Confined Space summary

Confined Spaces Policy
Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry Guidelines


Summary of the BYU-Idaho Permit-Required Confined Space Entry Program
OSHA defines a confined space as one whose size and shape allows an employee to enter and perform assigned work. It's not designed to be occupied continuously and has limited or restricted means for getting in and out.

Responsibilities of Work Supervisors:

Department and Area Work supervisors which have responsibility to install, service and/or maintain mechanical equipment and facilities have the following responsibilities:

1. Conduct periodic audits. Identify confined spaces, and post a warning signs which state A DANGER-PERMIT-REQUIRED CONFINED SPACE, DO NOT ENTER; at each location meeting the requirements of the PRCS Standard.  See Section 17 definitions of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry.

2. Testing. Ensure that appropriate tests are made by qualified personnel for confined spaces which are suspected of containing toxic materials, a flammable mixture or where there may be a deficiency of oxygen. 

3. Posting of MSDS sheets. Ensure that Material Safety Date Sheets are used where known or suspected hazardous materials are suspected to be found.

4. Atmospheric conditions. If the atmosphere in a confined space is found to have or is suspected of having an oxygen deficency, or if it exceeds toxic or flammable limits, the area shall be regulated by the standards of the Permit-Required confined Spaces Entry.  See section 4.5 and 4.6 of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry policy.

5. Training. Supervisors are responsible for the training of all affected personnel. Training shall include: Entry supervisor, Attendant, and Authorized Entry responsibilities; Confined Space Hazards: Confined Space Safeguards, Engineering, Work Practice Controls, and the Permit Process.  See section 5 and section 12 of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry Policy. *Training Records are to be maintained by each department with copies being forwarded to the University Safety Office.

6. Permit Procedures. Supervisors are to ensure that proper protocol is followed in regards to Confined Space Entry Permits.  See section 6 of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry Policy.

7. Isolating and Controlling Hazardous Energy. All energized systems that are being serviced, or other systems that might unexpectedly, improperly or accidentally be energized; should be "locked out" according to the BYU-Idaho Lockout/Tagout Policy.  Supervisors shall ensure that all employees are aware of the proper procedures in isolating and controlling hazardous energy, see section 7 of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry Policy.

8. Cleaning and Purging Equipment. Equipment to be entered must be emptied and made as clean and free of residue as possible by the appropriate means.  See section 8 of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry Policy.

9. Ventilating the Confined Space. A vessel shall be continuously ventilated if the work in progress creates fumes (i.e. cutting, welding, coating, steaming, removal of sludge).   Please refer to the specific requirements in section 9, of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry Policy. 

10. Gas Testing the Confined Space Atmosphere. A trained, authorized person should test the atmosphere to determine the presence of oxygen deficiency, combustible gases and any other hazardous condition which might be suspected. Refer to specific testing requirements in section 10, of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry Policy.

11. Identify Physical Hazards. A comprehensive hazard assessment must be conducted and work practices and other safeguards to minimize or control hazards must be completed before entry. Refer to specific hazard assessments, work practices and safeguards in section 11, of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry Policy.

12. Duties of Supervisor, Attendant, and Entrant. The specific duties of supervisor, attendant, and entrant are outlined in terms of confined spaces. Please refer and be familiar with all confined space duties as outlined in section 12, of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry Policy.

13. Rescue/Retrieval and Emergency Services. Specific procedures for entry, rescue, and training for such emergencies is outlined in section 13, of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces  Entry Policy.

14. Respiratory Protection. Where it is not known of a toxic or oxygen deficient atmosphere exists, or if sampling/monitoring indicates that there is a known oxygen deficiency or that toxic limits are exceeded then . . . APPROPRIATE RESPIRATORY PROTECTION MUST BE WORN.  Specific protocol is listed in section 14, of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry Policy.

15. Outside Servicing or Contractor Personnel. Authorized university personnel will issue all confined space entry permits. All contractors whose work will involve entry into confined spaces must train their personnel in BYU-Idaho PRCS program requirements. By signing the Confined Spaces Entry Permits, the contractor acknowledges that they have read, understood, and will follow all permit requirements, see section 15 of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry Policy

16. Annual Audits. The University Safety Department will perform annual audits of the "Confined Spaces Entry" program. Results of the audit will be forwarded to unit supervisors and department directors, see section 16 of the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Entry Policy.