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What should happen when work is being done in a confined space?

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

Anyone working in a confined space must be constantly alert 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.

Another device, the Safety Watch or Standby, is posted outside the confined space and continuously monitor the workers inside the confined space. The Safety Watch has the following duties:

 
  • Understands the nature of the hazards that may be found inside the particular confined space and can recognize 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.

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.


Checklist

YES

NO

MONITORING

   

Will the atmosphere in the space be monitored while work is going on?

   

Continuously?

   

Periodically?

   

(If yes, give interval: ................)

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.

 

 
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