example?

It will detail how the entry and exit procedures are going to occur, how that person gets into the confined space and how they're going to get out.

It will detail the signs that must be put in place and the barricading around the confined space.

It will define the training, minimum training that is required for the workers entering the confined space and what our emergency response procedures are going to be.

It will further identify the standby person who is going to enter the confined space.

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A confined space entry permit is the final check of the space before entry. In a way it is the work methods going to be adopted in entry into that confined space.

If you would like a template of a Confined Space Entry Permit, you can download one here.

 

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