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Confined space Entry

Prepared by:
Nag Mani Mishra,
Assistant Director(Safety),
Regional Labour Institute,
Confined Spaces
Confined Space Entry

• Construction Industry Standard


• General Industry Standard


• Best Practices for all Industries

Typical Confined Spaces
• Boiler, Degreaser, Furnace
• Pipeline, Pit, Pumping Station
• Reaction or Process Vessel, Mills
• Septic Tank, Sewage Digestor
• Silo, Storage Tank, Barges
• Sewer, Utility Vault, Manhole
• Trenches, Shafts, Caissons
The Three Elements of a
Confined Space

• Is large enough and so configured that an

employee can bodily enter and perform
assigned work; and

• Has limited openings for entry and exit, and

• Is not designed for continuous worker
Categorizing Work Space
* Space not large enough to enter &; NO
* Limited or Restricted entry or exit &; Not a confined Space
* Not designed for continuous worker
YES Confined Space

Permit- Hazardous Atmosphere Non

Required YES Engulfment Hazard NO Permit
Confined Configuration Hazard Required
Any other recognized
Space Space
serious hazard
Limited Openings for
• Openings as small as 18 inches in diameter.
• Difficult to enter with SCBA or other life-saving

• Difficult to remove downed worker in folded up or

bent over position.

• Exit from large openings may be difficult due to

presence of ladders, hoists, etc.
Unfavorable Natural
• Lack of air movement in and out of the space can
create an atmosphere much different than the
outside atmosphere.

• Deadly gases can be trapped inside.

• Organic materials can decompose.
• May not be enough oxygen due to presence of other
gases or chemical reactions such as rusting.
Not Designed for Continuous
Worker Occupancy

• Most confined spaces are not designed to enter and

work in on a regular basis.

• Designed to store a product.

• Enclose materials or processes.
• Transport products or substances.
• Occasional worker entry for inspection, repair,
cleanup, maintenance, etc.
Dangerous Combinations
• Presence of all three confined space characteristics can
complicate the situation.

• Working in and around the space.

• Rescue operations during emergencies.

• Worsened conditions due to work activities:

 Welding and cutting, use of bonding agents

 Cleaning with solvents, use of other chemicals

 Use of gas-powered equipment

Hazards of Confined Spaces
• Oxygen Deficient Atmospheres
• Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres
• Flammable Atmospheres
• Toxic Atmospheres
• Temperature Extremes
• Engulfment Hazards
• Noise, Slick/Wet Surfaces, Falling Objects
Oxygen Deficient Atmospheres
19.5 % Minimum acceptable oxygen level.

15 - 19% Decreased ability to work strenuously.

Impair coordination. Early symptoms.

12-14% Respiration increases. Poor judgment.

10-12% Respiration increases. Lips blue.

8-10% Mental failure. Fainting. Nausea

Unconsciousness. Vomiting.

6-8% 8 minutes - fatal, 6 minutes - 50% fatal

4-5 minutes - possible recovery.

4-6% Coma in 40 seconds. Death

Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres
• Oxygen level above 21%.

• Causes flammable and combustible materials to burn violently

when ignited.

• Hair, clothing, materials, etc.

• Oil soaked clothing and materials.

• Never use pure oxygen to ventilate.

• Never store or place compressed tanks in a confined space.

Flammable Atmospheres
• 2 Critical Factors:

 Oxygen content in the air.

 Presence of a flammable gas, or vapor

 Presence of dust (visibility of 5’ or less)

• Proper air/gas mixture can lead to explosion

• Typical Ignition Sources:

 Sparking or electric tool.

 Welding / cutting operations.

 Smoking
Toxic Atmospheres
• Product stored in a confined space:

 Gases released when cleaning.

 Materials absorbed into walls of confined space.

 Decomposition of materials in the confined space.

• Work performed in a confined space:

 Welding, cutting, brazing, soldering.

 Painting, scraping, sanding, degreasing.

 Sealing, bonding, melting.

• Areas adjacent to a confined space.

Hydrogen Sulfide
• Decomposition of materials. Human waste.

• Rotten egg odor at low concentrations.

• Possibly no warning at high concentrations.

PPM Effect Time

10 ppm Permissible Exposure Level 8 Hours

50 - 100 Mild Irritation - eyes, throat 1 Hour

200 - 300 Significant Irritation 1 Hour

500 -700 Unconsciousness, Death 1/2 - 1 Hour

>1000 Unconsciousness, Death Within One Minute

Carbon Monoxide

• Odorless, Colorless Gas.

• Combustion By-Product.
• Quickly collapse at high concentrations.
PPM Effect Time
50 Permissible Exposure Level 8 Hours
200 Slight headache, discomfort 3 Hours
600 Headache, discomfort 1 Hour
1000-2000 Confusion, nausea, headache 2 Hours
1000-2000 Tendency to stagger 1 1/2 Hours
1000-2000 Slight heart palpitation 30 Min.
2000-2500 Unconsciousness 30 Min.
Temperature Extremes
• Extremely hot or cold temperatures.
• Steam cleaning of confined spaces.
• Humidity factors.
• Extremely cold liquids.
• Work processes inside the confined space can
increase temperature extremes.

• Personal protective equipment.

Engulfment Hazards

• Loose, granular materials stored in bins

and hoppers - grain, sand, coal, etc.

• Crusting and bridging below a worker.

• Flooding of confined space.
• Water or sewage flow.
Other Hazards
• Noise
 Amplified due to acoustics within the space.
 Damaged hearing, affect communication.
• Slick / Wet Surfaces
 Slips and falls.
 Increased chance of electric shock.
• Falling Objects
 Topside openings expose workers inside
confined space to falling objects.
Internal Configuration
Testing The Atmosphere
• Verify presence of safe work
• Test all areas of a confined space.
 Top, Middle, Bottom
• Methane is lighter than air.
• Carbon Monoxide is the same as air.
• Hydrogen Sulfide is heavier than air.
• Oxygen Deficiency.
• First option to correct problems.
• Must be aware of hazards you are
trying to correct in the confined space.
• Air intake in a safe location to draw
fresh air only.
• Continuous ventilation whenever
• Retest the confined space before entry.
• Locking and tagging out electrical sources.
• Blanking and bleeding pneumatic and
hydraulic lines.
• Disconnecting mechanical drives and shafts.
• Securing mechanical parts.
• Blanking sewer and water flow.
• Locking and tagging out shutoff valves.
• Air-Purifying Respirators
 Filter dangerous substances from the air.
 Must know the type and amount of hazardous
substance present in the confined space.
 NEVER use with oxygen deficiency!
• Air-Supplying Respirators
 Deliver a safe supply of breathing air from a tank
or an uncontaminated area nearby.
 Must be adequately monitored.
Permit Entry Systems
• Written permit signed by entry supervisor.
• Verifies pre-entry precautions have been
taken and the space is safe to enter.
• Posted at entry to confined space.
• Specifies apparent hazards and corrective
actions taken prior to entry.
• Requires termination of permit when task is
completed or when new conditions exist.
Entry Permit Requirements
• Date, location, and name of confined space.
• Purpose of entry and known hazards.
• Duration of entry permit time.
• Authorized entrants, attendants, supervisors.
• Air testing results - signature of tester.
• Protective measures to be taken.
 Ventilation, Isolation, Flushing
 Lockout / Tagout, Purging
Entry Permit Requirements
• Name and phone numbers of rescue
and emergency services.
• Communication procedures.
• Special equipment and procedures.
 Personal protective equipment.
 Alarm procedures.
 Rescue equipment.
 Respirators.
Standby / Rescue
• Worker assigned to remain outside the
confined space and be in constant
contact with the workers inside.
• Know emergency rescue procedures.
• 50% of workers who die in confined
spaces are would-be rescuers.
• Trained in use of emergency rescue
equipment and PPE.
Training and Education
• All workers who must enter confined spaces
• All attendants and rescue team members.
• Prior to initial work assignment.
• Retraining:
 Job duties change.
 Change in permit-space program.
 New hazards are present.
 Job performance indicates deficiencies.
Confined Space Rescue
Training Compliance
Most confined space fatalities
are poorly trained rescuers…

Many of these heroes died

because their employer
unintentionally broke the law-
OSHA regulations!
OSHA’s 3 levels of protection
for confined space entrants:
1) Permitting procedure identifies hazards
and addresses protective measures
2) Retrieval equipment required for quick
external rescue
3) Rescue services required to be available
to perform internal rescue
Employer shall ensure...

(i) The outside rescuer can effectively

respond in a timely manner to rescue
(ii) The outside rescuer is equipped, trained,
and capable of functioning appropriately to
perform permit space rescues…
(iii) …rescuer is aware of the hazards…
(iv) …provide access...
Response Vs Rescue Time...

(1) React Time:

Attendant recognizes that the Entrant
has a problem.
(2) Contact Time:
Attendant contacts the Rescue Service.
(3) Response Time:
Rescue Service arrives at the scene.
Rescue Vs Response Time...

(4) Assessment Time:

Size-up and strategy determination.
(5) Preparation Time:
Rescue equipment set-up.
(6) Rescue Time:
Reaching, treating, packaging, and
evacuation of the victim.
Rescue Stand-by

Goal: 4-Minute Rescue Response

Possible only if rescuers are rigged and
ready while the entry is taking place.
This is defined as Rescue Stand-by.
Rescue Available

Appropriate (and Approximate!) Goals:

Respond To CS Scene / 10 Minutes
Reach The Victim(s) / 5-10 Minutes Later

Case law update….10 minute response held to

be not timely in a Nov. 1997 case!
Choosing the Appropriate
Decision: Stand-by Vs. Available
Each entry must be evaluated to determine
the appropriate response mode.
The evaluation must be done by a qualified
person (rescuer and/or entry supervisor).
Factors to be considered include the severity
of the hazard, required PPE, and the ability of
the entrant to self-rescue.
Timely Response, Training, and
Ventilation & Atmospheric Monitoring
Access/Egress (ladders, etc...)
Timely Response, Training, and

Documented training by each team member

via simulated rescues in every type of
confined space (Rescue training)
Authorized Entrant/Attendant
First Aid & CPR (Blood-borne pathogens)
Haz Com, PPE, Respiratory, Lockout, PSM
Equipment training (Fall Protection)
CSR Training:

Each rescue team member must be

trained to safely perform all assigned
rescue duties.
- Rigging
- Entry (claustrophobia)
- PPE utilized outside the space
- Equipment maintenance
- Individual skills (IPE)
Hands-on Rescue Training:

Each member must practice simulated

rescue operations at least once every
12 months in the actual PRCS or
representative spaces that simulate the
types of spaces based on opening
size, configuration, and
Rescue in Confined Space
What are the requirements for
practice rescue exercises?
1. Practice exercise must involve the actual
removal of dummies or persons from the
actual permit spaces or from
representative spaces.
2. Representative spaces need to simulate
the types of permit spaces from which
rescues may be performed with respect to:
· Opening size
· Configuration
· Accessibility
Ventilation of Confined Spaces
Confined Space Ventilation
Confined spaces are not normally
designed for convenient ventilation
Must take steps to:
 ensure air is breathable before entering
confined space
 maintain acceptable air quality in the
confined space during entry
Hotwork in Confined Spaces
Presents additional ventilation
challenges in confined spaces
Includes torch cutting, welding, brazing
and soldering, arch gouging
Hotwork in Confined Spaces
Remember… confined spaces
concentrate hazards!
Hotwork can create atmospheric
hazards in confined spaces from fumes,
gasses and vapors
Effective ventilation sometimes may
only be accomplished by mechanical
Natural Ventilation in
Confined Spaces
“Chimney Effect”
 convection process created by temperature
Occurs by sunlight heating vessel walls
and air within
If there is an opening in bottom and top
of vessel, upward draft created
Natural Ventilation Problems
Confined spaces rarely experience
uniform thermal conditions
Various sources of heat in confined
 human bodies
 lighting
 hotwork processes
Natural Ventilation Problems
Factors such as sunlight, body heat,
lighting and hotwork are usually not
sufficient to move enough air to provide
an acceptable atmosphere
Use of Mechanical Ventilation
Properly installed, can reduce or
eliminate respiratory protection
Effective engineering controls usually
less dependent on worker attention
than respiratory protection
When is ventilation necessary?
If atmosphere:
 contains insufficient oxygen or is oxygen
 contains flammable dusts or vapors
 contains hazardous or toxic vapors, mists,
fumes, gases, or fibers
When is ventilation necessary?
If atmosphere:
 is subject to activities that may generate
hazardous mists, vapors, fumes or gases,
or may create either an oxygen deficiency
or oxygen excess, and
 increases heat stress on workers to
unacceptable levels
Many people resist wearing PPE,
including respiratory protection
Tangle of supplied air hoses in vessel
with many welders can present a
Ventilation- 29 CFR
Spaces that require ventilation
 work space less than 16 feet high
 volume less than 10,000 cubic feet per
 work areas with partitions, structural
barriers, or other barriers that significantly
obstruct airflow
Ventilation- 29 CFR 1910.252
Ventilation options:
 provide at least 2000 cfm of airflow for
each active welder; or
 provide each welder with a local exhaust
 local exhaust devices must be capable of
maintaining a velocity of 100 fpm toward the
air intake
Ventilation Requirements
29 CFR 1910.252 and 29 CFR 1926.353
require use of local exhaust ventilation
or supplied air respiratory protection
when performing hotwork using certain
Air Moving Devices
Two types:
 Fans
 Venturi-type eductors
Can be air, steam or electrically driven
Sometimes called “air horns”
Air powered and rely on venturi effects
to move air
Criteria for Rating Air Movers
Free Air Delivery
Effective Blower Capacity
Quantity of air and air pressure required
(air-driven devices)
Electrical power requirements
(electrically driven devices)
Factors Reducing Performance
Equipment components in confined
Maintenance/construction materials
erected in space
Obstructions in make-up air manway
Insufficient number of make-up air
Factors Reducing Performance
More restrictions to overcome = less air
Air moving into space equals amount of
air leaving the space
Air Driven Devices-
Poor Performance
Reduced pressure and volume to air
driven devices from multiple users
Excessively long air hoses
Increasing Performance
Supplemental air compressors
dedicated to air mover use (air driven
Supplemental air compressors
connected directly to plant air system
Eliminate “short-circuiting” of airflow
Designing Ventilation Systems
Configuration, contents and tasks
determine type of ventilation
 opening configuration
 properties of expected atmospheric
 type of work being performed
Electrically Driven Centrifugal

Designed to overcome higher static

Usually heavier than air-driven
Can be used remotely to reduce noise
Due to power, can suck up debris
Local Exhaust
Single manway vessels
Interior obstructions that create “dead
Lack of feasible way to attach air-
moving device
Work with toxic metals
Local Exhaust
Effective only when it captures and
removes welding fumes and gasses at
the source as they are emitted
100 fpm capture velocity at the source
of fumes or gasses
Local Exhaust- Considerations
Long runs reduce airflow
Airflow loss minimized by use of smooth
ducting with large radius bends
Run flexible ducting as straight as
Consider using plenums for multiple
Field test flow/personal air monitors
Make-up air quality
Mechanical ventilation uses surrounding
Make sure the make-up air is not a
source of airborne contaminants
Confined Spaces
Pre Entry
Consider the following:
Piping systems
Electrical hazards
Means of access
Fall protection
Pre Entry
Visual Inspection (Competent Person)
Employee Training
Exchanging Information
Atmospheric Testing
 Shipyard Competent Person
 Certified Marine Chemist
 Certified Industrial Hygienist
 Coast Guard Authorized Person
Rescue Teams
Atmospheric Testing
Warning Signs and Labels
Visual Inspection
PPE for Entry
Rescue Teams
Hot Work