Enclosed Space Entry
A master’s guide to
Enclosed Space Entry
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Investigations into enclosed space-related casualties show that most
are caused by poor training and knowledge of the correct entry
procedures, or a disregard for them.
It is therefore vital that all seafarers are aware of the danger of enclosed
spaces and learn the correct entry procedures, whether or not it is a
requirement of their role on board. Seafarers must understand that no
enclosed space should be entered without following proper precautions,
even in an emergency.
This guide is intended to assist seafarers to enter enclosed spaces
safely. It may highlight shortfalls in individual company procedures in
equipment, training and onboard practices.
We would like to thank Chris Spencer for his work on this publication.
The images in this publication were produced with the kind
assistance of the officers and crew of the Miss Benedetta.
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Contents
1 Example incidents
2 What is an enclosed space?
3 IMO/SOLAS regulations
3.1
Drill regulations
3.2
Portable instruments regulations
4 Safety Management Systems (SMS)
5 Enclosed space hazards
5.1
Hazardous atmosphere
5.2
Physical or configuration hazard
5.3
Changing and hazardous conditions
5.4
Engulfment hazard
6 Risk assessment
7 Entry procedures
7.1
Authorisation for entry
7.2
General precautions
7.3
Ventilation
7.4
Testing the atmosphere
7.5
Precautions during entry
7.6
Responsibilities
2
5
6
6
7
8
9
9
12
12
12
13
14
14
15
15
15
16
17
8 Additional precautions where the atmosphere
is known or suspected to be unsafe
18
9 Hazards relating to ship types and cargo
19
9.1
Dangerous goods in packaged form
19
9.2
Liquid bulk
20
9.3
Solid bulk
20
9.4
Use of nitrogen as an inert gas
20
9.5
Oxygen-depleting cargoes and
materials20
9.6
Fumigation20
10 Managing shoreside personnel
21
11 Training, drills and rescue
22
12 Appropriate equipment
23
13 References
24
14 Appendix25
15 ConclusionIBC
1
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Example incidents
Examples of incidents are
unfortunately numerous.
Incident reports are available
from multiple sources,
including: The Standard Club’s
safety bulletins, flag state
accident reports, industry
safety journals and
publications, and company
accident and near miss reports.
The examples here illustrate
the different ways in which a
seafarer can put himself
and others in danger in an
enclosed space.
Poor rescue plan and incorrect use
of rescue equipment
Three experienced seamen died
inside a chain locker. Two were
overcome while tying off an anchor
chain to prevent it from rattling in the
spurling pipe. The third was a crew
member attempting to rescue his
two colleagues. Despite entering the
chain locker wearing an Emergency
Escape Breathing Device (EEBD), he
removed its hood after being
constrained by the device. All three
men died from lack of oxygen inside
the chain locker caused by the
ongoing corrosion of its steel
structure and anchor chain.
Migration of oxygen-deficient air to
an adjacent space
Two seamen collapsed in a store
room. The chief officer entered the
store to try to rescue the men but
was forced to leave when he became
short of breath and his vision was
affected. The two seamen had been
asphyxiated. The store was adjacent
to the ship’s forward cargo hold
containing steel turnings. To allow for
the drainage of sea water and the
removal of cargo residue, a section of
the vent trunking on either side of the
cargo ventilation fan motor, located
in the store, had been cut. This
allowed a path for air from the
self-heating cargo to enter the store.
When tested later, the air in the cargo
hold was found to contain only 6%
oxygen and, as a result, the
storeroom’s atmosphere was oxygen
deficient.
2
Not recognising the dangers of an
enclosed space
An experienced seaman died after he
entered an almost empty ballast tank
to carry out a quick inspection to
confirm the water level. The tank’s
manhole cover was removed and the
seaman was instructed to confirm
the amount of water in the tank. It
was not intended that the seaman
enter the tank, so no entry permit
was issued. When the seaman was
found to be missing, an experienced
motorman was sent into the
cofferdam to check on him. He found
the seaman lying at the bottom of the
empty tank and raised the alarm. The
motorman re-entered the tank but
collapsed as he tried to recover his
colleague. The ship’s emergency
response team provided air to both
seafarers using breathing apparatus
and the motorman recovered. The
seaman never regained
consciousness. He had been
asphyxiated in the oxygen-depleted
atmosphere of the tank, which had
not been inspected for several years
and was heavily corroded.
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Poor rescue training
Three engineers died in the tunnel
space whilst the ship was in port. An
engineer and a fitter went to overhaul
a storm valve. The line was isolated
and the valve slackened off for
removal. Poisonous gas was trapped
in the pipeline and entered the
enclosed tunnel space. Both seamen
collapsed. Sometime later another
engineer went to look for his two
colleagues and also collapsed on
entering the space. Later, a search
team wearing breathing apparatus
found that all three engineers had
died from suffocation.
Inexperience and not following
procedures
A junior officer and a bosun died on a
tanker after the junior officer was
asked to check whether there was
any oil cargo remaining in a cargo
tank. The junior officer took the task
literally and went into the tank
through its access lid to check how
empty it was. When the junior officer
did not return, the chief officer asked
the bosun to check where he was.
The bosun saw the tank lid open and
the junior officer lying at the bottom
of the tank near the access ladder.
The bosun went into the tank to try
to assist the junior officer. Both men
died from asphyxiation in the
oxygen-depleted atmosphere.
Extreme heat
During a repair period, a shoreside
technician fainted and fatally fell off a
hold ladder whilst climbing out of a
hold in extreme heat. He had worked
long hours and was suffering from
dehydration.
Carbon monoxide migration
A port state inspector boarded a
totally enclosed free-fall lifeboat
stowed aft of the accommodation/
engine housing. On entry, his
personal gas meter alarmed.
Investigation confirmed carbon
monoxide had collected in the
lifeboat. This was caused by the
funnel exhaust being blown into the
lifeboat due to the prevailing wind
conditions during the voyage.
Oxygen-deficient atmosphere even
after correct testing
An inspection was being carried out
on a container ship’s deep ballast
tanks, which had been ventilated and
tested before entry. However, when
inspecting a smaller box-like
structure within the tank, which was
part of the ship’s construction, the
inspector’s personal gas meter
alarmed, showing a lack of oxygen.
The poor atmosphere within the
space may not have been detected
previously due to the construction
and layout of the space.
Fumigation incidents
A general cargo ship was discharging
a cargo of grain after a two-week
voyage. It became apparent that the
fumigant was still active; the
fumigant retainers that had been
removed from the holds were still
smoking. Cargo operations were
immediately stopped, all the crew
were evacuated, a 50-metre cordon
was placed around the ship and
nearby houses were evacuated. The
crew and stevedores exposed to the
phosphine gas were hospitalised for
observation. The fumigant retainers
were neutralised in water. It took five
days before the ship’s holds were
considered safe.
A general cargo ship was loaded with
grains and fumigated at the load port
by applying aluminium phosphide
pellets. During the short voyage, a
crewman was found deceased in his
cabin adjacent to the aft bulkhead of
the hold. On investigation at the next
port, high concentrations of
phosphine gas (generated by the
fumigation pellets) were found in the
3
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Example incidents continued
seaman’s cabin. It is thought that the
toxic gas migrated into the cabin, but
initially no obvious leakage path was
found, even after applying a smoke
test. After descaling the area where
the cabin and hold joined, some ‘pin’
holes were found in the steel work. All
indications are that the seaman died
of phosphine poisoning.
Not recognising the dangers of an
enclosed space, poor emergency
rescue training and equipment
Three deck crew died in a cargo hold
of sawn timber whilst alongside the
berth. Two crewmen were engaged in
removing tarpaulins from the timber
stow whilst the ship was discharging
cargo from the hatch cover. They
both entered the forward hold, also
containing sawn timber, through the
hold access hatch. A short while later,
the chief officer saw the hatch access
cover open and went down the hold.
Another crewman saw the chief
officer lying at the bottom of the hold
and raised the alarm. The remaining
crew and two stevedores who
attempted to rescue the stricken
crewmen also nearly succumbed due
to the incorrect use of rescue
equipment. The shoreside rescue
services took oxygen readings and
found that the open access hatch
gave a normal atmosphere reading
(20.9% oxygen). However, at main
deck level within the access hatch, it
was 10% oxygen, and between deck
level and the bottom of the hold, it
was 5% to 6% oxygen.
4
Natural ventilation insufficient
A multipurpose general cargo ship
was discharging a cargo of bulk
semi-coke (a product derived from
coal). With the knowledge of the
ship’s staff, three stevedores entered
the hold through the enclosed hold
ladder access trunking to carry out
sweeping operations with a bulldozer
– a normal and routine operation. As
they entered the hold access
trunking, the oxygen-deficient
atmosphere overcame the three
stevedores. The alarm was raised
shortly afterwards by another
stevedore and a rescue party entered
the hold. The three crewmen were
taken out of the hold unconscious
and were later certified dead in
hospital. It was found that the oxygen
content within the hold access
trunking was less than 10%, despite
the hold being open and naturally
ventilated for over 15 hours.
Incomplete atmosphere testing,
person not fit for entry
On a chemical tanker, a three-man
team of shore workers entered a
cargo tank to sweep the residues of a
cargo of stearin (a derivative of crude
palm oil) into the cargo pump suction
well, to maximise the cargo
discharge. On leaving the tank, one of
the workers was fatally injured after
falling from the ladder in the tank.
Risk assessments had been carried
out by the ship, but no consideration
had been given to using a safety
harness despite the extreme waxy
nature of the cargo. The shore
supervisor gave two of the shore
workers a short talk on the task, but
no safety briefing. The ship’s officers
gave no safety input.
The atmosphere of the cargo tank
was tested for oxygen levels, but the
equipment used to test for other
gases only reached halfway down the
tank. The casualty was lifted from the
tank by the local emergency services,
which declined the use of the ship’s
recovery equipment because of its
weight and lack of portability, ie they
deemed the safety equipment unfit
for purpose.
The post-mortem toxicology report
identified that the casualty had
prescription and illegal drugs in his
blood, which would have caused
severe impairment. Risk of falling
would have been exacerbated by his
physical condition.
These cases highlight some
common issues that cause
incidents, including:
• poor training
• failure to follow proper
procedures for enclosed
space entry
• failure to recognise the danger
of an enclosed space
• tendency to trust physical
senses and forego testing
or checks
• attempts to save a co-worker
leading to short cuts and failure
to follow procedures
• failure to manage safely any
shore workers on board.
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
What is an enclosed space?
An enclosed space means a
space that has any of the
following characteristics:
• limited openings for entry
and exit
• inadequate ventilation
• not designed for continuous
worker occupancy.
The atmosphere in any enclosed
space may be oxygen deficient or
oxygen enriched and/or contain
flammable and/or toxic gases or
vapours. Such unsafe atmospheres
create a risk of death or serious injury.
Some enclosed spaces may not be
immediately obvious. Examples of
enclosed spaces are:
• cargo spaces (holds, tanks,
containers), cargo pump and
compressor rooms
• double-bottom tanks: ballast, fresh
water, fuel and lubricating oil tanks,
duct keels
• engine room spaces: boilers,
pressure vessels, sewage tanks,
crankcases, scavenge air receivers,
thruster spaces, generator spaces
• under-deck spaces: cofferdams,
void spaces, inter-barrier spaces,
chain lockers
• deck spaces: paint and chemical
lockers, battery lockers, hollow
spaces such as masts, gas bottle
storage spaces, CO2 rooms
• spaces affected by fire, chemical
spills or gas release.
Limited openings for entry and exit
Enclosed spaces are not always
easily apparent and some have
ordinary openings for entry and exit.
Spaces such as paint and chemical
lockers, CO2 rooms and battery
lockers can be entered through
weathertight or shipboard doors.
These spaces should still be
considered dangerous.
Inadequate ventilation
Air in an enclosed space may not be
able to flow freely. The atmosphere
outside the enclosed space may be
quite different from that within: toxic
gases or poorly oxygenated
atmosphere can be trapped in
pockets within the space, such as
within the bottom of a forepeak tank,
even if the space has been ventilated
and tested.
An enclosed space may initially be
considered safe, but if adjacent to an
unsafe space, it can soon become
unsafe if migration of hazardous
vapour occurs. Vapour and liquid
migration can occur through cracked
welds, damaged steel bulkheads or
venting, poorly fitting blanks or
valves in pipelines.
Spaces not designed for continuous
worker occupancy
Most enclosed spaces are not
designed for people to work in on a
continuous basis. These can include
certain store rooms and cargo
spaces, where occasional entry is
required for survey, inspection, repair
and maintenance.
5
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
IMO/SOLAS regulations
SOLAS provides the obligations in respect to enclosed space entry:
SOLAS Chapter III Regulation 19. 3.6.2. Emergency training and drills. In force from 1 January 2015. This follows
recommendations made in IMO Resolution A.1050(27) ‘Revised recommendations for entering enclosed spaces
aboard ships’. These should be fully incorporated into the company Safety Management System. Unfortunately,
the IMO Resolution A.1050(27) objectives are solely ‘to encourage the adoption of safety procedures aimed at
preventing casualties to ships’ personnel entering enclosed spaces where there may be an oxygen-deficient,
oxygen-enriched, flammable and/or toxic atmosphere’. This resolution is not sufficiently broad, as there are also
other hazards facing those entering an enclosed space.
SOLAS Chapter XI 1, Regulation 7. Atmosphere testing instrument for enclosed spaces. In force from 1 July
2016. This follows the recommendations in IMO MSC.1/Circ 1477 ‘Guidelines to facilitate the selection of portable
atmosphere testing instruments for enclosed spaces’.
The main legislation is the ISM
Code, which requires all known
risks on board ships to be
identified and taken account of.
Enclosed spaces are known
risks.
Enclosed space entry and rescue
drills must be planned and
conducted taking account of the
recommendations in IMO Resolution
A.1050(27). This resolution lays out
guidelines and advice for enclosed
space entry.
The IMO has produced two major
recommendations, which are now
mandatory for all ships, to counter
‘the continued loss of life resulting
from personnel entering shipboard
spaces in which the atmosphere is
oxygen depleted, oxygen enriched,
toxic or flammable’.
Drills must include the following:
• Checking and use of personal
protective equipment
• Checking and use of
communication equipment and
procedures
• Checking and use of instruments
for measuring the atmosphere
• Checking and use of rescue
equipment and procedures
• Instructions in first aid and
resuscitation techniques
Drill regulations
Enclosed space drills have been
mandatory since 1 January 2015
(SOLAS Chapter III Regulation 19. 3.6).
Crew members with enclosed space
entry and rescue responsibilities must
participate in corresponding safety
drills at least once every two months.
6
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Every crew member should be
instructed about the risks associated
with entering an enclosed space and
the applicable onboard procedures.
This instruction should be given at
regular intervals as with the
requirements for fire-fighting and
life-saving drills. Enclosed space
entry drills should be recorded in the
ship’s log book.
IMO Resolution A.1050(27) should be
incorporated within the company
Safety Management System.
Portable instruments regulations
SOLAS Chapter XI-1, Regulation 7 –
which came into force on 1 July 2016
– requires ships to carry an
appropriate portable atmosphere
testing instrument, or instruments
capable of measuring concentrations
of oxygen, flammable gases or
vapours, hydrogen sulphide and
carbon monoxide.
Note: These requirements are in
addition to and separate from the
requirement for a person
entering an enclosed space to
carry a personal gas meter.
IMO MSC. 1/ Circ.1477 issued in June
2014 contains the ‘Guidelines to
facilitate the selection of portable
atmosphere testing instruments for
enclosed spaces’ as required by SOLAS
Chapter XI-1, Regulation 7. These
guidelines are to be read in
conjunction with the SOLAS
requirement for enclosed space entry.
The IMO caveat should be noted that
‘given a ship’s specific characteristics
and operations, additional
atmospheric hazards in enclosed
spaces may be present that may not
be detected by the instruments
recommended’. It is the company’s/
ship’s responsibility to assess which
additional instruments are required.
The instrument must:
• be capable of remote sampling
• perform a ‘self-test’ to check the
instrument is fully operational
• show clearly which gas is being
measured
• be readable in all lighting conditions
• alarm at an appropriate danger
level as determined by the flag
state
• operate in all temperatures
expected
• be easily carried
• be protected from dust and water
ingress
• have a minimum ten-hour
battery life
• be intrinsically safe
• have an instruction manual
including calibration instructions.
Atmosphere testing instruments
These should be capable of
measuring and displaying
concentrations of:
• oxygen
• flammable gases or vapours (% of
Lower Flammability Limit – LFL)
• carbon monoxide
• hydrogen sulphide.
7
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Safety Management System (SMS)
The company SMS must provide
instructions and procedures to
ensure the safe operation of the ship
and the protection of the
environment. This requires
establishing procedures, plans and
instructions including checklists as
appropriate for key shipboard
operations. Entering an enclosed
space is a key shipboard operation.
The company should provide:
• procedures for entering enclosed
spaces, including instructions,
advice and checklists
• instructions for training, including
the use of atmospheric testing
instruments
• training for competent and
responsible persons in the
recognition, evaluation,
measurement, control and
elimination of the hazards within
enclosed spaces
• training for crew members in
enclosed space safety, including
familiarisation with onboard
procedures for recognising,
evaluating and controlling the
hazards of enclosed space entry
• an audit programme verifying that
established enclosed space
procedures are being followed.
The company Safety Management
System should ensure that a risk
assessment is conducted ‘to identify
all enclosed spaces on board ship’.
This assessment should be
periodically revisited to ensure its
continued validity.
8
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Enclosed space hazards
There are four main hazards:
1. Hazardous atmosphere
2.Physical or configuration
hazard
3. Changing and hazardous
conditions
4.Engulfment hazard.
1. Hazardous atmosphere
Hazardous atmospheres may include
the following:
• oxygen depleted or oxygen enriched
• presence of toxic gases, vapours
or liquids
• flammable atmosphere
• presence of considerable dust
• temperature extremes
• absence of proper ventilation.
Oxygen depleted or oxygen enriched
Lack of correct level of oxygen is one
of the most dangerous factors in
enclosed spaces.
The acceptable range of oxygen (O2)
within an enclosed space is between
19.5% and 23.5%. Normal air
contains 20.9% oxygen.
A person can survive for only three
minutes without oxygen.
Oxygen enriched
When the oxygen level is above
23.5%, this is considered an oxygenenriched atmosphere and can cause
flammable materials to burn violently
when ignited.
Pure O2 should never be used for
ventilation, as it may result in an
oxygen-enriched atmosphere.
The health effects caused by the wrong level of oxygen are listed in the
table below.
% Oxygen content
Effect
>23.5
Disorientation, breathing/vision difficulties.
19.5
Absolute minimum O2 level.
15–19
Impaired co-ordination, decreased ability to work
effectively.
10–14
Respiration increases, poor judgement, lips become blue.
8–10
Mental failure, fainting, nausea, vomiting,
unconsciousness.
6–8
Eight minutes of exposure is fatal, up to four minutes of
exposure means recovery is possible.
4–6
Coma within 40 seconds, death within three minutes.
Oxygen depleted
There are several reasons why the
oxygen level can decrease below the
level for which it is safe. All should be
considered.
Consumption
Oxygen consumption is caused by:
• fire
• hot work: welding/cutting
• breathing
• chemical reactions (oxidisation of
chemicals or metals)
• paint drying
• biological reaction (decomposing
organic matter, eg in sewage tanks).
Displacement
Gases produced within the space
may displace or lower the oxygen
content. This can be caused by:
• use of cleaning agents, adhesives,
paint or other chemicals
• carbon monoxide (CO) and other
gases from engine exhausts, from
using generators for burning/
welding or from diesel-driven
pumps within the space. Exhaust
gases in faulty exhaust lines passing
through the space will have a similar
effect
• people using oxygen and producing
carbon dioxide in poorly ventilated
spaces
• bio-decomposition, eg production
of hydrogen sulphide and methane
in sewage systems
• inert gases entering the space
(fire-fighting CO2/nitrogen). Inert
exhaust gases are also used to
reduce the risk of explosion on
certain tankers. These spaces
should be safely assessed before
entry. Inert gas pipelines should
always be checked to ensure that
they are safely isolated.
9
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Enclosed space hazards continued
Carbon monoxide (CO) exposure
Carbon monoxide is a colourless,
odourless gas which is slightly lighter
than air and is known as ‘the silent
killer’. It is usually formed by the
incomplete combustion of carbon
products, such as fuel oil producing
harmful exhaust gases or selfheating coal cargoes. Even very small
quantities of CO are dangerous.
Exposure to a 100ppm carbon
monoxide atmosphere for 20 minutes
may not affect an average healthy
person; however, an exposure for over
two hours may produce headaches.
An exposure of 400ppm can be life
threatening within two to three hours.
A 1,000ppm exposure can render a
person unconscious within an hour
and be life threatening. (These are
approximations and will vary from
person to person and the prevailing
conditions.)
Whilst working in an enclosed
space, if the O2 level has dropped to
the minimum level of 19.5%
because of carbon monoxide (CO)
ingress, death can occur within a
few minutes, even if the CO level is
only 1.4%.
Hydrogen sulphide exposure
Hydrogen sulphide is a colourless gas
with a distinctive smell of rotten
eggs. It is heavier than air, very
poisonous, flammable, corrosive and
soluble in water. It is found in naturally
occurring hydrocarbon gas, crude
petroleum and sewage. Sewage
systems and pipelines should be risk
assessed if passing through an
enclosed space or being worked on.
10
Exposure to a 2ppm to 5ppm hydrogen
sulphide atmosphere can cause
nausea and eyes to tear. An exposure
of over 20ppm causes headaches,
dizziness and poor memory. A 100ppm
exposure for 15 minutes will cause
altered breathing and drowsiness, and
following an increase in the severity
of symptoms, death will occur within
48 hours. A 100ppm to 150ppm
exposure will result in paralysis and
a 500ppm exposure will cause death
in 30 minutes.
Toxic atmospheres
These atmospheres are caused by the
presence of toxic or flammable gases
or liquids. This may stem from:
• a product stored in an enclosed
space, eg leaking gas cylinders,
paint or chemicals. Safety data
sheets should always be consulted
• toxic gases migrating from
adjacent spaces, such as cargo
holds through poor venting
systems
• work performed in the space
producing toxic gases, eg exhaust
gases, welding
• toxic gases migrating from poorly
maintained or damaged pipelines
or valves
• toxic gases or liquids leaking from
adjacent cargo spaces or even
inter-barrier void spaces.
Accumulated residues can build up
through undetected cracks in the
steel work or welds between the
spaces, eg bulk carrier holds, fore
and aft hopper voids
• hydrogen gas produced from an
electrolytic reaction within lead
acid batteries, displacing oxygen
and sometimes causing a
potentially highly explosive
atmosphere.
Flammable atmosphere
Two conditions make an atmosphere
flammable: oxygen content and a
flammable gas, vapour or dust (in a
particular concentration and particle
size). If these concentrations of
oxygen and flammable gas are
sufficient and there is a source of
ignition, an explosion can occur.
The lowest concentration or
percentage of a flammable vapour in
air that makes it capable of igniting in
the presence of an ignition source is
known as the Lower Flammability
Limit (LFL), usually expressed in
volume %, at a given temperature
and pressure.
Certain governments have
prescribed Occupational Exposure
Limits (OEL) for various hazardous
substances. These are set to help
protect the health of workers and will
provide guidance for manufacturers
in setting the alarm activations.
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
The table below shows approximate
gas alarm concentrations for some
common gases (note these may vary
depending on manufacturer and
national standards).
Gas
Alarm concentration %
or parts per million
(ppm)
Oxygen
<19.5%
Oxygen
>23%
Methane
5%
Propane
2%
CO (carbon
monoxide)
30ppm
CO2 (carbon dioxide) 5ppm
H2S (hydrogen
sulphide)
10ppm
Cl (chlorine)
0.5ppm
NO2 (nitrogen
dioxide)
3ppm
NH3 (ammonia)
25ppm
Flammable gas detection
instruments are designed to alarm
before gases/vapours reach an
explosive concentration.
Example sources of ignition:
• Smoking
• Welding or cutting operations
• Electrical lighting
• Non-intrinsically safe and/or poorly
maintained electrical equipment,
eg sparking electric tools
• Electrostatic
Presence of significant dust
A high concentration of dust in an
enclosed space is hazardous to health
and can cause breathing difficulties
and eye damage. It can also hamper
visibility. Toxic dust can be harmful
even in small concentrations.
Significant dust can occur when
cleaning holds after cargoes of grain,
coal, cement or breaking up cement
boxes. Dust from certain materials
such as asbestos have considerable
toxic hazards. Asbestos can be found
in pipeline jointing.
The use of machinery and powered
tools may require special precautions,
such as dust extraction vents.
Personnel should let dust settle or
ventilate until the dust is gone before
entering.
Temperature extremes
Temperature extremes (either hot or
cold) may present a hazard to
personnel working or entering an
enclosed space. This hazard should be
considered when entering an enclosed
space and the risks must be assessed.
Temperature extremes can reduce a
person’s situational awareness.
Heat
A person’s core body temperature is
37°C. A person working in a very hot
environment loses body water and
salt through sweat. Heat stroke is
caused by high temperatures and not
drinking sufficient water. High
temperatures will cause an increase
in sweating, which leads to
dehydration, which in turn leads to
reduced sweating, allowing the core
body temperature to rise. Water and
salt intake should replace that lost
through sweat to avoid dehydration.
Fluid intake should equal fluid loss.
On average, about one litre of water
each hour may be required to
replace the fluid loss. Plenty of
drinking water should be available on
site and personnel should be
encouraged to drink water every 15
to 20 minutes. Alcoholic drinks
should never be consumed, as
alcohol dehydrates the body.
Heat stroke symptoms are hot, dry
skin, increased heartbeat, decreased
blood pressure, headache, lethargy,
confusion and eventually
unconsciousness. Working in an
enclosed space in extreme heat can
dangerously affect personnel when
working aloft, climbing ladders or
working on floors with openings that
have no safety rails. Working within
an enclosed space in extreme heat
should be carefully monitored and
working times should be restricted.
Cold temperature
At very cold temperatures, the most
serious concern is the risk of
hypothermia or dangerously low
body temperature. Warning signs of
hypothermia include nausea, fatigue,
dizziness, irritability and loss of
co-ordination. Sufferers may
experience pain in their extremities
(for example hands, feet and ears)
and severe shivering. Safety
measures include correct warm work
clothing, frequent breaks taken in
warm areas and consuming hot
drinks. Working within an enclosed
space in extreme cold, especially if
also in wet conditions, should be
carefully monitored and working time
appropriately restricted.
11
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Enclosed space hazards continued
2. Physical or configuration hazard
The physical configuration of the
enclosed space can present hazards
which are determined by the
structure of the space, the apparatus
and the equipment connected to it.
This will include the pipelines and
ventilation trunking running into and
through the space, lack of lighting,
location of ladders, absence of
railings and the presence of openings
in floors. Many of these present trip
and fall hazards. Strengthening frame
work and box structures within the
space may create areas where air
exchange does not occur effectively
when ventilated or sitting water has
not been completely pumped out.
Personnel should understand the
layout of the enclosed space before
entering. A risk assessment should
include the physical configuration of
the space and reference to the ship’s
plans before entering.
12
3. Changing and hazardous
conditions
Changing conditions within an
enclosed space such as water ingress,
oxygen-depleting work (burning,
welding), ventilation failure and
vapours from paint or cleaning
materials must be monitored.
Sometimes working within an enclosed
space can coincide with other activities
being carried out elsewhere on board.
Potentially hazardous changes to
conditions within the enclosed space
caused by external factors are also
crucial but less easily managed. These
may be caused by the inadvertent
actions of other ship or shore staff,
work in adjacent or connected spaces,
cargo work, pumping ballast or fuel
transfer and hot work, as well as
communications of work being carried
out in the enclosed space, for example,
when there are shift or watch changes.
These risks can be mitigated by
thorough and constant
communication with all parties and
departments, for example, safety
meetings, pre work and tool box talks,
tags for equipment, safety signage
and permits to work.
4. Engulfment hazard
Engulfment can occur when a person
entering an enclosed space is
drowned, suffocated or trapped by
falling material. Loose, granular
material stored in holds or tanks, such
as grain, can overcome and suffocate
a person. The loose material can crust
or bridge over and crumble under the
weight of a person.
Measures must be taken ahead of
entering tanks to secure relevant
pipelines to prevent fluids (such as
cargo, fuel oil, ballast or sea water)
being inadvertently pumped or
gravitated into the space or tank
whilst people are inside. Risk
assessments should include good
communication with other
departments and the use of safety/
lock-out tags to ensure pumps and
valves are not operated. There is a
real risk of drowning within a tank
from the accidental operation of a
valve or pump system.
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Risk assessment
The company Safety
Management System should
ensure that a risk assessment is
conducted ‘to identify all
enclosed spaces on board ship’.
This assessment should be
periodically revisited to ensure
its continued validity.
IMO Resolution A.1050(27)
recommends that a competent
person should always make an initial
assessment of any potential hazards
in the space being entered. These
hazards should include those
highlighted above.
The procedures to be followed for
testing the atmosphere will depend
upon whether the preliminary
assessment shows that:
1. There is minimal risk to the health
and life of personnel entering the
space.
2. There is no immediate risk to
health or life but a risk could arise
during the work in the space.
3. A risk to health and life is identified.
If the assessment is that there is a
risk to health or life, then additional
precautions are necessary and these
are outlined later in this document on
page 18.
The company should provide clear
guidelines and training on how risk
assessments are conducted. It is not
within the scope of this document to
provide such guidance.
If the preliminary assessment
indicates minimal risk to life or health
or a potential that risk may arise
during the work being carried out,
then the following precautions for
entry into an enclosed space should
be followed.
13
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Entry procedures
Everyone has the right to
refuse to enter a space they
consider unsafe. No one should
enter an enclosed space if there
is any doubt that the correct
entry procedures have been
followed, even in an emergency.
No one should be allowed to enter
an enclosed space if they are not
physically fit or are suffering from an
ailment or other issue that impairs
their physical or mental ability.
Authorisation for entry
No person should enter an enclosed
space without the express
authorisation of the master or a
nominated responsible person.
Entry into an enclosed space must be
a planned process requiring proper
precautions. An entry permit/permit
to work system or a similar
alternative must be used. All crew
should be aware of this system.
The person responsible for carrying
out the work should not issue the
permit but should countersign the
entry permit. When the work is
completed, the responsible person
should cancel the permit.
An example of an ‘Enclosed Space
Entry Permit’ is attached as an
appendix to IMO Resolution
A.1050(27) and a copy is at the end of
this document. It is only an example
and companies should amend the
entry permit to be applicable for each
ship and their risk assessments.
14
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
General precautions
All enclosed space access doors,
hatches or manholes should be
secured against inadvertent entry. It
is recommended that all enclosed
spaces are highlighted as being
hazardous and requiring an entry
permit before entering. This can be
done using signs and warning notices.
An enclosed space that has its access
door/hatch opened to allow for
ventilation should be protected to
prevent access, using barriers,
warning signs or personnel stationed
at the entrance.
The master or the responsible person
should determine that it is safe to
enter an enclosed space by ensuring
the following:
• Potential hazards have been
identified, isolated and made safe.
• The space has been properly
ventilated to remove toxic or
flammable gases.
• The atmosphere has been tested
with properly calibrated and
appropriate instruments to assess
that the atmosphere within the
space is safe.
• The space is secured for entry and
proper illumination is available.
• A suitable communication system
is available for all parties.
• A person is stationed at the
entrance to the space.
• Rescue and resuscitation
equipment is available at the
entrance to the space.
• Personnel are properly clothed and
equipped, including an appropriate
personal atmosphere meter if
entering the space.
• A permit has been issued to
authorise entry.
Only trained personnel should be
engaged in the duties associated with
enclosed space entry. Ships’ crews
with first aid and rescue duties should
be drilled in enclosed space
emergencies. As a minimum, training
should include:
• hazards likely to be faced during an
enclosed space entry
• recognition of the signs of adverse
health effects caused by exposure
to the potential hazards
• knowledge of personal protective
equipment required for entry – all
equipment must be in a good
working condition and checked
before entry.
Ventilation
Before any enclosed space is entered,
it should be properly ventilated by
opening as many access points as
possible. Ventilation should be
continuous, effective and
commensurate with the size,
configuration and location of the
space.
Natural ventilation may be
acceptable in some circumstances,
eg where a small space opens up
directly to fresh air. However, most
enclosed spaces will require
mechanical ventilation. Some spaces
will be fitted with fixed ventilation
systems, such as holds and pump
houses. Alternatively, a largediameter ventilation hose in good
condition can be attached to a fan
and lowered into the enclosed space.
The air intake of the hose should be
placed in an area that will draw in
fresh air only.
Ventilation should be stopped for the
period when atmosphere testing is
carried out and should be resumed
after testing for the full duration of
the entry. Due to the configuration of
the space, some areas of the
enclosed space may still have an
unsafe atmosphere, so personnel
should always enter with a personal
oxygen/gas meter as applicable.
No space should be entered until it
has been properly ventilated and
atmosphere tested.
Testing the atmosphere
The atmosphere testing equipment
must:
• have manufacturer’s operating
instructions available
• be kept in a known, safe location, in
good order and properly calibrated
• be serviced in accordance with
manufacturer’s recommendations
• have calibration and service
records maintained
• have the suitable capability to
measure levels of oxygen,
flammable vapours, carbon
monoxide, hydrogen sulphide and
toxic gases appropriate for the
ship’s trade.
Personal gas meters are not
appropriate for carrying out the
atmosphere testing.
15
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Entry procedures continued
Testing of the atmosphere should be
carried out with calibrated equipment
by persons trained in the use of the
equipment. Manufacturer’s
instructions should always be
followed. The space should be tested
before any person enters it and at
regular intervals until the work is
completed. Ideally, the atmosphere
of the space should be tested at
different levels to obtain a
representative sample of the
atmosphere. Depending on the
configuration of the space, this may
be impossible without entering it at
some level. The use of flexible hoses
or fixed sampling lines may assist in
reaching remote areas within the
enclosed space. Due consideration
should be given to the duration of the
sampling to ensure the full length of
the sampling line has been flushed
with the atmosphere gases of the
space to be measured.
For entry purposes, steady readings
of all the following should be
obtained:
• 21% oxygen by volume by oxygen
content meter
• not more than 1% of Lower
Flammable Limit (LFL) on a
combustible gas indicator if there is
potential for flammable gases or
vapours
• not more than 50% of the
Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL)
of any toxic vapours and gases.
16
If these conditions cannot be met,
additional ventilation should be
applied to the space and retesting
should be conducted after a suitable
interval. Gas testing should only be
carried out with ventilation to the
enclosed space stopped.
The preliminary risk assessment
should consider the possibility of
toxic gases and if it is determined that
there is potential for the presence of
toxic gases and vapours, testing
should be carried out using
appropriate fixed or portable gas or
vapour detection equipment. The
readings obtained by this equipment
should be below the Occupational
Exposure Limits (OEL) for the toxic
gases or vapours given in accepted
national or international standards.
The configuration of the internal
structure of the space, cargo and
cargo residues and tank coatings may
allow oxygen-deficient areas to exist,
so due consideration must be given
to testing in these areas.
The testing for flammability or
oxygen content does not measure for
toxicity, or vice versa.
Precautions during entry
The atmosphere should be tested
frequently whilst the space is occupied
and persons should be instructed to
leave the space should there be
deterioration in the conditions.
Persons entering enclosed spaces
should be provided with calibrated
and tested multi-gas detectors that
monitor the levels of oxygen, carbon
monoxide and other gases as
appropriate.
Ventilation should continue during
the period that the space is occupied
and during temporary breaks. Before
re-entry after a break, the
atmosphere should be retested. In
the event of failure of the ventilation
system, personnel in the space
should leave immediately.
Managing change during entry
Care should be taken to monitor and
respond to changing conditions
during the work. Changing conditions
include an increase in ambient
temperature, the use of oxygen-fuel
torches, mobile plant work activities
in the enclosed or adjacent space
that could produce vapours, work
breaks, changes in ventilation, or if
the ship is ballasted or trimmed
during the work.
In the event of an emergency,
under no circumstances should
the attending crew enter the
space before help has arrived and
the situation has been evaluated
to ensure the safety of those
entering the space. Only properly
trained and equipped personnel
should perform rescue operations
in enclosed spaces.
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Responsibilities
Personal responsibility
Every person has a responsibility to
know the correct procedures for
entering an enclosed space. A person
entering an enclosed space is
responsible for:
• not entering alone
• only entering if fit and well
• obtaining a valid enclosed space
entry permit before entering
• ensuring that the space has been
adequately ventilated, isolated,
emptied or otherwise made safe
for entry
• immediately exiting a space when
advised to do so
• being familiar with the work in hand
and following the safety rules/
procedures that apply
• using the appropriate PPE.
Responsible person’s responsibility
A responsible person is a person
authorised to permit entry into an
enclosed space and having the
appropriate knowledge of the
procedures complied with on board
to ensure that the space is safe for
entry. The responsible person
completing the enclosed space entry
permit should have visited the entry
point and be satisfied that the
hazards have been identified and the
necessary safety precautions taken,
particularly ventilation and
atmosphere testing. It is this person’s
responsibility to:
• ensure good communication exists
between all parties
• ensure a risk assessment and
enclosed space entry permit have
been properly completed
• oversee atmosphere testing and
determine whether entry
conditions are acceptable
• ensure that all personnel are aware
of the hazards associated with the
space
• authorise and oversee entry
operations and ensure that all
hazards are securely isolated
• support the attendant’s authority
in controlling access to an enclosed
space
• ensure that rescue personnel and
equipment are available before
entry
• verify that all personnel have exited
safely before closing the space
• verify that the entry permit is closed
out after the operation ceases.
Attendant’s responsibility
The attendant should not leave their
post for any reason while personnel
are in the space, unless relieved by
another qualified attendant. Their
duties are to:
• raise the alarm and summon
assistance in an emergency or
as needed
• maintain communication with
those who have entered the space,
the responsible person and the
bridge and engine room as directed
• monitor and assist those who have
entered the space to ensure their
safety
• monitor conditions in the space as
directed
• control access to the enclosed
space and prevent unauthorised
access
• keep records of enclosed space
work, such as air test results, and a
log of personnel entry and exit
times
• monitor factors that could affect
the space and warn those in the
space of any changes to conditions.
17
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Additional precautions where the atmosphere is known
or suspected to be unsafe
All enclosed spaces that have not
been tested should be considered
unsafe. If the atmosphere in an
enclosed space is suspected or
known to be unsafe, the space should
only be entered when no practical
alternative exists. Entry should only
be made for further testing, essential
operation, safety of life or safety of
ship. The number of persons entering
the space should be the minimum
compatible with the work to be
performed. Suitable breathing
apparatus (eg of the air-line or
self-contained type) should always be
worn and only personnel trained in its
use should be allowed to enter the
space. Additional risk assessments
may be required. In an emergency, an
attempt to rescue a collapsed person
within an enclosed space should only
be made as part of a rescue team and
using a self-contained breathing
apparatus.
18
Persons entering enclosed spaces
should be provided with calibrated
and tested multi-gas detectors that
monitor the levels of oxygen, carbon
monoxide and other gases as
appropriate for the ship and expected
hazards.
Rescue harnesses should be worn
and, unless impractical, lifelines
should be used.
Appropriate protective clothing
should be worn, particularly where
there is any risk of toxic substances
or chemicals meeting the skin or
eyes. Additional emergency rescue
provisions should be considered.
Note: Air-purifying respirators (or
gas masks) should not be used as
they do not provide a supply of
clean air from a source
independent of the atmosphere
within the space. These should
never be used as a substitute for
a breathing apparatus.
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Hazards relating to ship types and cargo
Every company Safety Management
System must address the risks that
arise on its ship type and trade. A
significant percentage of enclosed
space incidents are related to cargo
hazards and these are noted only in
general terms in this guide.
Dangerous goods in packaged form
The atmosphere of any space
containing dangerous goods may put
at risk the health or life of any person
entering it. Dangers may include
flammable, toxic or corrosive gases
or vapours that displace oxygen, as
well as residues on packages and
spilled material.
Hold spaces are in themselves
dangerous and the same hazards may
be present in spaces adjacent to the
cargo spaces. Even if there is no
evidence or suspicion that a leakage
of a dangerous substance has
occurred, enclosed space
precautions should be followed when
entering a cargo space. Dangerous
goods may still be present due, for
example, to undeclared or
misdeclared dangerous cargo.
Personnel required to deal with
spillages or to remove defective or
damaged packages should be
appropriately trained and wear
suitable breathing apparatus and
appropriate protective clothing.
19
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Hazards relating to ship types and cargo continued
Liquid bulk
The tanker industry has produced
extensive advice, in the form of
specialist international safety guides,
to operators and crews of ships
engaged in the bulk carriage of oil,
chemicals and liquefied gases. The
information in these on enclosed
space entry supplements the general
recommendations in this guide and
should be used as the basis for
preparing entry plans.
Solid bulk
On ships carrying solid bulk cargoes,
dangerous atmospheres may
develop in cargo spaces and adjacent
spaces. The dangers may include
flammability, toxicity, oxygen
depletion or self-heating, as
identified in the shipper’s declaration.
For additional information, reference
should be made to the International
Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC)
Code.
Use of nitrogen as an inert gas
Nitrogen is a colourless and
odourless gas that, when used as an
inert gas, causes oxygen deficiency in
enclosed spaces, at exhaust
openings on deck during purging of
tanks and void spaces, and in cargo
holds. One deep breath of 100%
nitrogen gas is fatal.
20
Oxygen-depleting cargoes and
materials
Some cargoes cause oxygen
depletion due to the inherent form of
the cargo, for example, self-heating,
oxidation of metals and ores, or
decomposition of vegetable oils, fish
oils, animal fats, grain and other
organic materials or their residues.
The materials listed below are known
to cause oxygen depletion; however,
the list is not exhaustive. Oxygen
depletion may be caused by materials
of vegetable or animal origin, by
flammable or spontaneously
combustible materials, or by
materials with a high metal content,
including, but not limited to:
• grain, grain products and residues
from grain processing (such as
bran, crushed grain, crushed malt
or meal), hops, malt husks and
spent malt
• oil seeds as well as products and
residues from oil seeds (such as
seed expellers, seed cake, oil cake
and meal)
• copra
• wood in such forms as packaged
timber, round wood, logs, pulp
wood, prop woods, woodchips,
wood shavings, wood pellets and
sawdust
• jute, hemp, flax, sisal, kapok, cotton
and other vegetable fibres (such as
esparto grass/Spanish grass, hay,
straw), empty bags, cotton waste,
animal fibres, animal and vegetable
fabric, wool waste and rags
• fish, fishmeal and fish scrap
• guano
• sulphidic ores and ore concentrates
• charcoal, coal, lignite and coal
products
• direct reduced iron (DRI)
• dry ice
• metal wastes and chips, iron swarf,
steel and other turnings, borings,
drillings, shavings, filings and
cuttings
• scrap metal
Fumigation
When a ship is fumigated, extremely
hazardous chemicals are used in the
process. These are not only toxic but
some are flammable in certain
conditions. The decomposition of the
fumigants will vary due to several
factors, including the temperature
and moisture conditions, and voyage
length. Therefore, residual fumigants
may still be present.
Company Safety Management
Systems should include information
on the dangers of fumigation and
refer to the IMO recommendations.
Spaces adjacent to fumigated spaces
should be treated as if fumigated.
Spaces that have been fumigated
should be properly ventilated and a
gas-free certificate should be issued.
This will only be issued when tests
show that all residual fumigants have
been dispersed from the cargo space
and the adjacent spaces.
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Managing shoreside personnel
Shoreside workers are susceptible
to the dangers presented by entry
into an enclosed space on board a
ship. It should be assumed that
these workers are ignorant of
the shipboard enclosed space
procedures and may require some
shipboard familiarisation. Any
hazardous action seen being carried
out by a shore worker should be
stopped immediately.
The Safety Management System
should address managing
subcontracted workers, technicians,
welders, shore cleaning staff and
stevedores engaged to work on the
ship. Such staff must always be
managed to work safely and comply
with the enclosed entry and working
permits/procedures laid down by the
company. At times this may be
challenging and, during occasions
such as drydocking, agreements
must be made as to who is
responsible for the safety procedures
of the shore personnel.
21
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Training, drills and rescue
Safety culture
Company and onboard safety culture
is paramount to ensure crew remain
safe. A safety culture can be
promoted through:
• proper and meaningful ship safety
familiarisation for new crew
members
• tool box talks
• adherence to procedures such as
entry and work permits
• supplying safety barriers such as
signs indicating dangers
• use and supply of correct personal
protective equipment (PPE)
• safety meetings
• engagement of all crew in safety
issues and hazard reporting
• promoting safety through bulletins,
safety notices and using training
materials such as videos.
As part of the initial ship
familiarisation, new-joining crew
members, regardless of their
experience, should be advised of the:
• enclosed space entry procedure
• dangers that an enclosed space
can present
• precautions necessary to enter an
enclosed space.
22
Training
Appropriate personnel should be
trained in the use of all the equipment
used for enclosed space entry,
including the use, maintenance/
servicing and calibration of
atmosphere testing equipment and
rescue equipment. This can be
included in the enclosed space drills.
Those personnel using the
atmosphere testing equipment
must be:
• trained and able to use it correctly
• able to calibrate the equipment
• knowledgeable in the equipment’s
limitations
• knowledgeable of the applicable
acceptable gas/vapour levels being
tested.
Drills
Enclosed space drills have been
mandatory since 1 January 2015.
Drills should be as realistic as
possible. It is useful to have a humansized training dummy available so
that crew can practice moving a
casualty through an enclosed space,
while wearing breathing apparatus.
Assessments of how the drill has
been performed will enhance the
reaction time in an emergency.
Drills should include:
• realistic scenarios using a
prearranged emergency plan
• training of crew and emergency
teams to include the correct entry
procedures to be followed, use of
PPE, operation and understanding
of all the gear, including breathing
apparatus, and communication
equipment for enclosed spaces
Additional training should cover the
issues raised in this guide, including:
• what to do if a colleague is seen to
collapse in an enclosed space
• the responsibilities of those
entering an enclosed space
• the process of risk assessments
• the use of entry and work permits
• the use and procedures for
atmosphere testing
• the hazards of enclosed spaces
• the circumstances and activities
leading to dangerous atmospheres
• the management of shoreside
contractors.
Properly conducted drills and
training are imperative to impart
knowledge to seafarers.
Rescue
If a rescue alarm is raised, no one
should enter the enclosed space to
attempt a rescue without taking the
proper precautions. Many multiple
fatalities have occurred when
well-intentioned crew have
attempted a rescue without following
the correct procedures.
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Appropriate equipment
The appropriate safety and rescue
equipment for entering an enclosed
space may vary depending upon the
space, ship type and work involved.
As a minimum, it will usually include:
• SCBA (self-contained breathing
apparatus) with a spare cylinder
• life line and rescue harnesses
• lighting, including torches
• stretcher
• means of raising stretcher, ie tripod
type arrangement
• communication equipment
• appropriate atmosphere testing
equipment and personal gas
meters.
An EEBD (emergency escape
breathing device) should never be
used in lieu of a SCBA set. They can
only be used as an escape device.
Appropriate personal protection
equipment (PPE), including a
personal gas meter, should be worn
by all personnel entering the
enclosed space.
23
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
References
• IMO Resolution A.1050(27) ‘Revised
recommendations for entering
enclosed spaces aboard ships’
• IMO MSC.1/Circ. 1477. ‘Guidelines
to facilitate the selection of
portable atmosphere testing
instruments for enclosed spaces as
required by SOLAS regulation XI –
1/7
• IMO MSC.350(92). Amendments to
the International Convention for
the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
1974
24
• SOLAS Chapter III Regulation 19.
3.6.2. Emergency training and drills
• SOLAS Chapter XI – 1 Regulation 7.
Atmosphere testing instrument for
enclosed spaces
• Maritime and Coastguard Agency
(MCA) Code of Safe Working
Practices for Seamen (COSWP),
Ch 4 (Emergency Drills and
Procedures) and Ch 15 (Entering
Dangerous (Enclosed) Spaces).
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Appendix
A 27/Res.1050
Page 10
APPENDIX
EXAMPLE OF AN ENCLOSED SPACE ENTRY PERMIT
This permit relates to entry into any enclosed space and should be completed by the
master or responsible person and by any persons entering the space, eg competent
person and attendant.
Location/name of enclosed space
GENERAL
Reason for entry .................................................................................................................
hrs
Date ...............
This permit is valid
from:
hrs
Date ...............
to:
(See Note 1)
SECTION 1 – PRE-ENTRY PREPARATION
(To be checked by the master or nominated responsible person)
Yes
No
 Has the space been thoroughly ventilated by mechanical means?
............
............
 Has the space been segregated by blanking off or
isolating all connecting pipelines or valves and electrical
power/equipment?
............
............
 Has the space been cleaned where necessary?
............
............
 Has the space been tested and found safe for entry? (See note 2)
............
............
 Pre-entry atmosphere test readings:
- oxygen ................... % vol (21%)*
By:
- hydrocarbon ......... % LFL (less than 1%)
- toxic gases ............. ppm (less than 50% OEL of the specific gas) Time:
(See note 3)
 Have arrangements been made for frequent atmosphere checks to
be made while the space is occupied and after work breaks?
*
............
............
 Have arrangements been made for the space to be continuously
ventilated throughout the period of occupation and during work breaks?............
............
 Are access and illumination adequate?
............
............
Note that national requirements may determine the safe atmosphere range.
I:\ASSEMBLY\27\RES\1050.doc
25
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Appendix continued
A 27/Res.1050
Page 11
Yes
No
 Is rescue and resuscitation equipment available for immediate use
by the entrance to the space?
"
"
 Has an attendant been designated to be in constant
attendance at the entrance to the space?
"
"
 Has the officer of the watch (bridge, engine-room, cargo control
room) been advised of the planned entry?
"
"
 Has a system of communication between all parties been tested
and emergency signals agreed?
"
"
 Are emergency and evacuation procedures established and
understood by all personnel involved with the enclosed space entry?
"
"
 Is all equipment used in good working condition and inspected prior
to entry?
"
"
 Are personnel properly clothed and equipped?
"
"
Yes
No
 I have received instructions or permission from the master or
nominated responsible person to enter the enclosed space
"
"
 Section 1 of this permit has been satisfactorily completed by the
master or nominated responsible person
"
"
 I have agreed and understand the communication procedures
"
"
 I have agreed upon a reporting interval of .............. minutes
"
"
 Emergency and evacuation procedures have been agreed and are
understood
"
"
 I am aware that the space must be vacated immediately in the event
of ventilation failure or if atmosphere tests show a change from
agreed safe criteria
"
"
SECTION 2 – PRE-ENTRY CHECKS
(To be checked by each person entering the space)
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26
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
A 27/Res.1050
Page 12
SECTION 3 – BREATHING APPARATUS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT
(To be checked jointly by the master or nominated responsible
person and the person who is to enter the space)
Yes
 Those entering the space are familiar with any breathing
apparatus to be used
No
............
............
............
............
............
............
............
............
 The means of communication has been tested and emergency
signals agreed
............
............
 All personnel entering the space have been provided with
rescue harnesses and, where practicable, lifelines
............
............
 The breathing apparatus has been tested as follows:
- gauge and capacity of air supply
- low pressure audible alarm if fitted
- face mask – under positive pressure and not leaking
Signed upon completion of sections 1, 2 and 3 by:
Master or nominated responsible person ................... Date .................. Time
Attendant .................................................................... Date .................. Time
Person entering the space .......................................... Date .................. Time
SECTION 4 – PERSONNEL ENTRY
(To be completed by the responsible person supervising entry)
Names ..........................................
Time in .........................................
Time out .............................
SECTION 5 – COMPLETION OF JOB
(To be completed by the responsible person supervising entry)
 Job completed
Date
Time ...................... ......................
• Space secured against entry
Date
Time
• The officer of the watch has been
duly informed
Date
Time............................ .................
........................................
Signed upon completion of sections 4 and 5 by:
Responsible person supervising entry .................... Date ................... Time ...............
THIS PERMIT IS RENDERED INVALID SHOULD VENTILATION OF THE SPACE STOP
OR IF ANY OF THE CONDITIONS NOTED IN THE CHECKLIST CHANGE
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27
The Standard Club | A master’s guide to Enclosed Space Entry
Appendix continued
A 27/Res.1050
Page 13
Notes:
1
The permit should contain a clear indication as to its maximum period of validity.
2
In order to obtain a representative cross-section of the space's atmosphere, samples
should be taken from several levels and through as many openings as possible.
Ventilation should be stopped for about 10 minutes before the pre-entry atmosphere
tests are taken.
3
Tests for specific toxic contaminants, such as benzene or hydrogen sulphide, should
be undertaken depending on the nature of the previous contents of the space.
___________
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28
Failure to observe and understand simple enclosed
space entry procedures can lead to persons being
unexpectedly overcome when entering enclosed
spaces. Observance of the principles and
procedures outlined will form a reliable basis in
reducing the risks for enclosed space entry.
This Masters Guide is published on behalf of
The Standard Club Ltd by the managers’ London agents:
Charles Taylor & Co. Limited,
Standard House,
12–13 Essex Street,
London, WC2R 3AA, UK
Registered in England No. 2561548
Telephone: +44 20 3320 8888
Emergency mobile: +44 7932 113573
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.standard-club.com
Please send any comments to the editor,
Yves Vandenborn
E: [email protected]
T: +65 6506 2852
Disclaimer
The purpose of this publication is to provide a source of
information which is additional to that available to the
maritime industry from regulatory, advisory, and
consultative organisations. Whilst care is taken to ensure
the accuracy of any information made available, no
warranty of accuracy is given and users of that
information are to be responsible for satisfying
themselves that the information is relevant and suitable
for the purposes to which it is applied. In no
circumstances whatsoever shall The Standard Club be
liable to any person whatsoever for any loss or damage
whensoever or howsoever arising out of or in connection
with the supply (including negligent supply) or use of
information. Members should contact the club for
specific advice on particular matters.
The Standard Club’s loss prevention programme
focuses on best practices to prevent those claims that
are avoidable. These usually result from crew error,
poor crew training or not following proper procedures.
In its continuing commitment to safety at sea and the
prevention of accidents, casualties and pollution, the
club issues a variety of publications on safety-related
subjects. The Master’s Guide series looks at key areas
that cause incidents and gives members practical
guidance to avoid them.
www.ctplc.com
www.standard-club.com
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