Confined Space Entry Program - A Reference Manual

Confined Space Entry Program - A Reference Manual
Confined Space
Entry Program
A Reference Manual
About WorkSafeBC
WorkSafeBC (the Workers’ Compensation Board) is an independent provincial statutory agency
governed by a Board of Directors. It is funded by insurance premiums paid by registered employers and
by investment returns. In administering the Workers Compensation Act, WorkSafeBC remains separate
and distinct from government; however, it is accountable to the public through government in its role of
protecting and maintaining the overall well-being of the workers’ compensation system.
WorkSafeBC was born out of a compromise between B.C.’s workers and employers in 1917 where
workers gave up the right to sue their employers or fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a
no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to a safe and healthy
workplace, and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits to
workers injured as a result of their employment.
WorkSafeBC Prevention Information Line
The WorkSafeBC Prevention Information Line can answer your questions about workplace health
and safety, worker and employer responsibilities, and reporting a workplace accident or incident. The
Prevention Information Line accepts anonymous calls.
Phone 604 276-3100 in the Lower Mainland, or call 1 888 621-7233 (621-SAFE) toll-free in
British Columbia.
To report after-hours and weekend accidents and emergencies, call 604 273-7711 in the Lower Mainland,
or call 1 866 922-4357 (WCB-HELP) toll-free in British Columbia.
Confined Space
Entry Program
A Reference Manual
WorkSafeBC Publications
Many publications are available on the WorkSafeBC web site. The
Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and associated policies and
guidelines, as well as excerpts and summaries of the Workers Compensation
Act, are also available on the web site: WorkSafeBC.com.
Some publications are also available for purchase in print:
Phone:
604 232-9704
Toll-free phone: 1 866 319-9704
Fax: 604 232-9703
Toll-free fax:
1 888 232-9714
Online ordering: WorkSafeBC.com and click on Publications; follow the links for ordering
© 2005, 2007 Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia. All
rights reserved. The Workers’ Compensation Board of B.C. encourages the
copying, reproduction, and distribution of this document to promote health
and safety in the workplace, provided that the Workers’ Compensation
Board of B.C. is acknowledged. However, no part of this publication may be
copied, reproduced, or distributed for profit or other commercial enterprise,
nor may any part be incorporated into any other publication, without
written permission of the Workers’ Compensation Board of B.C.
2007 Edition
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Data
Main entry under title:
Confined space entry program, a reference manual. -- 2005
ed. Irregular.
“WorkSafe BC.”
ISSN 1715-4189 = Confined space entry program, a
reference manual
1. Industrial hygiene - British Columbia. 2. Industrial
safety - British Columbia. 3. Work environment British Columbia. I. Workers’ Compensation Board of
British Columbia.
HD7659.B7.C65
363.11'6'09711
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
- ii -
C2005-960152-3
Contents
Introduction................................................................................... 1
Confined space entry program................................................... 3
Identifying confined spaces........................................................ 4
Confined spaces in the workplace...................................................... Characteristics of confined spaces...................................................... Listing the confined spaces in your workplace.................................. Identifying confined spaces by a sign or other effective means......... 5
6
8
8
Responsibilities for the confined space entry program......... 9
Employer’s responsibilities................................................................. Administration of the program........................................................... Supervision of the entry..................................................................... Instruction and training...................................................................... 9
9
10
11
Hazard assessment...................................................................... 14
Hazards in confined spaces................................................................ 14
Preparing a hazard assessment........................................................... 14
When conditions change..................................................................... 16
Written safe work procedures.................................................... 17
Purpose of a written procedures......................................................... 17
Testing the atmosphere............................................................... 19
Testing initial conditions..................................................................... 19
Continuous monitoring....................................................................... Proper test procedures and equipment............................................... What to test for................................................................................... When to test........................................................................................ Where to test....................................................................................... 20
20
22
25
25
Making the atmosphere safe...................................................... 27
Cleaning.............................................................................................. Replacing the unsafe atmosphere with clean respirable air
before entry......................................................................................... Preventing fires and explosions.......................................................... Inerting................................................................................................ Using continuous ventilation to keep the atmosphere safe................ Using respirators if clean respirable air cannot be maintained.......... Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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28
30
31
33
34
39
Making the confined space safe from physical hazards........ 41
Loose and unstable material............................................................... Moving parts of machinery................................................................. Substances entering through piping................................................... Electrical shock................................................................................... 41
42
43
49
Standby persons........................................................................... 51
Rescue............................................................................................ 53
Provision for rescue............................................................................ 53
Supervisor of the entry, or the standby person.................................. Employer............................................................................................. Person directing the rescue................................................................. Rescue workers................................................................................... Written procedures for rescue............................................................ Lifelines, harnesses, and lifting equipment........................................ 54
54
54
55
55
56
Entry permits................................................................................. 58
When to post an entry permit............................................................. 58
Required information.......................................................................... 58
Personal protective equipment.................................................. 60
Responsibilities................................................................................... 60
Respirator program............................................................................. 60
Coordination of work activities.................................................. 62
Appendix........................................................................................ 63
Ventilation errors and suggested control measures........................... 63
Confined space entry written procedure — not acceptable................ Confined space entry written procedure (partial) — acceptable......... Isolation of piping containing harmful substances............................ Sample of a Confined Space Entry Permit......................................... 66
67
69
70
Glossary......................................................................................... 74
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Introduction
Accidents in confined spaces may be rare, but they can result in severe
injury or death. The majority of deaths in confined spaces are caused
by hazardous atmospheres such as toxic gases or lack of oxygen. The
remaining deaths are the result of physical hazards, where workers may
be crushed, struck by falling objects, or buried in materials.
In British Columbia, WorkSafeBC (the Workers’ Compensation Board)
reports 18 deaths in confined spaces over a 15-year period. Some of the
incidents resulted in the death or injury of several workers, including
those trying to rescue the first worker in distress.
Workers must not enter a confined space until hazards have been
identified, workers are trained, and all procedures to eliminate or control
the hazards are implemented. A confined space entry program for your
workplace will describe what needs to be done before workers can safely
enter and work in a confined space.
This book is written for employers, owners, managers, supervisors, and
joint committees in workplaces where there are confined spaces. It can
be used as a reference to develop your confined space entry program and
to assist you with meeting the requirements of the Occupational Health
and Safety Regulation. This book also will be helpful to workers who may
need to enter a confined space, but it is not a substitute for the specific
training needed before entering such a space.
This book describes measures used to control hazards in confined spaces.
However, it also directs you to seek the assistance of the qualified person
to assess the hazards of the confined spaces in your workplace and to
provide safe work procedures. This book does not include the detailed
safe work procedures that the qualified person with the proper training
and experience can provide. A glossary is included at the end of this book
which provides definitions for terms used.
This book should be used with Hazards of Confined Spaces (BK80), a
general book that provides workers and employers with information on
the hazards of confined spaces. Hazards of Confined Spaces is also available
in three versions for different industries:
•
•
•
Hazards of Confined Spaces for Shipping and Transportation Industries (BK81)
Hazards of Confined Spaces for Food and Beverage Industries (BK82)
Hazards of Confined Spaces for Municipalities and the Construction
Industry (BK83)
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
--
This book will be
helpful to workers
who must enter a
confined space, but it
is not a substitute for
the specific training
needed before
entering such a space.
The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, Part 9, Confined Spaces,
sets out specific requirements that apply to confined space entry. The
Regulation can be found at WorkSafeBC.com. The guidelines available from
the Regulation web site provide information about recent changes and
give helpful suggestions for compliance.
You can purchase print copies (see ordering information in the
WorkSafeBC Publications section), or download these publications from
WorkSafeBC.com.
For more information on confined space entry, contact a WorkSafeBC
prevention officer or your nearest WorkSafeBC office (see the list on the
back cover).
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
--
Confined space entry program
A written confined space entry program is a requirement of the Regulation. The program identifies who
has responsibilities for confined space entry and a general description of how confined spaces are dealt
with in your workplace. The program should also identify who must be trained, the type of training
required, and the frequency of training. This specific information is necessary to ensure that all workers
understand the requirements for entering a confined space.
As you read this book, take note of what is required in a confined space entry program and think about
who will be carrying out each of the necessary tasks. This is the primary benefit of a written program.
It clearly identifies each element in the management of confined spaces and also identifies those
responsible for each requirement.
A confined space entry program is ongoing and will need to be revised as the workplace and work
activities change.
The written program must be implemented to be effective. This means that workers must be trained, the
required equipment must be provided, and all work procedures must be followed.
Regulation requirements for a confined space entry program
Section 9.5 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation sets out the requirements for a confined space
entry program. The page numbers that follow each requirement refer to locations in this book where relevant
information can be found.
Section 9.5
Before a worker is required or permitted to enter a confined space, the employer must prepare and implement
a written confined space entry program which includes
(a) an assignment of responsibilities, [page 9]
(b) a list of each confined space or group of similar spaces and a hazard assessment of those spaces
[page 8, pages 14–16], and
(c) written safe work procedures for entry into and work in the confined space, that addresses,
where applicable
(i) identification [pages 4–8] and entry permits [pages 58–59]
(ii) lockout [pages 42–43] and isolation [pages 43–49]
(iii) verification and testing [pages 17–26]
(iv) cleaning, purging, venting or inerting [pages 27–34]
(v) ventilation [pages 34–38 and 63–65]
(vi) standby persons [pages 51–52]
(vii) rescue [pages 53–57]
(viii) lifelines, harnesses and lifting equipment [pages 56–57]
(ix) personal protective equipment and other precautions [pages 39–40, 50, 60–61]
(x) coordination of work activities [page 62]
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
--
Identifying confined spaces
In the Regulation
The Occupational
Health and Safety
Regulation, section 9.1,
defines a confined
space as follows (note
that the phrase “Except
as determined by the
Board” is clarified
in the Glossary and
explained more fully
in the OHS Guidelines
Part 9):
“confined space,”
except as otherwise
determined by the
Board, is an area, other
than an underground
working, that has
all of the following
characteristics:
(a) is enclosed or
partially enclosed
(b) is not designed
or intended for
continuous human
occupancy
(c) has limited or
restricted means
for entry or exit that
may complicate the
provision of first aid,
evacuation, rescue,
or other emergency
response service, and
(d) is large enough
and configured in such
a way that a worker
could enter to perform
assigned work
Read this section for information on how to identify confined spaces and
what to do when you have identified such spaces in your workplace. This
section covers:
•
•
•
Examples of possible confined spaces in the workplace
Characteristics of confined spaces
Requirements for listing the location of confined spaces and
identifying them for workers
Confined space entry: shipping
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
--
Confined spaces in the workplace
Do you have confined spaces in your workplace? Here are some examples
of confined spaces:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Tanks
Boilers
Vats
Kilns
Vaults
Silos
•
•
•
•
•
•
Pipelines
Sewers
Manure pits
Storage bins
Double hulls
Pumping stations
•
•
•
•
•
Pits, sumps
Vessels
Manholes
Water reservoirs
Other similar places
Think about your workplace and find out whether there are any confined
spaces. Employers may need to rely on the qualified person to ensure all
the confined spaces have been identified.
Confined space entry: municipalities
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
--
Characteristics of confined spaces
Here are some examples and helpful explanations of these requirements:
•
is enclosed or partially enclosed
The word “confined” may seem to imply only a small, tight, fully
enclosed space. This is not true about all confined spaces in the
workplace. They can be large or small and may not be enclosed on all
sides. Even if workers can move freely inside the space and the space
is only partially enclosed, it may still fit this definition of a confined
space. If in doubt, consult the qualified person.
•
is not designed or intended for continuous human occupancy
As confined spaces are not designed or intended for continuous
human occupancy, they are not sites of regular or ongoing work
activity. Workers usually enter confined spaces only for purposes such
as inspection, maintenance, repair, or construction. This often means
the space is not normally ventilated and may have an atmosphere that
is not safe to breathe.
Confined space entry: food and beverage industry
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
--
•
•
has limited or restricted means for entry or exit that may complicate
the provision of first aid, evacuation, rescue, or other emergency
response service, and
Entry points may not be designed for easy walk-in. Other limitations
include access by permanent or temporary ladders or by stairways
that provide poor access because of restrictive slope, narrow width,
or extreme length. Physical obstructions inside the space—such
as bulkheads, collapsed material, or machinery—may impede exit.
Limited means of entry and exit not only make escape or rescue
difficult but can also restrict natural ventilation.
is large enough and configured in such a way that a worker could
enter to perform assigned work;
A space that is too small for a worker to enter is not a confined
space. For example, a narrow space between two walls may be an
enclosed space, but unless the worker can fit inside the space, it is not
considered a confined space, even if the worker can get a hand or foot
into the space. Keep in mind that an enclosed space may still have
hazards, atmospheric or otherwise, that need to be addressed.
In the case of a space that has been identified as a confined space, a
person is considered to have entered the space as soon as they place
their head (breathing zone) across the plane of the opening.
Each situation may be different for each confined space in your
workplace. Go through each of these four characteristics and see if the
space you are thinking about fits each description. The space is only
considered to be a confined space if it has all four characteristics. If you
are not sure whether the space is considered to be a confined space,
consult the qualified person.
Even if a space does not fit this definition, be aware that it may have other
hazards that need to be assessed and controlled before workers can enter.
For example, a space may have a toxic atmosphere even if it does not fit
the definition of a confined space because entry and exit are not limited
or restricted.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
--
Listing the confined spaces in your workplace
The employer must identify and make a list of each confined space in
the workplace. Similar spaces may be grouped together. This list forms
the basis of the hazard assessment and safe work procedures that the
qualified person must prepare for confined spaces.
Identifying confined spaces by a sign
or other effective means
STOP
In every space, even
those that are not
considered to be
confined spaces by
definition, a harmful
or fatal exposure can
occur from breathing
the atmosphere.
A worker’s head
(breathing zone)
crossing the plane of
an opening can result
in the worker being
exposed to a harmful
or fatal concentration
of contaminant.
Many workers do not realize they are entering a confined space.
Employers must ensure all workers are given adequate instruction and
training on the location of each confined space and requirements for entry
into the confined spaces in their workplace.
When a worker is required to enter a confined space, each point of
access that is not secured against entry must be identified by a sign
or other effective means to indicate the hazard and prohibit entry by
unauthorized workers.
Secured against entry
Possible ways to secure against entry include bolting a piece of metal
across the opening or requiring special tools to remove the cover.
Identified by a sign
A sign must indicate that the entrance marks a confined space, that there
is danger, and that entry is only permitted by authorized persons.
Other effective means
A combination of instruction and marking a space may be effective. For
example, tie hazard tape across the entrance and instruct workers not to
go beyond the hazard tape without authorization.
If no worker entry is required, secure each access point to prevent entry.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
--
Responsibilities for the confined space entry program
Read this section for information on the employer’s responsibilities to
develop and implement a confined space entry program, who is qualified
to do a hazard assessment and develop written procedures, and what is
typically included in a worker education and training program.
This overview does not provide you with all the information you will need
to develop a confined space entry program, but it will make you aware of
what your responsibilities are and when the qualified person is needed.
Employer’s responsibilities
The employer is responsible for preparing and implementing a written
confined space entry program, which includes:
•
Assigning responsibilities for ensuring requirements are met (for
example, a list of the responsibilities assigned to specific job titles)
• Listing each confined space or group of similar spaces and ensuring
that there is a hazard assessment of those spaces. The hazard
assessment must be prepared by the qualified person.
• Selecting the qualified person who is competent to provide a hazard
assessment and safe work procedures.
The employer must ensure that all confined space hazards are eliminated
or minimized and that work is performed in a safe manner. There may
be ways to do the work from outside the space or finding ways to reduce
the time workers spend inside the confined space. For example, a system
for flushing and cleaning tanks automatically may be practicable. Some
employers have installed remote control cameras inside spaces to provide
inspection of hard-to-see areas, which helps to eliminate or reduce the
need for entry.
Administration of the program
The employer must assign overall responsibility for the administration
of the confined space entry program. The person responsible for
administering the program must be adequately trained to do so. The
administration may be undertaken by one of the employer’s own workers
or assigned to another person. Those responsible must be given the
authority and means to ensure the program is implemented effectively.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
--
STOP
Eliminating or
reducing entry into
any confined space is
the most effective
means of reducing
risk. (For example:
re-engineering so
that a space can be
effectively cleaned
from outside or
changing equipment
so that it can be lifted
to outside the space
for maintenance)
Who is qualified to prepare the hazard assessment and written procedures?
The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, section 9.11, states that the hazard assessment and written
confined space entry procedures must be prepared by a qualified person. The following qualifications are
acceptable as evidence of adequate training and experience:
• Certified industrial hygienist (CIH)
• Registered occupational hygienist (ROH)
• Certified safety professional (CSP)
• Canadian registered safety professional (CRSP)
• Professional engineer (P.Eng.)
provided that the holders of these qualifications have experience in the recognition, evaluation, and control of
confined space hazards.
Others who have experience working with confined spaces and have a combination of education and training
acceptable to WorkSafeBC may qualify to prepare the hazard assessment and written procedures.
The employer has to exercise due diligence in the selection of the qualified person to undertake the hazard
assessment and production of confined space entry procedures. Whenever a seriously deficient confined
space hazard assessment or work procedure is encountered, this is an indication the author was not qualified
to do the hazard assessment and/or develop the written confined space entry procedures.
The administrator’s duties generally include liaison with the joint health
and safety committee, with management, and with the qualified person
writing the safe work procedures. This will ensure the procedures
are implemented as written and the equipment is available. The
administrator’s duties also include evaluating the effectiveness of the
program and ensuring changes are made if required.
Supervision of the entry
The person responsible for supervising the entry must be adequately
trained before any worker enters a confined space. The supervisor of the
entry typically is responsible for ensuring that the following are done for
each entry at that site:
•
•
Entry does not occur unless absolutely necessary.
Pre-entry testing and inspections are conducted according to written
procedures.
• The precautions and control measures identified in the written safe
work procedures are in place and are being followed.
• Other precautions not directly related to the confined space entry but
required by the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, such as
traffic control, are in place and are being followed.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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•
•
Only authorized, trained workers enter a confined space.
An entry permit is completed and posted at the entry to the confined
space, where required.
• Workers are removed from the space and the adequacy of the safe
work procedures are reviewed if changes occur during entry that
affect the safety of workers.
Instruction and training
Specific instruction and training must be given to those who enter a
confined space as well as to those contributing to the work activity but
not entering the space, such as standby workers and rescue personnel.
Workers must be instructed and trained in:
•
•
Hazards of the confined space
Written safe work procedures to safely perform their duties, including
safe entry into the space as well as procedures for working inside
Workers must be trained to immediately leave the confined space when
the standby person indicates evacuation is necessary, when the continuous
monitor alarm goes off, or when any unsafe work environment develops.
Instruction, or education, often takes place in a classroom setting, where
the worker must be able to demonstrate knowledge of the subject.
Training often occurs in a mock setting or simulated setting, where the
worker must be able to demonstrate proficiency using specific procedures
and equipment. (For example, the worker should be able to use a specific
monitoring device, apply locks, place ventilation equipment appropriately,
use a radio or other communication device, and use rescue equipment.)
Base your education and training program on the specific hazards identified
in the confined space. Workers attending the education portion of the
program will be instructed on the types of hazards that may exist and the
effects of exposure to those hazards. The training portion of the program
should be comprehensive and include a section requiring familiarization
with the equipment required for entry. It is the responsibility of the
employer to ensure the instruction and training are effective and that
retraining occurs often enough for workers to remain competent.
Remember to keep records of all instruction and training and make them
available, upon request, to a WorkSafeBC prevention officer.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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The following sample training program outline is provided to give you
information about the types of training required. This sample cannot be
used for your workplace without ensuring specific hazards are covered.
Specific workers must receive training according to their responsibilities—
for example, rescue workers and workers who provide monitoring
equipment will require additional training in those tasks (see page 21).
Sample training program outline for confined space entry
Training objectives
Training objectives describe the knowledge and skills workers must be able to demonstrate after completing
the training program. The following is an example of a set of training objectives.
Workers who successfully complete this program will be able to:
•Identify a confined space, describe what it is, and explain its dangers
•Identify warning properties of harmful air contaminants and symptoms of overexposure
•Follow written procedures, including entry permits (where used)
•Use and respond to alarms on an air-testing device
•Follow isolation and lockout procedures
•Properly use mechanical ventilation systems, including knowing the appropriate placement of the outlet/inlet
to the ventilator to maximize the movement of air into the space or contaminants out of the space
•Properly use personal protective equipment
•Properly perform a seal-check if a face-sealing respirator is required
•Communicate with standby person(s)
•Follow emergency exit and rescue procedures
Qualifications of instructors
Instructors should have basic teaching skills and a thorough working knowledge of:
•Types of confined spaces at the worksite
•Hazards likely to be encountered, both atmospheric and physical hazards
•Specific work practices and techniques to be used in the space
•Appropriate ventilation for the work being done
•Duties and responsibilities of the supervisor of the entry, workers entering the space, and standby person(s)
•Monitoring requirements, including knowledge of monitoring equipment
•Spaces that require entry permits
•Safe limits for oxygen, flammable materials, and possible air contaminants
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Sample training program outline for confined space entry (continued)
•Rescue procedures and equipment
•Health and safety requirements from other parts of the Regulation that apply, or the requirement for safe work
procedures for limited or restricted visibility
Selection,
care, use, and maintenance of personal protective equipment
•
Selection of trainees
Train all workers involved with your confined space program. This includes:
•Workers who prepare a confined space for entry
•Workers who are required to enter a confined space
•Workers who test or monitor the atmosphere
•Standby persons
•Rescue workers
•Supervisors of any of the above
•Any workers who may be required as back-up to already trained workers
Frequency of training
Provide training whenever:
•Workers have not previously done confined space work
•New confined spaces have been added to your operation
•New job procedures, equipment, or controlled products are to be used in confined spaces
•Evaluation shows that workers who have received training are no longer able to apply such training (it may be
necessary to redesign your training program if it is found to be ineffective)
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Hazard assessment
Read this section for information on what a hazard assessment is and who
is qualified to prepare one.
Hazards in confined spaces
For general information on the hazards of confined spaces, employers
and workers should read the booklet Hazards of Confined Spaces available
at WorkSafeBC.com. It describes the main hazards of confined spaces,
including hazardous atmospheres (such as toxic gases and oxygen
deficiency) and physical hazards (such as unstable materials and moving
parts of equipment).
Many of these hazards can cause serious injury or death if they are
not identified, assessed, and controlled. Employers must ensure that
a qualified person prepares the hazard assessment (see page 10 for
acceptable qualifications).
Preparing a hazard assessment
The qualified person must prepare a hazard assessment for each confined
space (or group of similar spaces) and for the work activities to be
performed. The qualified person must have training and experience in
recognizing, assessing, and controlling the hazards of confined spaces and
must consult with the program administrator and the joint committee (or
worker health and safety representative).
The employer must have a list of all confined spaces in the workplace. The
employer may have the qualified person review the list to ensure all the
confined spaces have been properly identified. For each confined space
or group of similar spaces, the qualified person will identify potential
hazards and assess the likelihood of each occurring.
The hazard assessment must consider conditions that may exist in the
confined space (before workers enter) due to the design, location, and use
of the confined space. The assessment must also consider the hazards that
may develop during work activity in and around the confined space.
When conducting a hazard assessment, the qualified person must
consider the potential for
•
•
Oxygen enrichment or deficiency
Flammable gas, vapour, or mist
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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•
•
Combustible dust
Other hazardous atmospheres
Based on this assessment, the qualified person will rate the confined
space as a low-, moderate-, or high-hazard atmosphere space. The
employer must know the hazard rating because it affects the control
measures selected, including level of standby services, entry permit
requirements, and rescue. See the glossary for definitions of low-hazard
atmosphere, moderate-hazard atmosphere, and high-hazard atmosphere.
The hazard assessment will also look at other potential hazards:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Lines containing harmful substances requiring lockout and isolation
Workers becoming engulfed or entrapped in materials
Slipping and tripping hazards
Drowning
Exposure to noise
Other hazardous conditions such as thermal extremes and radiation
What is the difference between engulfment and entrapment?
Engulfment results when a substance, liquid, or solid flows around a person
and encloses them, hindering their ability to escape and often making it
impossible for them to breathe because they become immersed in the
substance. A sudden release of water into a confined space might cause
engulfment. A sudden release of sawdust, sand, or grain may also cause
engulfment.
Entrapment can occur in any space that has an internal configuration
such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging
walls or by a floor that slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross section.
Engulfment and entrapment are serious health and safety hazards that
require the highest level of standby services, specific controls such as
lifelines, and an entry permit.
The qualified person will prepare a hazard assessment and develop
written procedures to eliminate or minimize all the hazards likely to
prevail. Once the assessment has been done for a specific activity within
a particular space or group of similar spaces, it may provide the basis
for procedures for every occasion when workers enter those spaces.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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On each occasion, the supervisor of the entry should consider whether
the circumstances of the proposed job are substantially the same as the
conditions upon which the hazard assessment is based. If the conditions
are different from those in the hazard assessment (for instance, if a
worker is required to do hot work in a confined space and the hazard
assessment and written work procedures were based on inspection of the
space without any hot work), then the circumstances must be reviewed
and entry procedures revised as necessary by the qualified person.
When conditions change
Work inside the space must not continue if the safe work procedure does
not take changing conditions into account. Workers must exit the space.
Workers must stay out of the space until required control measures for the
changed conditions are put into place. For example, the qualified person
may have provided a hazard assessment and resulting written work
procedures for “inspection” of a confined space. During the inspection,
it may be discovered that repairs require welding inside the space. The
hazard assessment and written safe work procedure for welding inside
the space will be different than a written work procedure for inspection.
Because a new set of conditions exist in the space, a new written
procedure must be followed. The new written work procedure must
include control measures for welding fume and all other associated risks.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Written safe work procedures
Read this section for information on written safe work procedures
that must be included in the confined space entry program and who is
qualified to prepare them.
Purpose of a written procedure
Before workers enter a confined space, there are a number of precautions
that must be taken. The written procedure must explain the means to
eliminate or minimize the risk of all hazards identified. For instance, a
written procedure for a specific confined space will explain, where required:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
What to include in the entry permit
Lockout and isolation
Verification of all precautions and testing the atmosphere, including
how to set up specific air-monitoring device(s) for the identified
hazards (such as oxygen deficiency and the contaminants present),
where the monitoring is to occur, and how frequently
Cleaning, purging, venting, or inerting
Ventilation required, including proper placement of the
ventilating system
The standby person’s duties, including numbers to call for
emergency help
Rescue personnel and procedures
Lifelines, harnesses, and lifting equipment
Personal protective equipment (for example, fall protection,
safety headgear, or respirators)
Other precautions required by the Occupational Health and Safety
Regulation (such as keeping hazardous compressed gas tanks outside
the space, ensuring hoses do not block the entranceway, ensuring
electrical tools and equipment are grounded or double-insulated,
protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter, and CSA-approved
for hazardous locations such as use in spaces that have flammable or
explosive gas, ensuring ladders, scaffolds, work platforms meet the
requirements of WorkSafeBC, and control measures required when
there is reduced visibility)
Coordination of work activities (for instance, ensuring that contractors
are well informed of procedures and ensuring specific tasks will not
harm other workers)
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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•
Equipment required for entry and instructions for use (for example,
the ladder size, tie-off point, and tool bucket for lowering tools to
workers inside the space)
The qualified person must write procedures specific to each confined
space entry based on the hazard assessment. (See page 10 for acceptable
qualifications.) The hazard assessment takes into account the conditions
of the space prior to entry as well the work activities that will take place
inside the space. The written procedures therefore will also consider
both. Workers must be trained in the precautions identified in the
written procedures.
See the Appendix for examples of two partially written confined space
procedures. The first example shows a poorly written procedure. The
second example shows how specific the information must be so that
workers are able to follow all required control measures prior to and
during entry.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Testing the atmosphere
Before a worker enters a confined space, the atmosphere must be tested
in accordance with the written procedures developed by the qualified
person. Read this section for information on:
•
•
•
•
•
Testing initial conditions
Continuous monitoring
Proper test procedures and equipment
What to test for (oxygen, explosive conditions, and contaminants)
When and where to test
Testing initial conditions
Confined spaces may contain explosive, toxic, or oxygen-deficient
atmospheres. Whenever possible, test the atmosphere before opening
hatches or starting ventilation. This will help identify whether or not an
explosive atmosphere exists or help prevent the venting of a hazardous
atmosphere out of the space into areas occupied by workers. Where there
is an explosive gas just under the surface of the cover, creating a spark
could cause an explosion.
Even if it is not possible to test before opening up the space, do pre-entry
testing before any ventilation is applied to the space. This provides a
record of:
•
•
•
Conditions and the contaminants that normally exist in the space
The amount of ventilation required for the space
The extent to which the air inside the space is hazardous to workers
Pre-entry testing is testing the atmosphere before workers enter a
confined space. Pre-entry testing is often conducted more than once. It
should be done before the space is ventilated and must be done not more
than 20 minutes before a worker enters the space. The results must be
recorded and posted at all points of entry to the confined space (whether
or not a continuous monitor or single-test device is used). See page 22 for
information on what to test for, page 25 on when to test, and page 25 on
where to test.
Testing must be conducted to verify that the required precautions
have been effective at controlling the identified hazards and that the
atmosphere is safe for a worker to enter a confined space. (Note that
pre-entry inspection for physical hazards is also required; see page 41.)
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Continuous monitoring
A continuous monitor must be used whenever practicable to ensure the
safety of workers. The monitor will typically provide continuous readings of
the oxygen level and level of any explosive gases or vapours, if present. In
addition, many monitors have the capability of being configured to test for
other harmful gases that may be present, such as carbon monoxide (CO)
or hydrogen sulphide (H2S). The monitor provides an alarm if any of these go
beyond preset limits. The qualified person will investigate the reason for
the alarm before workers re-enter (see also Oxygen level page 22). Some
contaminants cannot be monitored using a continuous monitor. The
concentration of these contaminants must be monitored using other devices
described in the written work procedure provided by the qualified person.
A properly calibrated and maintained continuous monitor will register
any change in the atmosphere and an alarm will sound at preset limits. If
a wide enough margin of safety is applied to the alarm settings, the alarm
can be used to indicate that workers must leave the space. Alarm level
settings should be determined by the qualified person.
The employer must use a continuous monitor if an atmosphere in excess
of 20% of the lower explosive limit (LEL) could develop. Note that some
sources use lower flammability level (LFL) instead of LEL; the terms
are interchangeable.
The qualified person will ensure appropriate monitoring equipment is
used for contaminants whose concentrations could exceed the protection
provided by respirators.
Proper test procedures and equipment
Testing must be conducted in accordance with written procedures and the
following requirements:
•
Each confined space atmosphere test must be carried out by an
adequately trained worker.
• Use reliable equipment that has been properly serviced, calibrated, bump
tested, and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Keep a testing record that shows the
— Date and time of the test
— Tester’s initials
— Concentrations of vapours, gases, or other conditions
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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•
Test results must be posted without delay at all points of entry to the
confined space
The monitor should be tested first in clean outside air. If the reading is
above or below 20.9% oxygen, there may be a problem with the oxygen
sensor or with the calibration of the unit. Do not use this monitor for
testing inside the confined space, and do not enter the confined space
until a properly calibrated monitor is used. In conditions of high humidity,
refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Qualifications of testers
A trained worker, as identified in the written work procedures, may test
the atmosphere in the confined space. Training should include:
•
•
•
•
Reliability and limitations of the testing equipment
Requirement to use calibrated testing equipment
The manufacturer’s instructions for use and maintenance
Sampling techniques and methods to test the atmosphere (for example,
use of a pump device and a probe to determine the concentration of
contaminants from outside the space, and ensuring enough testing
time for a continuous monitor to register an accurate reading)
• Allowable limits of exposure for each contaminant
• How to use the monitor to obtain and interpret readings from a
continuous monitor (for example, when to take peak readings)
• Substance-specific monitoring equipment, when used
Selection of monitoring equipment
Recommended features include:
•
•
•
Accurate, reliable, and specific readouts
Immediate readout capability
Remote sensors or extension tubes to minimize the need for the tester
to enter the confined space
• Continuous monitoring capability, with an alarm for use in spaces
where a hazardous atmosphere could develop after entry
• Continuous monitor with datalogging capability to record conditions
in the space
• Capability of obtaining peak readings
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Calibration of equipment
Calibration refers to setting the test instrument to a standard to make sure
it is reading accurately through a range of concentrations. Calibration
is done by comparing the instrument’s reading to a range of known
concentrations and adjusting the monitor to read accurately.
The manufacturer’s instructions specify the calibration requirements,
including calibration frequency and “bump” tests. A bump test uses a
known concentration to verify that the instrument is responding correctly
to a known concentration. Monitoring equipment must be calibrated
according to the frequency specified in the manufacturer’s instructions
and must be bump tested or spanned as required prior to use. For
example, manufacturers may require calibration every 30 days and bump
testing daily at the start of the shift.
What to test for
Before entry into a confined space, test for the following:
1. Oxygen level (measured as a percentage of oxygen in the air)
2. Explosive conditions and flammable gases (measured as a percentage
of the LEL or as mg/m3)
3. Contaminants that have been identified in the hazard assessment
(measured as the concentration in parts per million, or ppm or as mg/m3)
Oxygen level
The amount of oxygen in the air is usually tested first since oxygen
deficiency can cause serious injury or death. In addition, a low percentage
of oxygen may affect the flammability reading on the monitor. Be aware
that many oxygen meters are affected by high relative humidity. When
checking for oxygen in moist atmospheres, keep the probe pointed
downward and wipe water droplets from the probe when they develop.
Clean outside air contains about 20.9% oxygen. The hazard assessment
should state if the confined space is expected to contain less than 20.9%.
If the oxygen reading is less than 20.9% and this was expected, then
proceed using the required control measures stated in the written work
procedures. If the oxygen reading is less than 20.9% and this decrease
in oxygen was not addressed in the hazard assessment, the reason must
be investigated by the qualified person to ensure the space is safe to
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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enter. It is vitally important to understand what is causing the change in
oxygen level. The reason must be identified before workers are allowed to
enter the space. For example, many toxic gases present a high hazard to
workers even when the concentration is low enough to cause only a very
small displacement of oxygen.
Entry by workers into a confined space containing less than 19.5% oxygen
may be life-threatening. Every effort must be made to bring the level of
oxygen above 19.5%. Procedures to do this will be in the written work
procedures provided by the qualified person. In certain situations, the
work procedures may include use of a self-contained breathing apparatus
(SCBA) or a supplied-air respirator with escape bottle.
Explosive conditions and flammable gases
Explosions or fires can result from gases, vapours, and dusts in a confined
space. Test for flammable gases such as methane, hydrogen, ethane,
and propane. Be aware that flammability tests do not measure the
concentration of toxic contaminants. Gases or vapours that are both toxic
and flammable must be measured with a monitor capable of measuring
both the concentration and the flammability.
It is also important to measure the concentration of dusts such as coal and
grain dusts, which may explode when a certain level of dust in the air is
reached. The qualified person should be consulted to ensure the correct
measuring device is used.
Workers must not be not allowed to enter a confined space under any
circumstances when the flammability is greater than 20% of the LEL. It is
good practice to prohibit hot work in atmospheres providing a reading on
the flammable gas meter above 1%.
Air contaminants
Measure all potential air contaminants identified in the hazard
assessment. This includes measuring contaminants already in the space,
those that are brought into the space, and those that are generated in the
space during work activities. Here are some examples of measurements
that may be required:
•
Carbon monoxide, if there is any combustion of fuel—for example, in
welding, generators, or equipment that is run by internal combustion
engines—either inside or adjacent to the confined space
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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STOP
With some common
solvents, a 0.1%
change in the OXYGEN
READING could mean
the presence of
enough toxic vapour
to cause death or
serious injury.
STOP
Respiratory
equipment is to be
considered a second
choice for exposure
control. The first
choice MUST BE
changing the air
inside the space to
breathable air.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Styrene, if there is fibreglassing
Sensitizers, when using any products such as epoxies, urethanes, or
isocyanate-containing paints or coatings
Vapours of the toxic component in cleaning products being used in
the space
Dusts—particularly allergenic dusts, wood dust, and grain dust—for
contaminant levels and the potential for explosion
Hydrogen sulfide, where there are any connections to a sewer or
sour gas line or where any material will be rotting inside or adjacent
to the space
Benzene or other hydrocarbons in contaminated soil
Other contaminants that could be found inside the space or may be
brought into the space through the ventilation system
The qualified person will know what tests are required and the allowable
limits for these contaminants.
Many testing devices test several gases and vapours simultaneously. If the
sensors on the monitor do not test for all the contaminants identified in
the hazard assessment, use additional monitoring equipment appropriate
for the contaminants and conditions.
Workers must not be required to wear respirators to reduce their exposure
if clean respirable air can be supplied to the confined space. Respiratory
equipment is to be considered a second choice for exposure control. The
first choice must be changing the air inside the space to breathable air.
In some cases, it may be impractical to use ventilation, or the nature
of the contaminants inside the space may require both ventilation and
respirators. The work procedures written by the qualified person will
outline what is required. Properly trained and protected workers may
need to enter a poorly ventilated confined space for rescue purposes.
For information on allowable exposure limits, refer to OHS Guideline
G5.48-1, part of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation materials
available at WorkSafeBC.com.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
- 24 -
When to test
Test the atmosphere:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Before opening access to the space, if possible
Immediately after the space has been opened
At hazard points during line disconnect or other isolation procedures
Immediately before initial entry into the confined space (within
20 minutes of entry)
While workers are inside the space, at close enough intervals to
ensure the continuing safety of workers
Before workers re-enter a space after it has been vacated for more
than 20 minutes
Before and after procedures such as cleaning and purging
When there is a change in work
During work that causes contaminants to be generated in the
work space
If a change of atmosphere is suspected or it is possible that control
measures cannot or do not ensure a safe atmosphere
If a hazardous substance is accidentally released into the confined space
If a worker indicates symptoms of exposure to air contaminants, for
example a “light-headed” feeling, headache, a choking or coughing
feeling, nausea, burning or fogging eyes
If ventilation fans have been shut down for any reason
Where to test
Test in the following places:
•
•
•
Around the opening while making a first approach to the confined space
At locations where transfer pipes lead to the confined space
Around irregular features such as baffles, bulkheads, and sumps in
the confined space
• At locations where workers perform work
• At all elevations inside the confined space, and in those areas where
gases and vapours are likely to accumulate
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH)
Some situations are considered immediately dangerous to life or health. IDLH atmospheres contain hazardous
substances at a concentration that places the worker in immediate danger because they either:
•Impair the worker’s ability to leave the area (“self-rescue”) or
•Lead to irreversible health effects, serious injury, or death in minutes
Some gases and vapours will have an immediate effect on the body. Workers exposed to a high enough
concentration of a contaminant will experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.
Workers who experiences these symptoms are likely being exposed to the IDLH concentration, meaning
the worker’s life is in danger and escape may be impossible. Some substances have very low IDLH
concentrations—for example, the IDLH level for hydrogen sulfide is only 100 ppm (parts per million). Allowable
exposure limits are generally well below the IDLH concentration.
A list of IDLH concentrations can be found in the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG), from the
U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The Pocket Guide can be ordered from NIOSH or
downloaded from their web site <http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npg.html>.
Other conditions considered IDLH include an oxygen-deficient atmosphere and atmospheres with
contaminants at or above 20% of the LEL. Any untested confined space is considered IDLH.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Making the atmosphere safe
Read this section for information on how to make the atmosphere inside a
confined space safe for workers to enter and perform their work activities.
It covers:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Cleaning the space to remove contaminants
Replacing an unsafe atmosphere with clean respirable air by purging
and ventilating the space
Preventing fires and explosions
Inerting the space
Using continuous ventilation to keep the atmosphere safe
Using respirators if clean respirable air cannot be maintained
The goal is to have clean respirable air in the confined space before
entry. Clean respirable air is defined in terms of having sufficient oxygen,
no flammable substances, and an acceptable level of air contaminants.
Therefore pre-entry testing includes tests for all three of these conditions.
If it is known or shown by pre-entry testing that a confined space does not
contain clean respirable air, the hazard must be eliminated or controlled
before workers enter the space. The control measures depend on the
hazard. For example:
•
If the atmosphere is oxygen-deficient, be sure the space is clean and
replace the air with clean respirable air.
• If there is a toxic atmosphere, or there is a possibility of a toxic
atmosphere from work inside the space, be sure the space is clean, and
remove the contaminants and replace the air with clean respirable air.
• If the atmosphere is explosive or flammable, be sure the space is clean
and replace the air with clean respirable air or fill the space with an
inert gas.
The atmosphere must be retested after any of these procedures. The goal
is to ensure that the space contains clean respirable air before a worker
enters (except in the case of deliberately inerting the atmosphere). If it is
not practicable to eliminate the hazard in the atmosphere, other controls
such as the appropriate respirator will be needed. Even if the air tests as
clean and respirable, further controls (such as ventilation) may be needed
to ensure the atmosphere remains safe while workers are in the space.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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In the Regulation
“clean respirable air”
when used to describe
the atmosphere inside
a confined space,
means an atmosphere
which is equivalent to
clean, outdoor air and
which contains
(a) about 20.9%
oxygen by volume,
(b) no measurable
flammable gas
or vapour as
determined using
a combustible
gas measuring
instrument, and
(c) no air contaminant
in concentrations
exceeding
either 10% of
its applicable
exposure limit in
Part 5 (Chemical
and Biological
Substances) or an
acceptable ambient
air quality standard
established by an
authority having
jurisdiction over
environmental
air standards,
whichever is greater
Cleaning
Cleaning should always be done prior to entry and whenever practicable
from outside the confined space. Here are some examples of how to clean
a confined space from the outside:
•
Use a vacuum and hose to remove contaminants such as sewage
sludge or petrochemical sludge.
• Rake sludge from a brewery tank.
• Pressure wash the space from outside.
• Use a tank with a drain hole in the bottom and an agitator, and
continually flush the space.
This photo shows a confined space being cleaned prior to set up of
equipment required for entry.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
- 28 -
The cleaning procedures and products used will be determined by the
qualified person. The procedures may include steam or water cleaning,
neutralization, descaling, and special solvent application. High-pressure
washing is often needed. Cleaning should always be done with a product
that will not react adversely with any residues in the tank. Thorough
cleaning will remove harmful residues. If airborne contaminants remain
after cleaning, they must be removed before entry.
The qualified person will provide written procedures for:
•
•
Cleaning the space and removing waste before entry
Removing standing water or other liquids before entry—an extremely
important precaution in confined spaces that contain harmful
atmospheres (workers could pass out and drown in small pools of
liquid)
• Controlling all ignition sources—for example, cleaning equipment,
lighting, communications equipment (cell phones or radio), and
photography equipment—by bonding or grounding, explosion
proofing, or prohibiting use where there are flammable residues
• Keeping internal combustion engines that power equipment at a safe
distance away from the flammable residues
• Providing ventilation, to control air contaminants such as vapours
produced by high-temperature steam cleaning or off-gassing from
sludge that has been disturbed
Steam cleaning requires additional precautions. The qualified person will
also consider:
•
•
•
•
•
The auto-ignition temperature of the residues
Adequate outlets to relieve pressure
Requirements for grounding and bonding
Prevention of heat exposure
Safe disposal of waste water
It may be necessary to repeat cleaning to achieve a confined space with
clean respirable air. If further cleaning will not be effective, the qualified
person will determine if additional control measures are required.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Replacing the unsafe atmosphere with
clean respirable air before entry
If the confined space has an oxygen-deficient or toxic atmosphere, then
the first control measure is to replace the unsafe air with air that is
safe to breathe before any workers enter. (The next step, discussed on
pages 34–37, is to ensure the air remains safe while workers are inside.)
Purging is removing the unsafe air from the confined space and replacing
it with clean respirable air prior to entry. This is commonly accomplished
by blowing air into the confined space using portable mechanical
ventilators. Purging is most effective if there are no contaminants being
generated within the space. If there are contaminants, the space must first
be cleaned and then purged.
Venting is opening up a confined space to allow clean air to enter and
circulate without the use of mechanical ventilation. Use of this method
as a means of controlling contaminants can be authorized only by the
qualified person and never for a space with a high-hazard atmosphere.
The minimum air flow for low-hazard atmospheres is 85 cubic metres per
hour (50 cubic feet per minute) of clean respirable air for each worker in
the space.
Replacing the unsafe atmosphere before entry usually involves mechanical
ventilation to blow fresh air in and continuously move it throughout the
space. When no contaminants are being generated by existing conditions
inside the space, blowing air into the space equivalent to five times the
volume of the space will result in approximately 95% of the original air
inside the space being replaced, as long as the air is blown in at a high
enough speed to mix well with the air inside the space. The specific
procedure written by the qualified person will determine the amount of air
required to make a confined space safe prior to entry and while workers
are inside the space.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Preventing fires and explosions
Fire prevention requires control of one or more of the three elements
needed for a fire or explosion: flammable substances, oxygen, and a
source of ignition.
Controlling flammable substances
When a space contains or may contain flammable substances, the
qualified person will consider the following when developing the written
work procedures:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Minimizing quantities of flammable materials inside the space at all times
— Isolating the confined space from flammable substances
— Cleaning all flammable residues prior to entry
— Using non-flammable cleaning solvents where possible
— Controlling any flammable materials that must be used
— Keeping cylinders of acetylene, propane, and other flammable
gases outside the confined space
Wetting down spontaneously combustible residues before removal
Maintaining the atmosphere as far below 20% of the LEL as possible
Checking welding and cutting hoses
Removing oxyacetylene welding torches and hose assemblies from
confined spaces when not in use, whenever practicable
Checking the other side of the surface for other workers or for
combustible materials before using a torch or similar welding
equipment on walls, bulkheads, etc.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Common misconceptions about flammability
People sometimes have misconceptions about what levels of flammability are safe.
Misconception #1
Some employers and workers believe that if flammability is kept below 20% of the LEL in a confined space
nothing more must be done to prevent fire or explosion prior to entry. This is not true.
The first approach is to eliminate any flammable vapours or gases. If this cannot be achieved, then the written
procedures by the qualified person must outline that all sources of ignition must be eliminated or adequately
controlled and continuous monitoring must be in place to ensure flammable gases and vapours are maintained
below 20% of the LEL.
Misconception #2
Some employers and workers believe that keeping the flammability below 20% of the LEL will give them
enough warning of a toxic environment. This is not true.
Even a small increase in flammability (1%) could mean the atmosphere has become extremely toxic to breathe.
For example, if the monitor reads 1% of the LFL during use of methanol in a confined space, even though the
reading of 1% is well below the flammability limit and the continuous monitor will not alarm, this concentration of
methanol is three times the allowable exposure limit.
Preventing oxygen enrichment
Air normally contains 20.9% oxygen, enough oxygen for a fire; so a
higher level of oxygen increases the likelihood of material burning. Air
is considered oxygen-enriched at levels above 23%. Enrichment can be
caused by improper isolation of oxygen lines, ventilation of the space with
oxygen instead of air, or leaks from welding equipment. To prevent oxygen
enrichment, follow these precautions:
•
•
•
Isolate the space from any oxygen lines.
Never ventilate a confined space with oxygen.
Keep cylinders of oxygen outside the confined space (except for
medical emergencies).
• Remove oxyacetylene torches and hoses from the confined space when
not in use, whenever practicable.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Controlling sources of ignition
If flammable substances are present, eliminate or control all sources of
ignition.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Use electrical equipment and lighting approved for hazardous locations
classified under CSA Standard C22.1-94, Canadian Electrical Code.
Use intrinsically safe air-testing and communications equipment,
cameras, or any other equipment used in the space.
Prohibit cigarettes, matches, and lighters.
Do not use heaters in a confined space.
Bond steam nozzles and ventilation systems to metal structures, and
ground the structures.
Use non-sparking or low-sparking tools. Non-sparking materials
include leather, plastic, or wood; low-sparking metals include
copper-beryllium alloy, nickel, and bronze.
Wear non-sparking footwear (that is, no exposed shoe nails).
Do not use internal combustion engines in the confined space unless
these are approved in the written procedures (through the use of
appropriate control measures).
Where practicable, torches and hoses used for welding, brazing, or
cutting must be removed.
Inerting
Inerting is the process of intentionally replacing the atmosphere inside a
confined space with an inert gas such as nitrogen. Inert means that the gas
will not react or cause an explosion or fire. Inerting creates an oxygendeficient atmosphere because the air (with its oxygen) has been replaced
by another gas.
Inerting is used to eliminate hazards such as chemical reactions, flammable
vapours, and the possibility of explosions. It is also used to prevent
oxidation (rusting) of equipment or the walls of the confined space.
When considering inerting the confined space, the employer must
notify WorkSafeBC in writing and submit a copy of the proposed work
procedures at least seven days before a worker enters the confined space.
(This does not apply when entry is required to perform emergency rescue
duties.) After reviewing the proposed work procedures for inerting a
confined space, WorkSafeBC may require additional precautions.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
- 33 -
Why is an
inert atmosphere
immediately dangerous
to life and health?
Every one of our body
cells requires oxygen.
With each breath, the
oxygen is continuously
supplied to each
cell. One breath of
an atmosphere that
does not have enough
oxygen will reverse
this process, and the
oxygen required for
movement of muscles
will be stripped from
the cells. The first
breath will make it
impossible
for movement,
including escape.
A confined space with an inert gas is deadly. The following requirements
are essential:
•
•
•
•
•
All entry precautions for high-hazard atmospheres must be followed,
except the requirement for continuous ventilation.
Every worker entering the confined space must be equipped with an
SCBA or a supplied-air respirator equipped with an escape bottle.
Respirators must meet the requirements of the Occupational Health
and Safety Regulation, Part 8, Personal Protective Equipment.
The atmosphere inside the confined space must remain inerted while
workers are inside.
In the event the inert blanket is inadvertently lost, all ignition sources
must be controlled.
Escaping inert gas must not cause a hazard outside the confined space.
Using continuous ventilation to
keep the atmosphere safe
Ventilation is the active movement of air. It may bring clean air into a space
or exhaust contaminated air out of the space. (See page 30 for information
on ventilating a space before workers enter.) Ventilation is used to ensure
that the air remains safe to breathe while workers are inside.
Confined spaces must be continuously ventilated to control hazardous
atmospheres, except for certain low-hazard atmospheres, inert
atmospheres, and in emergency rescue. This is most effectively done
with mechanical ventilation, such as air movers, fans, and local exhaust
systems. In limited situations, natural ventilation—the flow of air without
mechanical assistance—is acceptable on its own (see page 38). Natural
ventilation is frequently used to supplement mechanical ventilation.
Mechanical ventilation
The two main types of mechanical ventilation are:
•
•
Local exhaust ventilation
General ventilation
Local exhaust ventilation uses exhaust fans or ducts to remove
contaminated air at its source before it has a chance to spread
throughout a confined space. Local exhaust ventilation is useful where
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
- 34 -
air contaminants are generated from a point source, for example, at a
waste sump during welding or during concrete grinding operations. Local
exhaust ventilation is generally used to supplement general ventilation.
General ventilation uses mechanical equipment such as fans, blowers,
and ducting to deliver clean air into a space or to remove contaminated
air from a space. General ventilation is sometimes referred to as “dilution”
ventilation or positive-pressure ventilation. When air is blown into a
space, air currents are created and the outside air mixes with air in areas
that might normally have stagnant air. The faster the air moves, the more
air mixing will occur. As the mixed air exits the space, contaminants are
carried out. To ventilate a long space, you may need a ventilator that
draws air out at one end and another ventilator that pushes air in at
the opposite end. Ventilators that draw air out of a space minimize air
currents and therefore reduce the possibility of generating dust. (See
pages 63–65 for more information on ventilation set-up.)
Air-moving devices
There are two types of air-moving devices commonly used to purge or
ventilate confined spaces: fans and venturi eductors.
•
Fans are usually electrically powered and can be divided into two
main types: axial and centrifugal. As a general rule, axial fans are used
for higher flow rates in systems with lower resistance. Centrifugal fans
are used for lower flow rates in systems with higher resistance.
• Eductors (also known as air horns, air blowers, and air ejectors)
operate with compressed air on the principle of the venturi effect.
Eductors have the advantage of fitting into small openings and have
no moving parts. Usually, they are unable to move large volumes of
air. A sufficient volume of compressed air and enough pressure are
needed to achieve rated flow rates.
Rated capacity versus actual air flow delivered
The quantity of air delivered by an air-moving device is reduced by the
resistance in the ventilation system. Long ducts, ducts with interior
roughness, tight bends, and numerous bends all increase resistance and
decrease air flow. When selecting an air-moving device, it is important
to know the rated capacity of the device in the conditions of use. The
amount of air delivered by an air-moving device at the outlet without any
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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duct work attached is called the “free air delivery.” The actual amount of
air delivered at the end of a flexible duct is called the “effective blower
capacity.” Manufacturers should provide information on both the free air
delivery and the effective blower capacity with specified length of duct
and with bends. Selection of the proper fan can be a complicated task and
should be done in consultation with the qualified person.
This ventilation kit comes with a hose attachment. By placing the hose
attachment through the entrance of a confined space, bends in the hose are
reduced and access through small openings can be achieved.
The appropriate ventilation system for confined spaces in your workplace
Ventilation systems for control of airborne contaminants in a confined
space must be designed, installed, and maintained according to
established engineering principles. The minimum air flow for low-hazard
atmospheres is 85 cubic metres per hour (50 cubic feet per minute)
of clean respirable air for each worker in the space. The written work
procedures provided by the qualified person must describe the ventilation
system required for safe entry. The written work procedures should
also include the appropriate placement of the ventilators and hoses to
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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adequately ventilate every occupied area inside the confined space, to
prevent restricted access, and to leave no pockets of contaminated air.
Keep in mind that any bends in the hoses will affect the air flow. It is
good practice to strive for the maximum ventilation for the space while
maintaining worker comfort.
Here are some general precautions for ventilation systems:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Do not locate air inlets close to outlets or contaminated air may be
drawn in.
Do not draw contaminated air past workers inside the space.
Do not impede access or egress.
Where flammable atmospheres could be present, use explosion-proof
fans and bond ventilation equipment to confined space structures
made of metal.
Ensure contaminated air discharged from the confined space is not
a hazard to workers outside the space. Redirect such air a sufficient
distance away from the space, the standby person, and any other
workers. If this is not possible, ensure any exposed workers use the
appropriate respirator.
Ensure that the system cannot be shut off without the knowledge of
workers inside the space. For example, provide an automatic alarm or
an alarm operated by a standby person.
Ensure that hatchways or entranceways to the space cannot be accidentally
closed if they are being relied on to maximize the air circulation.
Never use oxygen for ventilation. A high level of oxygen in the air
increases the risk of an explosion or fire.
Tables 1 and 2 on pages 63–65 in the Appendix list some common errors
with mechanical ventilation systems and some possible solutions.
The following air flows for exhaust ventilation are based on
recommendations from the American Conference of Governmental
Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Welding ventilation movable exhaust hoods
Rate of Exhaust
Plain duct (cfm)
Flange or
cone hood (cfm)
Welding with hood less than 6 inches from arc
335
250
Welding with hood 6–9 inches from arc
755
560
Welding with hood 9–12 inches from arc
1335
1000
entry loss =
0.93 VPd
entry loss =
0.25 VPd
Activity
— Face velocity = 1500 fpm
— Minimum duct velocity = 3000 fpm
•Locate work as close as possible to hood
•Hoods perform best when located to side of the work
•Ventilation rates may be inadequate for toxic materials—respiratory protection may be required
•Velocities above 100–200 fpm may disturb shield gases
Source: ACGIH, Industrial Ventilation, A Manual of Recommended Practice, 21st Edition
Natural ventilation
Natural ventilation is ventilation of a space by natural air movement
resulting from wind or convection currents. Using natural ventilation is
prohibited as a control measure in the following situations:
•
•
If a confined space has a high-hazard atmosphere
If natural ventilation could draw air other than clean respirable air into
the confined space
The qualified person will provide written work procedures that identify
where and when natural ventilation can be used to maintain clean
respirable air in a low-hazard atmosphere. Under these circumstances,
the air flow must be monitored. The minimum air flow for low-hazard
atmospheres is 85 cubic metres per hour (50 cubic feet per minute) of
clean respirable air for each worker in the space. Configuration of the
space may make measurement of the quantity of air difficult; however, air
flow measuring devices are available at safety supply stores. In addition
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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to continuously measuring the amount of air that is flowing through the
space, workers must continuously monitor the atmosphere using a gas
monitor to make sure the space contains clean respirable air.
Using respirators if clean respirable air
cannot be maintained
If clean respirable air in a confined space cannot be assured before
workers enter, or if it cannot be maintained while workers are inside, the
employer must provide the appropriate respirators for workers to safely
enter and remain in the space. Respirators are to be used only if it is
impracticable to provide clean respirable air or if the confined space has
an inert atmosphere. In these situations, workers rely on respirators either
to remove contaminants from the air they inhale or to provide a safe
source of air.
If a respirator is required, the qualified person will specify in the written
work procedures the type needed. All workers entering the space must
wear the appropriate respirator.
•
A respirator with a filter removes particles from the air. Different
classes of filters are available for different types of dusts and fibres.
• A respirator with a cartridge will remove gases and vapours to “clean”
the air. There are different cartridges for different contaminants. The
worker must have the right cartridge for the contaminant. Not all
gases can be “cleaned” by a cartridge respirator.
• An air-supplied respirator provides clean respirable air. These must
be used when the atmosphere is oxygen-deficient or when filters or
cartridges are not able to remove the contaminant to a safe level.
If respirators are required, the employer must have a respirator program.
WorkSafeBC’s Breathe Safer: How to Use Respirators Safely and Start a
Respirator Program (BK75) provides more information on a respirator program.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Common misconceptions about respirators
Misconception #1
Workers may believe they are being protected from harmful atmospheres
by putting on a cartridge respirator. This may not be the case. A cartridge
respirator will only protect against certain contaminants listed on the
cartridge itself. Common cartridge respirators will not protect against an
atmosphere with carbon monoxide, and there are no cartridge respirators
that will protect against an oxygen-deficient atmosphere.
Misconception #2
Workers may believe that a single strap dust mask will fully protect them
against harmful particles. This is not true. Only certain types of filtering
respirators will provide enough protection against harmful particles in the
air. A common type is the N95 respirator. The qualified person will provide
written instructions regarding the type of respirator to wear. Always check the
cartridge or the manufacturer’s instructions to determine whether or not it has
been designed to protect you from the hazardous substance with which you
are dealing.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Making the confined space safe from physical hazards
Read this section for information on minimizing entrapment, engulfment,
and crushing hazards, and for information on using controls such as
lockout and isolating piping. This section also discusses electrical safety.
Physical hazards must be identified and controlled to make sure the space
is safe for workers to enter. The qualified person will have identified all
physical hazards in the hazard assessment and will have provided the
required precautions and written procedures to control those hazards
(including lockout and isolation). The supervisor of the entry must verify
that all required precautions are in place before any worker enters a
confined space.
There are many types of physical hazards, including crushing hazards,
heat and cold stress, radiation, vibration, and noise. Confined spaces
with a hazard of entrapment or engulfment and any situations requiring
lockout or isolation procedures should be considered a very serious hazard.
In these cases, an entry permit is required (see pages 58–59; 70–73). A risk
of engulfment or entrapment requires the highest level of standby service
(see pages 51 and 52).
Loose and unstable material
Whenever there is a danger of entrapment or engulfment, do not enter
unless absolutely necessary. If entry is necessary, the qualified person
will provide a written procedure. The written procedure will consider the
following:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Inspection prior to entry
Use of kickers or probe bars to dislodge bridges and hung-up material
prior to entry
De-energization and lockout of all operating process equipment inside
the confined space prior to entry
Isolation and/or lockout prior to entry to prevent engulfment
Requirement for lifeline and harness and provision for immediate
rescue of a worker in distress
Other protective equipment that may be needed, such as personal
flotation devices or fall protection
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Where workers could be exposed to danger from falling objects, follow
these requirements:
•
•
•
Schedule work activity so that no worker is working above another
Provide suitable protection from overhead hazards
Provide workers with safety headgear
It is the employer’s responsibility to provide the required personal
protective equipment and ensure that workers are trained to use it.
(See the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, Part 8, and pages
11–13 and 60–61 of this manual for more information.)
Moving parts of machinery
Lockout means the use of a lock or locks to render machinery or equipment
inoperable or to isolate an energy source in accordance with a written
procedure. Hazardous energy is any electrical, mechanical, hydraulic,
pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other source of energy that could
potentially injure a worker. For example, machinery or equipment with
moving parts has mechanical energy, and steam in a pipe has thermal energy.
Locks are generally used to prevent the inadvertent startup or movement
of machinery and equipment. Lockout is a two-step process. The first
step is isolation. Isolation is a process used to stop the flow of energy or
any other hazard. Some examples of this are disconnecting a line, setting
a switch in the up or down position or closing a valve. The second step
is to affix a lock to the isolating device in order to prevent others from
removing or changing the isolation. Affixing a personal lock is a very
important step to ensure that the device controlling the energy or other
hazard, remains in its set state or position.
The consequences of not properly controlling hazards inside of a confined
space are often more severe than the failure to control a hazard in a
non-confined space situation. It is for this reason that a confined space
generally requires isolation that is more effective than normal lockout.
For instance, the closing of a valve (with a lock if necessary) is generally
adequate to lockout a hydraulic pump but is not adequate to control the
flow of a fluid into a confined space.
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The employer’s lockout program will outline the procedures required to
make each confined space in the workplace safe to enter. The supervisor
of the entry must ensure that all lockout precautions are in place before
a worker enters a confined space. An entry permit is required for all
spaces that require lockout. Part 10 of the Occupational Health and
Safety Regulation lists when lockout is required and the required lockout
procedures. For more information, refer to the WorkSafeBC publication
Lockout (which can be found at WorkSafeBC.com).
Substances entering through piping
Adjacent piping means a device such as a pipe, line, duct or conduit which
is connected to a confined space or is so located as to allow a substance
from within the device to enter the confined space. Workers must be
protected from harmful substances (solids, liquids, and gases) that
could be discharged from pipes or conduits adjacent to or leading to the
confined space.
If adjacent piping contains (or has contained) a harmful substance that
has the potential for entering the confined space, the substance must
be controlled using isolation procedures. Isolating means ensuring
contaminants inside piping will not enter a confined space. The following
are means of isolating:
•
•
•
Disconnecting the piping
Inserting a blank or blind in the piping
Using an equivalent engineered system to isolate the piping from the
confined space
• Using a double block and bleed system in certain circumstances
Closing one or more valves and locking them in the “off” position is not
considered to be adequate isolation (except when it is used as part of a
double block and bleed system).
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Adjacent piping with a HARMFUL* substance?
Start:
A substance harmful*
ONLY because of pressure,
temperature,
or quantity?
YES
NO
A “harmful substance”
that is a gas or a vapour,
or a liquid of sufficient volatility to
produce a hazardous
concentration of an
air contaminant in the
discharge of
the piping.
YES
NO
Use ACCEPTED ISOLATION PROCEDURES
FOR HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES:
Piping must be disconnected or blanked or
blinded or engineered such that any leakage
past the blocking device can only go directly
to atmosphere and not enter the confined
space
OR
Provided there is not other pressure source
or head pressure, de-energize and lockout the
pressure source and depressurize the line
OR
Control the pressure by other effective means
Use ACCEPTED ISOLATION PROCEDURES
FOR HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES: Piping
must be disconnected or blanked or blinded
or engineered such that any leakage past
the blocking device can only go directly to
atmosphere and not enter the confined space.
* A “HARMFUL
SUBSTANCE”
means a WHMIS
controlled product,
a substance
referred to under
section 5.48,
or a substance
that may have a
harmful effect
on a worker in a
confined space.
Double block and bleed
system is allowed
The qualified person must develop the isolation system for a specific
space in accordance with the hazard assessment. When a line is
disconnected or when a blank or blind is installed, workers must follow
written work procedures that will prevent them from being exposed to any
hazardous substance in the line. Before a worker enters a confined space,
every isolation point must be visually checked or otherwise verified to
ensure that the confined space is effectively isolated.
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The employer must keep a record that identifies the location of every
isolation point. If locks are used, the written lockout procedure must
include instructions for applying and removing locks. Employees must be
trained in lockout, including use of a lockout board.
Disconnecting a pipe
Isolating includes disconnecting a pipe, which can be done by removing
the bolts that hold the pipe flanges together or by loosening unions that
connect threaded pipe sections. If the piping will be left disconnected, the
sections of the pipe that have been disconnected also must be misaligned
to prevent overflow material from getting into the space.
Blanks and blinds
A blank is a solid plate installed through the cross-section of a pipe,
usually at a flanged connection. A blind is a solid plate installed at the end
of a pipe where it has been physically disconnected from a piping system.
The point of installation must have a visual indication that a blank or blind
has been installed. Typically a “spectacle” (as shown in the following
diagram) is used as a visual indication that a blank has been installed.
A blank or blind must be:
•
Designed with an allowance for corrosion if it will be used in
conditions where it can corrode
• Stamped with its pressure rating or otherwise indicate its pressure rating
When necessary to prevent leakage, install gaskets on the pressure side of
a blank or blind. Flanges must be tightened.
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A blank or blind must be manufactured according to the specifications of
one of the following standards or other standard acceptable to WorkSafeBC:
•
•
•
•
ANSI Standard API 590-1985, Steel Line Blanks
ANSI Standard ASME/ANSI B16.5-1988, Pipe Flanges and Flanged Fittings
ANSI Standard ASME B31.1-1992, Power Piping
ANSI Standard ASME B31.3, Chemical Plant and Petroleum Refinery Piping
Blanks and blinds not meeting these standards may be used if a
professional engineer has certified that they will provide adequate safety
for the particular conditions of anticipated pressure, temperature, and
service. If one of these alternative blanks or blinds is used, the employer
must keep a record of its certification, location, and conditions of service.
Blank
with
spectacle
Valve
Gasket
A blank must be able to withstand the pressure of the substance inside
the piping system. A gasket is often inserted on the upstream side to
prevent leakage.
Written procedures for blanking and blinding must be specific to the
confined space, the location of the pipe, and the hazards involved. The
following simple example gives basic instructions for installing a blank in
a pipe carrying caustic soda. Specific instructions for the situation would
be needed, such as those suggested after each step.
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Procedure for installing a blank in a six-inch
piping system carrying caustic soda
1. Provide atmospheric testing, warning devices, and protective
equipment if toxic or flammable air contaminants could be discharged
at a disconnect point. (For example, wear goggles, neoprene, PVC,
or rubber coveralls, gloves, and boots to protect against contact with
caustic soda.)
2. Shut off the appropriate upstream valve. (For example, shut off valve
#5 in west end valve chamber.)
3. Apply personal lock to ensure no one will turn the valve while a blank
is being installed. (For example, apply lock to valve #5 by placing lock
in position on valve cover.)
4. Depressurize the line. (For example, open relief valve #6.)
5. Clear the line. (For example, open drain valve #7.)
6. Remove the gasket(s) while preventing the worker from being exposed
to any toxic contents that may remain in the piping system. (For
example, remove gasket(s) at flange #1101. Ensure personal protective
equipment is worn including goggles, neoprene, PVC, or rubber
coveralls, gloves and boots to protect against contact with caustic soda.)
7. Insert and secure the blank in the pipe. (For example, insert spectacle
#25 rated for 200 psi pressure with closed end across opening of pipe.)
8. Insert a gasket on the pressure side to ensure no leaks.
9. Tighten flanges to make the blank effective.
Double block and bleed
You may use a double block and bleed system if the harmful substance in
the piping is not one of the following:
•
•
•
A gas
A vapour
A liquid volatile enough to produce a hazardous concentration of an
air contaminant from the discharge from the piping
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Valve is locked
in closed position
Valve is locked
in closed position
Valve is locked
in open position
As shown in the drawing, double block and bleed involves closing valves
in the piping by locking out a drain or vent valve in the open position in
the line between two locked-out valves in the closed position. The written
lockout procedures must identify the specific lockout points and valves
by name. The names on the procedure must match the markings on the
piping system.
The following requirements must be met when using double block and bleed:
•
•
•
•
•
•
The downstream block valve must be checked to ensure that it is capable
of safely withstanding the line pressure. This could be done by shutting
the downstream valve first and checking to see if there is any flow.
The diameter of the bleed line must be no less than the diameter of the
line being isolated, unless an engineer certifies otherwise.
The bleed for a liquid system must be at a lower elevation than the
block valves.
All valves must be locked out in their proper open or closed position.
The bleed must be checked to ensure that it is clear and remains clear
of obstructions while the confined space is occupied. This can be done
either by continuous automatic monitoring or by manually checking
within 20 minutes before worker entry (or before re-entry after the
confined space has been vacated for more than 20 minutes).
If the bleed line discharges because of failure of the upstream block
valve, there must be a system in place that notifies those who have
entered the confined space. All workers must immediately exit the
confined space and the pipe must be effectively re-isolated before a
worker enters the space.
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Other procedures acceptable to WorkSafeBC
If isolation using the measures outlined in this section is not practicable,
the employer may implement alternative methods. Prior to undertaking
the work, the alternative procedures must be submitted to and accepted
by WorkSafeBC. All workers affected by alternative methods must be
informed of the measures taken and instructed in safe work procedures.
Electrical shock
Electrical tools and equipment used in a confined space must be grounded
or double-insulated and so marked. If wet or damp conditions exist inside
the confined space, electrical tools and equipment must be protected by
an approved ground fault circuit interrupter or other acceptable means
of protection. It is always better to substitute equipment that will not be
hazardous inside the confined space.
Pneumatic tools
In some cases, the potential for electrical hazards can be eliminated
by substituting pneumatic equipment such as air-driven grinders and
sanders. If these pneumatic tools present a risk of exposure to hazardous
contaminants from the exhaust, the compressor system must be located
in an area where the exhaust will not contaminate the air inside the space.
If other utility lines are being used adjacent to the confined space (for
example, lines containing gases such as nitrogen, acetylene, or oxygen),
precautions must be taken to prevent the pneumatic tools from being
attached to those lines.
Grounded tools
Properly grounded hand tools are equipped with a means of directing
a ground fault back to the service entrance panel where it will blow a
fuse or trip a circuit breaker. If properly grounded tools are not used, the
resulting shock could be severe or even fatal.
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Double-insulated tools
Double-insulated tools are housed in a non-conductive plastic casing with
a non-conductive on-off switch, which prevents the operator from coming
in contact with any metal parts.
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
A ground fault circuit interrupter is a type of circuit breaker that detects
any difference (greater than 5 milliamps) between the current being supplied
to a tool and the current that returns from the tool. If this difference is
detected, the circuit breaker shuts off the flow of electricity. If the difference
between the flow of electricity to and from the tool was because it was
passing through a person the person would be protected from any further
current flowing through them by the ground fault circuit interrupter.
Do not disconnect the tool from the GFCI because it keeps on tripping
(sometimes called “nuisance trips”). The GFCI IS operating properly. The
reason for the GFCI “tripping” can usually be traced to electrical devices
in need of repair, including the extension cords, or the tool or cord is
being used in a wet or damp location.
A three-pronged plug or the wider spade terminal on the machinery/tool
or the extension cord plug ensures that ungrounded devices (such as
double insulated tools) are plugged in with the correct polarity. Never
remove the ground pin (third prong) from the cord of a tool or three prong
extension cord. This ground pin provides grounding protection and it also
ensures that double insulated tools are plugged in with the correct polarity.
Electrical tools and equipment used in a confined space where flammable
or explosive gases, vapours, or liquids are present must be CSA-approved
for hazardous locations classified under CSA Standard C22.1-94, Canadian
Electrical Code Part 1, as Class I, Division 2, Groups A, B, and C, or other
standard acceptable to WorkSafeBC.
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Standby persons
Read this section for information on the duties of standby persons and the
different requirements for confined spaces with atmospheres rated as low,
moderate, and high hazard.
For every confined space entry, a worker must be assigned as a standby
person, who checks on the well-being of workers inside the space by
visually observing them or using another method of checking. The
standby person also summons help in the event of an emergency. Workers
inside the space must be able to contact the standby person at any time,
either through voice or visual contact. The standby person must be
stationed outside the confined space, never inside.
The location and functions of the standby person differ, depending on
whether the hazard assessment gave the atmosphere a hazard rating of
low, moderate, or high.
In a low-hazard atmosphere:
•
There must be a means for workers inside the confined space to
summon the standby person at all times. Radio or telephone contact,
or other means, can be used. The standby person does not need to be
located at or near the entrance.
• The standby person must check on the well-being of the workers
inside the confined space every 20 minutes.
• The standby person must have a means of summoning rescue personnel.
In a moderate-hazard atmosphere:
•
The standby person must be stationed at or near the entrance to
the space. The standby person may have other duties if they do not
interfere with remaining at or near the entrance and checking on the
well-being of workers.
• Workers inside the confined space must be able to summon the
standby person at all times.
• The standby person must check on the well-being of the workers
at least every 20 minutes, or more often if the nature of the work
requires it.
• The standby person must have a means of summoning rescue personnel.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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In a high-hazard atmosphere or where there is a risk of engulfment or
entrapment, or any other serious health or safety hazard:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The standby person must be stationed at the entrance.
Workers inside the space must be able to summon the standby person
at all times.
The standby person must check on the well-being of the workers
continuously and have no other duties except monitoring the
well-being of the workers.
The standby person must be equipped and capable of immediately
initiating rescue, using lift equipment if required, or otherwise
perform the duties of a rescue person.
The standby person must be trained in rescue procedures.
The standby person must prevent the entanglement of lifelines and
other equipment.
The standby person must have a means of summoning rescue personnel.
Standby persons are not permitted to enter the space for rescue purposes
unless they have rescue training and only if another worker is located
outside to render assistance.
A first aid attendant sometimes needs to enter a confined space to attend
to a worker with injuries such as a cut or broken ankle. If the standby
person is also the first aid attendant, the standby person must ensure that
another fully trained standby person takes over before entering the space
to provide first aid.
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Rescue
By definition, confined spaces have limited or restricted access that
may make rescue difficult. There must be written rescue procedures for
confined spaces. Read this section for information on the responsibilities
of rescue personnel and on rescue procedures and equipment.
Some employers believe that having a good rescue team is the most
important part of a confined space entry program. A rescue team and
rescue procedures should not be used as a substitute for making a
confined space safe to enter. It is essential that the air is safe to breathe
before entry so that a rescue team is not required, except for serious
injuries or medical emergencies.
Studies have shown that over 60% of confined space deaths occur among
would-be rescuers. Rescue plans and proper training for rescuers must be
in place before any confined space entry. This will prevent well-meaning
workers who are untrained in rescue from entering confined spaces to
assist workers in distress and themselves becoming victims.
Provision for rescue
The employer must provide for the services of rescue persons when a
worker enters a confined space. If the rescue persons are employees of
another firm or an agency, there must be a written agreement detailing the
services to be provided.
A rescue plan includes practicing the plan. This helps to ensure that
personnel, equipment, and procedures are in place to effect rescue.
The written rescue plan provides a step-by-step means of ensuring all
possibilities are considered. Practising the plan provides information
about where improvements must be made. For example, the plan may
state that a gurney will be used to remove workers from a confined
space. Practice may reveal that the stretcher will not fit into the space,
the workers cannot lift the injured worker from inside the space, or the
winch apparatus needs to be replaced. The more often the rescue plan is
practised, the less likely something will go wrong if a rescue is required. A
practice drill must be held at least once each year.
If rescue cannot be effected by the standby person(s) using harnesses,
lifelines and lifting equipment, then one or more additional workers must
be stationed at the entrance to the confined space and these workers must
be equipped and capable of entering the space and effecting rescue.
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STOP
It is essential that the
air is safe to breathe
before entry so that a
rescue team is not
required, except for
serious injuries or
medical emergencies.
Every person assigned rescue duties must be properly equipped and
adequately trained to carry out these duties. Employers may use their own
trained workers or another firm or an agency. In such cases, there must
be a written agreement detailing the services to be provided. If additional
rescue services may be required, there must be prior planning and
pre-entry discussions with the rescue services.
Records of training and practice drills must be maintained by the
employer of the rescue persons.
Supervisor of the entry, or the standby person
The supervisor of the entry, or the standby person, must notify rescue
personnel of work to be done before a worker enters a confined space. If
more than one confined space is to be entered at the same time, rescue
personnel need to know this and be on alert status. The supervisor of
the entry or standby person must also notify rescue personnel when all
workers have completed their work and left the space.
Note: Notification requirements do not apply if a written agreement
with the rescue agency indicates that rescue personnel are available on a
24-hour basis.
Employer
The employer must ensure that rescue personnel are monitoring any
signaling system that will be used to summon them in an emergency.
The employer must ensure rescue procedures include every possible
means of eliminating, controlling, or reducing the risk to emergency
personnel, including the use of mechanical ventilation.
All employers are responsible for the provision of first aid equipment,
supplies, facilities, and services, as determined by an assessment that
would meet the requirements of section 3.16 of the Occupational Health
and Safety Regulation.
Person directing the rescue
The person who directs the rescue or evacuation must be adequately
trained in such procedures and must be the supervisor of the entry or
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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a qualified rescue person. There must be voice communication at all
times between the person directing the rescue and the workers who are
performing the rescue.
Rescue workers
Trained rescue workers will know how to conduct a rescue and will
consider the following:
•
•
•
Additional workers located outside to assist
Rescue from the outside (if possible)
Requirements for use of a safety harness and lifeline
Trained rescue workers will also know that if IDLH conditions exist
or could develop, they must enter only with an SCBA or supplied-air
respirator equipped with an escape bottle. Small-diameter openings will
require special consideration for rescue workers who are encumbered
with SCBA apparatus. A key objective is to correct atmospheric
hazards prior to entry, and supply adequate ventilation to ensure a safe
atmospheric environment whenever practicable.
Written procedures for rescue
Written procedures for rescue must be in place before every confined
space entry. The procedures will consider:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
All hazards of the space as specified in the hazard assessment
Dimensions of the space, location of entry and exit points, and
obstacles to removing an injured worker
Rescue equipment required for each space
Personal protective equipment for rescuers, including appropriate
respirators for any contaminants or IDLH conditions
Communication between workers, rescuers, the supervisor of the
entry, and standby persons
Procedures to follow immediately after an incident has occurred
Possible hazards that may arise during rescue, the appropriate
evaluation of these hazards, and control methods recommended by
the qualified person
Rescue methods for a worker who is unconscious, unresponsive (on or
off of a lifeline), or distressed
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Contact protocols
Do not rely on a call to 911 to provide the rescue services unless you have
a specific written agreement with your local public emergency service
provider. You are required to pre-arrange any rescue services. However, if
you unexpectedly find you need additional medical or rescue services (911),
then the contact person must be prepared to provide as much information as
possible in order to inform the responders who will be attending the emergency:
•Exact location: If the address is hard to find, provide easy access
instructions—for example, “from the intersection of Highway 10 and Main
Street, follow Route 7 for 3 km and then turn left at the crossroads.”
Exactly
what was being done and what happened to the worker: Not
•
all people understand specific names of equipment, such as a “batch
digester.” So, simplify the description without losing the necessary
information. For example, “the worker was applying a coating inside a tank
and he lost consciousness and fell off a 2-metre-high platform.”
•State what you need: For example, “We require a hazmat team, a rescue
team, and emergency medical services.”
Not all fire departments have the equipment or the training necessary to enter
confined spaces to rescue someone. It is essential that employers pre-plan
rescue with a rescue service provider.
Lifelines, harnesses, and lifting equipment
Lifelines, harnesses, and lifting equipment must meet the requirements of
standards acceptable under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.
All rescue personnel must be trained in the use of all required equipment.
Harnesses and lifelines are required in confined space entries with a
high-hazard atmosphere, with a risk of entrapment or engulfment, with
any other recognized serious health or safety hazard, or if required by the
written procedures. The standby person must be able to lift the person out
using the lifting equipment provided, and the worker inside must wear the
type of harness that will keep the worker in a position to permit rescue.
If there is a possibility that rescue will be required from an IDLH, oxygendeficient atmosphere, or unknown atmosphere, the qualified person and
the rescue service provider will discuss any requirement for SCBA or
supplied-air respirator.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Rescue equipment
Harnesses
The type of harness depends on whether the worker must be rescued in a
vertical direction or otherwise. If the rescue is anything other than a vertical
rescue, the qualified person will consider the equipment required.
In a vertical rescue, a full-body harness must be used to keep the worker in
an upright position. Safety harnesses with leg, waist, and shoulder straps
must meet the requirements of CSA Standard CAN/CSA Z259.1-M90, Full
Body Harnesses, or other standard acceptable to WorkSafeBC.
Wrist harnesses attached to each wrist of the worker are designed only to
help prevent contact of the arms with hazard points. Safety lines attached to
wrist harnesses must not be used as rescue equipment.
Lifelines and connections
Select lifelines for strength, chemical stability, abrasion resistance, and,
where high voltages may be encountered, electrical resistance. For example,
nylon has good breaking strength and abrasion resistance, but may not be a
good choice around high voltages because of its ability to absorb moisture.
Lines must be free of knots and splices (except at the ends) and must be
securely anchored. Connections to harnesses should be made with locking
snaphooks or a locking-type carabiner.
Lifting equipment
Lifting-assist devices include the following:
•A worker-rated hand winch with a dog-action brake or a block and tackle to
provide mechanical assistance, capable of both lifting and lowering
•A powered winch, when the length of lift is substantial, capable of both
lifting and lowering, and with an effective means of control that has been
tested before use
•Edge rollers to protect the lifeline from abrasion where the line encounters
sharp edges
•A rope grab, brake bar, or other similar device to help prevent return slippage
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Entry permits
Read this section for information on when an entry permit is required,
what the permit contains, and when it can be altered.
The purpose of an entry permit is to formalize entry into a confined space
and to name the supervisor of the entry. A permit also informs workers of
the hazards and entry procedures and keeps a record of workers who have
entered. The permit must be posted at the entrance to the confined space,
verifying that a review of the requirements has been conducted.
Depending on the sophistication of the confined space entry program,
information on specific work procedures may be stored in a database
designed to automatically insert the information into an entry permit for
the specific confined space.
The entry permit must be kept for one year.
When to post an entry permit
The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation requires an entry
permit when:
•
•
•
There is a high-hazard atmosphere
Lockout or isolation procedures are required
There is a hazard of entrapment or engulfment
Required information
The entry permit information must identify:
•
•
•
The confined space and the work activities to which it applies
Names of workers who are inside the space
Control measures or precautions required prior to entry and while
workers are in the space
• Time of expiration of the permit
• The signature of the supervisor of the confined space entry before
workers enter the space
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Some employers use the permit as a means of displaying and/or recording
additional information, such as:
•
•
•
•
Air monitoring results, including the tester’s initials
Lockout procedures
The ventilation equipment and the air flow required
The required air-testing equipment and contaminants that must be
monitored
The sample entry permit on pages 70–74 shows more than the basic
requirements.
Updating a permit
Once issued, only the supervisor of the entry, standby person, and tester
may alter the information on the entry permit. The standby person may
alter the permit to update the list of workers inside the confined space.
The tester may alter the permit to record test results.
The supervisor of the entry who signed the permit may update it:
•
•
•
If there is a change in the work crew
After each shift change
If another supervisor takes over supervising the entry
If the job situation changes significantly enough to affect the safe work
procedures for entry into the confined space, only the qualified person
can change the work procedures. The supervisor of the entry can change
the permit to reflect the changes made by the qualified person.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Personal protective equipment
Read this section for information on the general responsibilities for personal
protective equipment (PPE) and a brief description of a respirator program.
Responsibilities
The employer must ensure that all workers who may be exposed to danger
in or around a confined space are provided with appropriate personal
protective equipment (PPE). The supervisor of the entry must ensure
the workers wear such equipment. (Workers may be required to provide
their own safety footwear and headgear.) For specific requirements and
standards for PPE, see the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation,
Part 8: Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment. For hearing
protection, see Part 7: Noise, Vibration, Radiation and Temperature.
The qualified person who prepares the hazard assessment and written
work procedures will specify the PPE needed for each confined space (or
group of similar spaces) and for the work activities that occur there. There
may be different PPE requirements for workers inside the confined space,
rescue workers, and standby persons.
General requirements for personal protective equipment include the
following:
•
All equipment must be used and maintained in accordance with the
manufacturers’ instructions. Equipment must be inspected regularly
and kept in good working order.
• Workers must be instructed and trained in the use, limitations, and
assigned maintenance duties of personal protection equipment so that
they can use the equipment correctly.
Respirator program
The qualified person will specify the appropriate type of respirator in the
written work procedures if respirators are needed for the confined space
entry. Page 39 discusses when workers in a confined space might require
respirators. If at all possible, clean respirable air should be provided
before considering the need for respirators. Written rescue procedures
must also consider respirator requirements for rescue personnel.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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If workers are required to use respirators, the employer must have
a written respirator program covering correct selection, use, and
maintenance, and must provide effective training to workers. Respirators
must meet the requirements of a standard acceptable to WorkSafeBC.
Respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health (NIOSH) are acceptable. For more information on respirators
and a respirator program, refer to the WorkSafeBC publication Breathe
Safer: How to Use Respirators Safely and Start a Respirator Program (BK75)
at WorkSafeBC.com.
Workers who are required to wear respirators must be fit tested and
instructed about the requirement to wear a respirator in the confined
space. A fit test involves a trained person checking for leaks at the point
where the respirator seals to the face. This can be done using different
methods and equipment, but must be done to an acceptable standard. Fit
tests are described in Breathe Safer: How to Use Respirators Safely and Start
a Respirator Program (BK75). A written record of the fits tests must be kept
for inspection.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Coordination of work activities
Coordination of work activities means the employer must ensure hazards
of a work activity do not affect the health or safety of adjacent workers
who are engaged in a different work activity. For instance, if welders are
generating welding fume and it is not controlled at the source, it may be
a hazard to adjacent workers who are working at a completely different
task. Use of an effective exhaust system to control contaminants
generated at a point source is a method that often works to protect the
adjacent workers.
Some work, such as sandblasting, fibreglassing, or applying other coatings
causes contaminants that are not localized but instead permeate the
confined space. Sometimes, the dusts or vapours cannot be completely
controlled by ventilation. The workers who are doing the work that is
creating the contaminants must be protected against overexposure. Other
crews could be scheduled at a different time so that other workers are not
in the space during painting or fibreglassing. If that is not possible and
there must be other workers inside the space, then they must be protected
against overexposure.
It is critical that employers organize work activities ahead of time to
prevent overlap of work areas and to prevent physical hazards from
causing injuries to another group engaged in a different work activity
inside the space. Restricting work areas by erecting barriers, restricting
work times, and ensuring constant communication with all other adjacent
work groups inside the space during work will help to prevent some
common accidents (for example, being struck by falling materials, being
struck by equipment or building materials, or tripping on cables or hoses
that have been pulled through the work area).
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Appendix
Ventilation errors and suggested control measures
Table 1 lists some common problems with positive-pressure ventilation
systems that blow air into the confined space. Table 2 lists some common
problems with negative-pressure ventilation systems that draw air out of a
confined space.
Table 1: General ventilation (positive-pressure system)
Ventilation Errors
Suggested Control Measure
The fresh air inlet is located near a source of air
contamination such as an internal combustion engine.
Locate the air inlet away from any sources of
contaminants so that contaminated air is not blown
into the space.
Oxygen rather than air is blown into the space.
Enriched oxygen is a fire and explosion hazard.
Blow only clean respirable air into a confined space.
Never use oxygen for ventilation.
The system produces turbulence that disturbs dust or
liquid residues in the space.
Change the direction, use exhaust ventilation, or
lower the speed of air flow.
The blower does not move air into the deepest part of
the space. Pockets of contaminated air remain.
Attach a hose to the outlet side of the fan, and place
the hose inside the space at the far end. There is
greater mixing of the air with a ventilation system that
pushes fresh air into the space than with one that
pulls air out at the same rate. Some companies use a
combined air system, which pushes air into the space
at one end and draws air out at the other end.
Use a hose that is long enough to take air into the
deepest part of the confined space where workers
are working.
The air inlet is located too close to the air outlet.
Clean air exits the space without circulating through it
(known as short-circuiting).
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Obstructions, including physical barriers or positive
pressure inside the space, may push the fresh air
back out the inlet opening before it can circulate
throughout the space.
Use hoses to move clean air into the deepest part of
the confined space where workers are working.
Contaminated air re-enters the space after exiting.
Locate the outlet for local exhaust ventilation away
from the air inlet.
Adjust the speed of the blower to increase the air flow.
Ensure that fresh air is circulating and mixing
thoroughly before air exits the space.
The direction of vented air is opposite to or across the
natural air currents inside the confined space.
Vent air in the same direction as the natural air currents.
Set up the ventilation system so that contaminated air
is not drawn into the breathing zone of workers. Set
up a local exhaust ventilation system.
The vented air draws or blows contaminated air from
other areas of the space into workers’ breathing zone.
Air is not getting from the blower through the hose to
the work area.
Hoses must be laid out as straight as possible. A
bend in a hose will cause less air to go through the
hose and less clean air to reach the work area.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Table 2: Local exhaust ventilation (negative-pressure system)
Ventilation Errors
Suggested Control Measure
Air contaminants are being drawn past the breathing
zone of the worker or others working nearby.
Position the capture hood so that air contaminants
are not drawn toward workers. Place the capture
hood as close as possible to the source of
contamination, ideally no farther away than the
diameter of the duct.
Negative pressure draws air contaminants into the
space from the ends of piping and through conduits
from adjacent areas that are contaminated.
Remove the negative pressure ventilation and set up
positive-pressure ventilation (fan) in locations where
contaminants will not be drawn into the confined space.
The air flow is too low to remove contaminants.
Ensure the exhaust fan draws enough volume of
air at a strong enough velocity to remove the air
contaminants.
Keep bends in the exhaust duct to a minimum.
Use a fan to provide adequate fresh make-up air into
the confined space to compensate for air exhausted
by the system.
Where there are contaminants throughout the space,
use a ventilation system that pushes fresh air into
the space rather than one that pulls air out, or use a
combined system that pushes air into the space and
pulls air out. This helps with mixing.
Blowing air into the space can result in air currents
30 times greater than the air currents created by a
system that draws air out. This “blowing” helps to
mix the air inside the space and provides outside air
to workers deep inside the space. In addition, clean
respirable air blown in creates a positive pressure
and reduces the chance of outside air contaminants
intruding into the space.
Workers outside the space are exposed to the
discharged air.
Position the exhaust ventilation away from workers
outside the space.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Confined space entry written procedure — not acceptable
Safe Work Ltd.
Confined Space Entry — Confined Space #5
Division/Department: Water Pumping
Location: Smith Street
E
L
P
M
A
S
Purpose of entry: Confined Space Entry
This work procedure written July 5, 2006 by Ed Sharp
Safety Guy (no previous education or experience in confined spaces), in consultation with Art Wolf, Confined
Space Entry Program Administrator and the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee of Safe Work Ltd.
Atmosphere Hazard Level:
Personal Protective Equipment:
X good work boots
X hard hat
X safety glasses
X sufficient hearing protection
X impervious gloves
Ventilation required:
Provide adequate ventilation to keep the air contaminants below the allowable limit.
Air monitor to use:
Pre-test the area with a monitor designed to test for all likely contaminants. Ensure testing is done on a
regular basis.
Lockout:
Follow lockout procedure
Date completed:
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Confined space entry written procedure (partial) — acceptable
PARTIAL work procedure
Safe Work Ltd.
Confined Space Entry — Confined Space #5
E
L
P
M
A
S
Division/Department: Pumping station
Location: Smith Street
Purpose of entry: Confined Space Entry for purposes of inspection only
This work procedure written July 5, 2006 by Ed Sharp, Contact #605-200-0000
No work other than routine inspection to be done without prior referral to Ed Sharp.
Confined Space entry specialist Ed Sharp (CIH, ROH, CSP, CRSP, or P.Eng. with sufficient experience in the
recognition, evaluation, and control of confined space hazards), in consultation with Art Wolf, Confined Space
Entry Program Administrator and the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee of Safe Work Ltd.
Atmosphere Hazard Level:
MODERATE
Personal Protective Equipment:
X Green Triangle steel-toed ankle-high work boots
X CSA approved hard hat
X CSA approved safety glasses
Hearing protection
X Neoprene or Nitrile gloves
Air monitor:
The air monitor must be equipped with sensors to detect flammables, oxygen, and hydrogen sulphide. The
GS-10 monitor available from the supply room should be fitted with the required sensors. Check with the
technician prior to use to be sure the correct sensors are installed and the monitor is calibrated and bump
tested. Prior to use in the space, use the monitor in a clean air environment to be sure the reading shows 20.9%
oxygen and 0% flammables and 0 ppm hydrogen sulphide. Prior to entry and prior to ventilating ensure the
monitor (using the 15' hose and pump mechanism) draws air from inside the space across the sensors on the
monitor. Ensure enough time for the air to travel from the space, through the hose, and across the sensors. If
readings are 20.9% oxygen, 0% flammables and 0 ppm hydrogen sulphide then entry can proceed. Ventilate
if they are not. The first worker to enter should take the end of the air monitor hose into the area where work will
be done.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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E
L
P
M
A
S
Ventilation required:
Volume of space is 2000 cubic feet. Any ventilator used must provide no less than 50 cfm per person entering;
however, it is recommended that 20 air changes per hour be provided, which is the same as 670 cfm. Bends in
the air hose will reduce the amount of air getting into the space.
PRIOR TO ENTRY: If there is an indication that the air inside the space is not clean respirable air (less than or
greater than 20.9% oxygen, or greater than 0% flammables, or greater than 0 ppm hydrogen sulphide), blow air
into the space until levels are 20.9% oxygen, 0% flammables, and 0 ppm hydrogen sulphide.
1. Use positive pressure ventilator, available from the supply room and marked with a green lamicoid tag.
Attach the 8” diameter 15 foot long yellow hose to the positive pressure side. This supplies 700 cfm.
2. Set up the air intake 10 feet away from the entranceway, use a hose on the inlet side if necessary, to prevent
recirculation of the contaminated air.
3. Set up the air intake away from any internal combustion engines or other contaminant-generating
equipment.
4. Place air hose to blow fresh air beside workers in the space.
Lockout:
Apply personal locks to lockout point #5 on main control panel (use scissor clamp if more than one worker to
enter space). Be sure switch is in the down (off) position before applying lock(s).
Equipment:
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Isolation of piping containing harmful substances
Adjacent piping with a HARMFUL* substance?
Start:
A substance harmful*
ONLY because of pressure,
temperature,
or quantity?
YES
NO
A “harmful substance”
that is a gas or a vapour,
or a liquid of sufficient volatility to
produce a hazardous
concentration of an
air contaminant in the
discharge of
the piping.
YES
NO
Use ACCEPTED ISOLATION PROCEDURES
FOR HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES:
Piping must be disconnected or blanked or
blinded or engineered such that any leakage
past the blocking device can only go directly
to atmosphere and not enter the confined
space
OR
Provided there is not other pressure source
or head pressure, de-energize and lockout the
pressure source and depressurize the line
OR
Control the pressure by other effective means
Use ACCEPTED ISOLATION PROCEDURES
FOR HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES: Piping
must be disconnected or blanked or blinded
or engineered such that any leakage past
the blocking device can only go directly to
atmosphere and not enter the confined space.
Double block and bleed
system is allowed
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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* A “HARMFUL
SUBSTANCE”
means a WHMIS
controlled product,
a substance
referred to under
section 5.48,
or a substance
that may have a
harmful effect
on a worker in a
confined space.
Sample of a Confined Space Entry Permit
Confined Space Entry Permit — Page 1 of 4
Name of space (permit expires at end of shift)
Date of entry
Date expires
Smith Street Pump Station
Time entry begins
November 5, 2006
Time permit expires
November 5, 2006
Name of standby person
Paul Henry
Name of standby person
ATMOSPHERE
Time start
Describe space
Describe work to be done
Time stop
8:00 a.m.
3 Moderate hazard
r
11:30 a.m.
Time stop
11:30 a.m.
r High hazard
Location/designation of space
2:00 p.m.
E
L
P
M
A
S
Time start
Larry Stinson
8:00 a.m.
2:00 p.m.
r Low hazard
800 Smith Street
Below ground pump station
Inspection and yearly maintenance of pumps (pumps will be removed from
space for maintenance). Ensure lockout procedure is followed prior to entry.
Signature of person supervising this confined space entry
Marchand Loewen
Date
Signature of person supervising this confined space entry
Time valid (from/to)
November 5, 2006
8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Confined Space Entry Permit must be completed, signed, and posted at the primary entrance when any of the following occurs:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Lockout is required prior to entry
Blanking or blinding is required to isolate the space prior to entry
The space has piping coming into it that cannot be blanked or blinded
There is risk of entrapment or of being buried/drowned
Air quality would prevent self-rescue if ventilation or other equipment failed
Mechanical ventilation is not provided
Ventilation cannot keep contaminants below permissible concentrations
VENTILATION
CHOICE #1 (for any HIGH or
MODERATE atmospheric
hazard)
Ventilation required to maintain 20 air changes per hour (show cfm and name of ventilator)
CHOICE #2* (used for LOW
hazard atmospheres only)
Only natural ventilation used as means of providing ventilation?
Ventilator with green lamicoid tag from stores rated for 700 cfm with
yellow 15' hose attached to outlet side, attach 10' hose on inlet side
(air flow achieved ………
* IF YES to CHOICE #2 THEN
•
•
•
•
Space must be over 64 ft per occupant AND
Space must be a LOW Hazard AND
Continuous monitoring must be in place AND
Air flow in space must be continuously measured
3
cfm)
NOTE: The minimum ventilation required for any space is 50 cfm per person.
The ventilation must be adequate to provide good clean respirable air to
workers inside the space. Providing 20 ac/hr will maximize mixing and will
generally provide a good supply of air. Place ventilator hose close to the area
where workers are working. Long ducts, ducts with interior roughness, tight
bends and numerous bends all increase resistance and decrease air flow.
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Confined Space Entry Permit — Page 2 of 4
Name of space (permit expires at end of shift)
Smith Street Pump Station
GAS TESTING — MONITORING
Contaminant — Reading from the Monitor
Testing must
be done for:
Initials
Oxygen
(min 19.5% —
max 23%)
Flammables/
Explosive
(max 10% of LEL)
3 YES r NO
r
3 YES r NO
r
Carbon monoxide Hydrogen sulfide
Other
(max: 8-hr average
(ceiling limit
(i.e., Cl2 max 8-hr
25 ppm)
10 ppm)
average 0.5 ppm)
Check hazard
assessment
E
L
P
M
A
S
3 YES r NO
r
3 YES r NO
r
Not required
Pre-purge reading (ensure air travelling through hose has enough time to reach sensors)
Time
PH 7:00 a.m.
18.5
3%
2
2
PH 7:40 a.m.
20.9
0
0
0
PH 8:00 a.m.
20.9
0
0
0
PH 9:46 a.m.
20.9
2%
0
0
PH 9:58 a.m.
20.9
0
0
0
PH 10:25 a.m.
20.9
0
0
0
12:35 p.m.
20.9
0
0
0
2:00 p.m.
20.9
0
0
0
Post-purge reading
Time
Time
Time
Time
Time
LS
LS
Time
Time
CONTINUOUS MONITOR TEST RESULTS are written accurately:
Date of calibration
October 22, 2006
Name of tester(s)
Paul Henry
Larry Stinson
(Depending on use, the monitor may need calibration on a weekly or daily basis.)
NOTE:
• No entry allowed if: Flammables greater than 20% of lower explosive limit (LEL)
• No entry without high hazard precautions if: oxygen level is less than 19.5% or greater than 23 % — or — hydrogen sulphide greater
than 5 ppm — or — carbon monoxide greater than 12.5 ppm — or — flammables greater than 10% of LEL — or — risk of entrapment — or
— being buried/drowned — or — confined space is an extension of an excavation (with potential for offgassing of contaminated soil)
• Monitoring must be continuous. Standby person must enter gas test results once every four hours or any time the space has been
vacated for more than 20 minutes
• If initial test results indicate contaminants or lack of oxygen, purging is required. If 20 ac/hour is provided with good mixing inside
the space and no additional contaminates are being generated, then purge time is 15 minutes. If airflow is less than 20 air changes
per hour into the space, purge time must be increased accordingly (example — only 10 ac/hr, then 30 minutes required for purge).
Confined Space Entry Program: A Reference Manual
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Confined Space Entry Permit — Page 3 of 4
Name of space (permit expires at end of shift)
Smith Street Pump Station
Signature of standby person
I certify that my sole duty at this worksite in the time period specified on the front of this permit is standby person. I will be
documenting the continuous monitor readings and ensuring the check-in/check-out sheet is completed as well as the duties
required of me as standby person.
Standby person’s signature
ENTRY/EXIT CHECKLIST
E
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Standby person’s signature
Paul Henry
Larry Stinson
Legend: Standby person to write an “ / “ each time the named worker enters the confined space (/) and write a “\“ each time the named
worker exits (\) forming an “X” for a completed entry/exit (X).
Name of worker
Luigi Commazetto
Deborah Langden
Marchand Loewen
Paul Henry
Status
Personal protective equipment that must be worn
3 Hardhats
r
3 Gloves
r
Consider the following:
3 Eye protection
r
r Respiratory protection
1. Small access point (restricts access)
2. Sloped floor (risk of slipping)
3. Material placement (restricts access)
4. Equipment placement (restricts access)
5. Equipment in space (requires lockout)
6. Internal baffles (restricts access)
7. Heights or depths (risk of falling)
8. Near power lines (risk of electrocution)
9. Stacking or bridging of materials (risk of engulfment or
being buried)
10. Presence of pinch points (risk of being caught between)
11. Upstream fluids (risk of drowning)
11a. Upstream solids (risk of engulfment)
12. Slippery flooring (risk of slipping)
13. Laser measurement devices are present (risk of eye injury)
14. Dust in space (irritation or restricted vision)
15. Power tools (risk of electrocution — ground fault interrupter
required)
16. Hot work being done (risk of fire)
17. Use of irritant or corrosive chemicals
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
22a.
23.
24.
25.
26.
26a.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
Rusting substances using up oxygen
Internal baffles restricting ventilation
Equipment placement restricting ventilation
Below grade potential for gases to sink into space
Near contaminant sources that may affect atmosphere
Risk of upstream gases (risk of being overcome)
Near spill sources that may require coordination with
other agencies
Radiation — isotope measuring devices
Flammable dust — non-flammable dust
Temperature extremes — too hot, too cold
Use of steam to clean (risk of inhalation of mists)
Compressed gas
Excessive noise
Hot work or use of chemicals causing exposure above
WorkSafeBC limit
Materials being used to clean the space are toxic (risk of
being overcome or becoming ill)
Contaminants existing inside the space that cannot be
cleaned or purged prior to entry.
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3 Footwear
r
3 Full body harness
r
Confined Space Entry Permit — Page 4 of 4
Name of space (permit expires at end of shift)
Smith Street Pump Station
Control measures
1. Use tripod, lifeline, and harness. When descending ladder, use three-point contact.
4. Do not service the pump while inside the space. Remove pump using lifting device . Make sure pump is not on
the edge of the hole when servicing, and use a barricade or cover the hole to prevent a fall hazard.
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7. 2 metre ladder. Use caution. Allow no slack in lifeline when ascending or descending.
12. Floor may be slippery. Use caution.
18. Possibility of lack of oxygen. Pre-test and purge prior to entry. Ventilate and use a continuous monitor during
entry. Standby person must be stationed at entranceway during entry. Place outlet hose from ventilator close
to workers during entry.
21. Ensure any internal combustion engines are not close to the air intake or are not upwind of intake.
22. Chlorination station is located nearby. If alarm sounds in station, ensure all workers exit space immediately.
Evacuate by moving upwind of the station.
23. Local hazmat team can provide the necessary emergency response equipment and expertise, and have agreed
in writing to attend if a chlorine leak develops. (Call 911)
28. Unless noisy equipment will be used in the space during the inspection, there is no requirement to use hearing
protection.
29. This permit does not provide information about the requirements during hot work or when cleaning materials
are being used.
TO GET HELP in an EMERGENCY
Cell phone call — 604 111-4444
Radio — Use Code Red
Be prepared to give exact location and circumstances to dispatch.
DO NOT ENTER SPACE TO RENDER ASSISTANCE (unless you are trained to do so, and another
qualified standby person is stationed at the entranceway). Your job is to get help, not to provide any
rescue service unless you have been specifically trained as a rescue provider.
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Glossary
Where a term is defined in the Occupational Health and Safety
Regulation, the section number containing the definition is included in
parentheses. Other definitions give the meaning of the term as used in
this manual.
Adjacent piping
A device such as a pipe, line, duct, or conduit which is connected to a
confined space or is so located as to allow a substance from within the
device to enter the confined space (section 9.1).
Asphyxiant
A vapour or gas that can cause unconsciousness or death by suffocation
(lack of oxygen). There are two classes of asphyxiants: simple asphyxiants
such as nitrogen or methane that act by replacing oxygen in the air, and
chemical asphyxiants such as carbon monoxide that cause asphyxiation by
preventing the body cells from using the oxygen in the blood.
Auto-ignition temperature
Temperature at which a flammable gas or vapour can catch fire without a
source of ignition.
Blank
A solid plate installed through the cross-section of a pipe, usually at a
flanged connection (section 9.1).
Blanking or blinding
The absolute closure of adjacent piping, by fastening across its bore
a solid plate or cap that completely covers the bore and is capable of
withstanding the maximum pressure of the adjacent piping.
Blind
A solid plate installed at the end of a pipe that has at that point been
physically disconnected from a piping system.
Breathable air
See Clean respirable air.
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Clean respirable air
When used to describe the atmosphere inside a confined space, means an
atmosphere that is equivalent to clean, outdoor air and that contains:
(a) about 20.9 percent oxygen by volume,
(b) no measurable flammable gas or vapour as determined using a
combustible gas measuring instrument, and
(c) no air contaminant in concentrations exceeding either 10 percent of
its applicable exposure limit in Part 5 of the Occupational Health
and Safety Regulation or an acceptable ambient air quality standard
established by an authority having jurisdiction over environmental air
standards, whichever is greater (section 9.1).
Confined space
Except as otherwise determined by the Board*, means an area, other than
an underground working, that:
(a) is enclosed or partially enclosed,
(b) is not designed or intended for continuous human occupancy,
(c) has limited or restricted means for entry or exit that may complicate
the provision of first aid, evacuation, rescue, or other emergency
response service, and
(d) is large enough and so configured that a worker could enter to
perform assigned work (section 9.1, effective January 1, 2005).
* “Otherwise determined by the Board”
Refer to the Guidelines for Part 9 of the OHS Regulation available at
WorkSafeBC.com.
Contaminant
A harmful or irritant material, or nuisance dust, foreign to the normal
composition of a substance, or a material that varies the normal
proportions of components in a mixture such as air (section 1.1).
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Continuous monitoring
Continuous atmospheric testing of a confined space, while workers are in
the space, to identify concentrations of gas, oxygen, and explosives.
CSA
Canadian Standards Association.
Disconnecting
Physically disconnecting (and misaligning) adjacent piping from a
confined space to prevent its contents from entering the space in the event
of discharge (section 9.1).
Double block and bleed
The closure of adjacent piping by locking out a drain or vent in the open
position in the line between two locked out valves in the closed position
(section 9.1).
Due diligence
Due diligence means taking all reasonable care to protect the well-being of
employees or co-workers. To meet the standard of due diligence, you must
take all precautions that are reasonable in the circumstances so that you
can carry out your work and your health and safety responsibilities. This
is the standard of care required to comply with the Occupational Health
and Safety Regulation.
Entering a confined space
A worker has entered a confined space when the worker’s breathing zone
breaks the plane of an opening into the confined space.
Engineering controls
The physical arrangement, design, or alteration of workstations,
equipment, materials, production facilities, or other aspects of the
physical work environment, for the purpose of controlling risk
(section 1.1).
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Flammable gas
A substance which meets the criteria for WHMIS Class B Division 1
flammable gas (a compressed gas with an upper flammable limit of 13%
or less or with an explosive range of 12% or more) (section 5.1).
Flammable liquid
A substance that meets the criterion for WHMIS Class B Division 2
flammable liquid (a flash point less than 37.8°C (100°F)) (section 1.1).
Flange
A protruding rim, edge, or collar, usually on a pipe, used to strengthen an
object, hold it in place, or attach it to another object.
Harmful substance
A WHMIS controlled product, a substance referred to under section 5.48,
or a substance that may have a harmful effect on a worker in a confined
space (section 9.1).
Hazard
A thing or condition that may expose a person to the risk of injury or
occupational disease (section 1.1).
Hazard assessment
Hazard identification and risk assessment of a confined space conducted
by the qualified person.
Hazardous substance
See Harmful substance.
High-hazard atmosphere
An atmosphere that may expose a worker to risk of death, incapacitation,
injury, acute illness or otherwise impair the ability of the worker to escape
unaided from a confined space, in the event of a failure of the ventilation
system or respirator (section 9.1).
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IDLH atmosphere
Means an atmosphere containing a substance at a concentration that is
immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) because the concentration
is greater than that from which one could escape without any escapeimpairing symptoms or irreversible health effects, and includes an
atmosphere with an unknown concentration with the potential to be
immediately dangerous to life or health (section 1.1).
Inerting
Intentionally flooding the inside of a confined space with an inert gas
such as nitrogen to eliminate the hazard of ignition of flammable vapours
inside the confined space but thereby creating an oxygen-deficient
atmosphere (section 9.1).
Intrinsically safe
To ensure something is intrinsically safe refers to ensuring an electrical
apparatus is designed so that it is unable to release sufficient energy, by
either thermal or electrical means, to cause an ignition of a flammable gas.
Lockout
Means the use of a lock or locks to render machinery or equipment
inoperable or to isolate an energy source in accordance with a written
procedure (section 10.1).
Low-hazard atmosphere
An atmosphere that is shown by pre-entry testing or otherwise known to
contain clean respirable air immediately prior to entry to a confined space
and which is not likely to change during the work activity, as determined
by the qualified person after consideration of the design, construction,
and use of the confined space, the work activities to be performed, and
all engineering controls required by the Occupational Health and Safety
Regulation (section 9.1).
Lower explosive limit (LEL)
The minimum concentration of combustible gas or vapour in air,
expressed as a percentage by volume, that will ignite if a source of ignition
is present (section 23.1). Also known as lower flammable limit (LFL).
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Material safety data sheet or MSDS
A document disclosing the information referred to in section 13(a)(i) to
(v) of the Hazardous Products Act (Canada) and section 12(1) to (3) of the
Controlled Products Regulations (Canada) (section 1.1).
Mechanical ventilation
Ventilation of a space with mechanical air movers (such as fans) or local
exhaust systems and a means of directing the air, such as ductwork.
Moderate-hazard atmosphere
An atmosphere that is not clean respirable air but is not likely to impair
the ability of the worker to escape unaided from a confined space, in the
event of a failure of the ventilation system or respirator (section 9.1).
Natural ventilation
Ventilation of a space by natural air movement resulting from wind or
convection currents.
NIOSH
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (in the United States).
Oxygen deficient
In relation to air, a condition in which there is less than 19.5% oxygen
by volume, or the partial pressure of oxygen is less than 16.3 kPa
(122 mm Hg) (section 1.1).
Purging
The process of removing an unsafe atmosphere in a confined space and
replacing it with clean respirable air.
Qualified
Being knowledgeable of the work, the hazards involved and the means
to control the hazards, by reason of education, training, experience, or
a combination thereof (definition in section 1.1). See page 10 for further
information on what training and experience are acceptable for a person
conducting a hazard assessment or preparing written procedures for a
confined space.
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Rescue person
A person who is properly equipped and adequately trained to perform
rescue duties in confined spaces.
Risk
A chance of injury or disease (section 1.1).
Standby person
A person stationed outside a confined space whose responsibility is to
check on the well-being of workers inside the space and initiate rescue in
an emergency.
Supervisor of the entry
The person assigned responsibility for supervision of a confined space
entry under section 9.7. Section 1.1 defines a supervisor as a person who
instructs, directs, and controls workers in the performance of their duties.
Ventilation
See Mechanical ventilation and Natural ventilation.
Venting
Opening up a confined space to allow clean air to enter and circulate
without the use of mechanical ventilation.
Venturi effect
Compressed air moving through a pipe that narrows causes a reduction of
air pressure in the narrow part of the pipe. The reduction of air pressure
results in air subsequently rushing in to fill the space. Air horns work on
this principle. In a 16" model, input of 40 PSI @ 73 CFM might provide an
output of 2,200 CFM.
WHMIS
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System.
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WorkSafeBC Offices
Visit our web site at WorkSafeBC.com.
Abbotsford
2774 Trethewey Street V2T 3R1
Phone 604 276-3100
1 800 292-2219
Fax 604 556-2077
North Vancouver
400 – 224 Esplanade W. V7M 1A4
Phone 604 276-3100
1 888 875-6999
Fax 604 232-1558
Burnaby
450 – 6450 Roberts Street V5G 4E1
Phone 604 276-3100
1 888 621-7233
Fax 604 232-5950
Prince George
1066 Vancouver Street V2L 5M4
Phone 250 561-3700
1 800 663-6623
Fax 250 561-3710
Coquitlam
104 – 3020 Lincoln Avenue V3B 6B4
Phone 604 276-3100
1 888 967-5377
Fax 604 232-1946
Surrey
100 – 5500 152 Street V3S 5J9
Phone 604 276-3100
1 888 621-7233
Fax 604 232-7077
Courtenay
801 30th Street V9N 8G6
Phone 250 334-8765
1 800 663-7921
Fax 250 334-8757
Terrace
4450 Lakelse Avenue V8G 1P2
Phone 250 615-6605
1 800 663-3871
Fax 250 615-6633
Kamloops
321 Battle Street V2C 6P1
Phone 250 371-6003
1 800 663-3935
Fax 250 371-6031
Victoria
4514 Chatterton Way V8X 5H2
Phone 250 881-3418
1 800 663-7593
Fax 250 881-3482
Kelowna
110 – 2045 Enterprise Way V1Y 9T5
Phone 250 717-4313
1 888 922-4466
Fax 250 717-4380
Head Office / Richmond
Prevention Information Line:
Phone 604 276-3100
1 888 621-7233 (621-SAFE)
Nanaimo
4980 Wills Road V9T 6C6
Phone 250 751-8040
1 800 663-7382
Fax 250 751-8046
Nelson
524 Kootenay Street V1L 6B4
Phone 250 352-2824
1 800 663-4962
Fax 250 352-1816
Administration:
6951 Westminster Highway
Phone 604 273-2266
Mailing Address:
PO Box 5350 Stn Terminal
Vancouver BC V6B 5L5
After Hours
Health & Safety Emergency
604 273-7711
1 866 922-4357 (WCB-HELP)
R06/06
R04/07
Printed in Canada
BK84
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