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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

SM 445-2-H CHAPTER 40

Confined Spaces

40.1  Purpose and Scope.

A.  To specify the minimum Occupational Safety and Health Program (Program) requirements for Department of the Interior (Department or DOI) and U.S. Geological Survey (Bureau or USGS) confined space entry requirements.

B.  This chapter covers USGS personnel and contractors working in any area that is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work, has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, is not designed for continuous employee occupancy, has poor ventilation, could contain or retain a hazardous atmosphere, or could pose an engulfment or entrapment hazard.  Entry into a confined space is defined as placing any part of the face or body into the space.  Common examples of potential confined spaces include stilling wells, sewers, sewer manholes, most sewer inlets and outfalls, some culverts, vaults, tanks, trenches, pits, pipe assemblies, ducts, silos, storage bins, and hoppers.

C.  Where respiratory hazards exist, the requirements of Chapter 18 (Industrial Hygiene) of this Handbook shall also apply.

40.2  Authorities/References.

A.  29 CFR 1910.146, Permit Required Confined Spaces, http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_data/1910_0146.html

B.  29 CFR 1910.146 Appendix A, Permit Required Confined Space Decision Flow Chart, http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_data/1910_0146_APP_A.html

C.  29 CFR 1910.146 Appendix B, Procedures for Atmospheric Testing, http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_data/1910_0146_APP_B.html

D.  29 CFR 1910.146 Appendix D, Sample Permits, http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_data/1910_0146_APP_D.html

40.3  Requirements.

A.  Job hazard analyses (JHA’s) (see Chapter 15 of this Handbook), shall be performed to determine the potential presence of hazardous conditions for tasks requiring entry into a confined space. After completing the JHA, a determination will be made as to whether or not a permit is required.

B.  If the JHA and applicable air monitoring confirms that the confined space does not contain, or does not have the potential to contain any hazard capable of causing death or serious physical harm (i.e., no atmospheric hazard, physical stressor, and entrapment or engulfment hazard exists), then a permit is not required and the space shall be classified as a “Non Permit” confined space.

C.  If the JHA results and applicable air monitoring confirm the confined space contains atmospheric hazard or physical stressor, and/or entrapment or engulfment hazards exist, then the confined space shall be classified as a “Permit Required” confined space.

D.  A written Permit Required Confined Space (PRCS) Program will be established for all USGS activities where personnel are performing duties in areas designated a PRCS and shall include all information and guidance necessary to protect personnel from applicable hazards in accordance with 1910.146(d). In addition to the program plan, each PRCS requires a written entry permit addressing space specific hazards, controls, personnel rosters, etc., per 1910.146(f).

E.  Personnel shall be assigned specific PRCS entry or support positions and shall receive training specific to the assigned position. Assignments include authorized entrant 29 CFR 1910.146(h), attendant 29 CFR 1910.146(i), entry supervisor, 29 CFR 1910.146(j), or rescue service 29 CFR 1910.146(k). Initial training shall be provided and documented per 29 CFR 1910.146(g).

F.  Should an atmospheric hazard exist that can be controlled by continuous forced air ventilation and air monitoring is performed routinely to ensure a nonhazardous atmosphere is maintained, then the confined space does not require individual permitting subject to the conditions of 29 CFR 1910.146(C)(5). However, a confined space program plan and a standard operating procedure (SOP) covering the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.146(C)(5)(ii) shall be developed for these spaces.

G.  Confined space program plans shall be submitted to the appropriateRegional Safety Officer or Regional Safety Manager for review and approval. Upon acceptance of the program plan and completion of employee training, medical surveillance, and respiratory protection requirements, supervisors shall be authorized to approve space specific entry permits for their activities.

H.  Provide employees performing permit required confined space work appropriate medical surveillance examinations prior to duty in a confined space and periodically thereafter as recommended by the consulting physician.

I.  To determine if the space is permit required see CFR 1910.146, OSHA CFR, Appendix A, Permit Required Confined Space Decision Flowchart.

40.4  Responsibilities.

A.  Bureau Safety Manager.

(1)  Conducts periodic evaluations of Regional Headquarters and samples regional science programs to determine the effectiveness and degree of confined space entry program administration and implementation to satisfy all requirements of this chapter and 29 CFR 1910.146, making  recommendations for improvements as appropriate.

(2)  Provides technical guidance to Regional Safety Managers on implementation of confined space entry permit programs.

B.  Regional Safety Managers.

(1)  Conduct periodic evaluations of Regional Headquarters and regional science programs to determine the effectiveness and degree of confined space entry program administration and implementation and make recommendations for improvements as appropriate.

(2)  Review all confined space program plans for the Regional Headquarters and regional offices approving subject plans upon their satisfying all requirements of this chapter and CFR 1910.146.

(3)  Provide technical assistance to Regional Safety Officers and Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators (CDSPC’s) on implementation of confined space programs.

(4)  Provide regional program oversight and direction.

C.  Regional Safety Officers.

(1)  Review all field location confined space program plans for their respective regional science program, approving subject plans upon their satisfying all requirements of this chapter and 1910.146.

(2)  Provide technical assistance to regional science program field location CDSPC’s on implementation of confined space entry permit programs.

(3)  Conduct periodic evaluations confined space programs throughout the region to determine the effectiveness and degree of program administration and implementation and make recommendations for improvements, as appropriate.

D.  Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators (CDSPC’s).

(1)  Coordinate employee and supervisor awareness programs of confined space program requirements as detailed within this chapter.

(2)  Obtain training and identify technical resources to assist supervisors in identification of confined space hazards and in the development and implementation of the organizational confined space entry program, to include personnel medical examinations, training, and respiratory protection program requirements, as applicable.

(3)  Assist supervisors in preparing program plans and coordinating approval through the appropriate Regional Safety Officer or Regional Safety Manager, as applicable.

(4)  Maintain a copy of local confined space program plans.

E.  Organizational Managers and Supervisors.

(1)  Provide sufficient resource allocation to establish and maintain a confined space entry permit program consistent with this chapter and 29 CFR 1910.146 for employees working in confined space environments.

(2)  Coordinate accomplishment of JHA’s to determine the presence of hazardous conditions within all confined spaces requiring personnel entry and to determine if the space is permit required.

(3)  Establish and implement a confined space program appropriate to the level of identified hazard within the JHA.

(4)  Assign personnel to specific PRCS entry or support positions and provide training specific to their assigned duties if the JHA indicates the space requires a permit.

(5)  Obtain training appropriate to the scope of the confined space program for which they are responsible.

(6)  Provide employees performing permit required confined space work appropriate medical surveillance examinations prior to duty in a confined space and periodically thereafter as recommended by the consulting physician.

(7)  Maintain records of medical examinations as required to document employee fitness for duty.

F.  Personnel.

(1)  Comply with instructions/training received on the hazards associated with confined space entry.

(2)  Maintain and properly use personal protective equipment.

(3)  Participate in all medical surveillance required under this section or whenever a serious injury is sustained that could impact the individual’s ability to perform under the stresses of working in confined spaces or wearing respiratory protection.

G.  Contracting Technical Representatives (COTR’s).

(1)  Inform the contractor of the PRCS’s and ensure that the contractor complies with the requirements of this chapter and 29 CFR 1910.146.

(2)  Ensure coordination of entry operations when both contractor and USGS personnel are working in or around the same entry permit space.

(3)  Ensure contractors provide a copy of their entry permit program to the appropriate Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinator, Regional Safety Officer, or Regional Safety Manager, as applicable, for review. Ensure contractors do not start work until the contractor’s permit entry program has been approved.

40.5  Additional Resources.

A.  29 CFR 1910.146, Appendix C, Examples of Permit Required Confined Space Programs, http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_data/1910_0146_APP_C.html

B.  29 CFR 1910.146, Appendix E, Sewer System Entry, http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_data/1910_0146_APP_E.html

C.  DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 87-113, A Guide to Safety in Confined Spaces, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/pdfs/87-113.pdf

D.  OSHA Interpretations for 29 CFR 1910.146, http://www.Osha-slc.gov/OshDoc/Interp_Std_toc/Interp_TOC_for_1910_0146.html

E.  OSHA Technical Links

F.  Terminology (link not available). Please consider the following like to OSHA (Flow Chart), http://www.osha_slc.gov/OshStd_data/1910_0146_APP_A.html

G.  Confined Spaces Technical Advisor (OSHA), http://www.osha-slc.gov/dts/osta/oshasoft/csa.html



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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
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Last modification: 13-Feb-2013@17:02 (kk)