Confined spaces are broken down into two categories, permit required and non-permit required. We will focus on permit required confined space entry.
Permit Required Confined-Space Entry
This is defined as:
Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; and
Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (for example, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, and pits are spaces that may have limited means of entry); and
Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.
These spaces can be classified as permit required for many different reasons. Some of the most common are hazardous atmosphere, extreme heat, or size of work area.
When entering a permit required confined space certain precautions must be taken:
- Multiple qualified people on site
- Atmospheric meter (reads oxygen levels and alerts to hazardous gases)
- Ventilation plan
- Rescue system
- Communication equipment if necessary
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) like safety glasses and hardhats
- Proper lighting within the area
After the space has been assessed and the required precautions are taken a permit can be submitted and work can begin. To determine whether this is something that will be required we advise you talk to your insurance company and discuss with any other necessary parties.