Skip to main content
ESH Manual Page: 7000: Occupational Health and Safety
PROCEDURES FOR PERMIT REQUIRED CONFINED SPACE ENTRY

Listed below are the requirements for permit-required confined space entry procedures when any
Sanford Laboratory employee or scientific user (1) enters the space or (2) serves as entry
supervisor.

  1. Obtain and fill out a PRCS Entry Permit (See Appendix B )
    • The duration of the permit will be for the length of the job, so long as the conditions remain the same.
    • In the event that unacceptable conditions arise, the attendant will order an evacuation and inform the entry supervisor. The permit will be canceled, and a reevaluation will be required by the EHS department.
    • All significant identifiable hazards shall be listed on the permit.
    • If there is a shift change or multiple day jobs or change in entrants/attendants, a roster of entrants/attendants shall be attached to the permit if more space is needed.
    • Air monitoring records must be recorded on the permit.
    • All canceled confined space permits shall be retained by the division/section making the entry for a minimum of one (1) year.
  2. Assign roles of entry supervisor, attendant, entrant (record on permit). See Appendix E for supervisor and attendant responsibilities.
  3. Assure that there is at least one attendant outside the permit space, into which entry is authorized, for the duration of entry operations. The attendant may not monitor more than one confined space entry unless the Sanford Laboratory permit is amended to establish the means and procedures needed to enable the attendant to respond to one or more of the confined spaces.
  4. The confined space entry team (i.e., entry supervisor, attendant, and entrant) identifies and evaluates the hazards of the confined space before entry and indicates on the permit the potential hazards and protective measures needed. They include, but are not limited to:
    • Lockout/Tagout
    • Policy before personnel are permitted to enter the confined space. Lockout/Tagout All energy sources which are potentially hazardous to confined space entrants shall be secured, relieved, disconnected and/or restrained as per Pipelines or similar conveyances carrying any hazardous liquids or gases between the confined space and point(s) of isolation from any hazard shall be drained, cleaned or flushed of such materials as necessary to assure safety. The pipelines may be isolated by blocking, blinding or disconnecting.
    • NOTE: In confined spaces where complete isolation is not possible, provisions shall be made for as rigorous isolation as practical. Provisions shall be noted on the entry permit.
    • Ventilation shall be maintained during the occupancy of a confined space where there is a potential for the atmosphere to move out of an acceptable range. Natural ventilation is acceptable if it is determined by the entry supervisor to achieve adequate results.
    • Personal protective equipment, i.e., gloves, coveralls, respirators, hard hats, footwear, etc. shall be available and required for use, when needed. Personal protective equipment needed for a confined space entry will be based on the work that will be accomplished and the hazard.
    • Appropriate retrieval equipment To facilitate entry and non-entry rescues, retrieval systems shall be used whenever an authorized entrant enters a permit space. This equipment typically includes a full body harness attached by a retrieval line to a mechanical retrieval device or to a fixed point outside the permit space. Exceptions exist to this requirement if the use of retrieval equipment would increase the overall risk of entry or would not contribute to the rescue of the entrant. All entrants are required to wear a full body harness, even if it is not attached to a retrieval line.
    • Hazardous Atmosphere Potential atmospheric hazards shall be identified before entry. These routinely include oxygen deficiency, flammability, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide. Other toxic chemicals are added as needed. The atmosphere must be tested before and during entry by the attendant to assure it is within acceptable limits.
    • Monitor readings shall be recorded at a minimum of once an hour. Acceptable atmospheric limits for entry are:
      • i. Oxygen - 19.5% to 23.5% (separate requirements are applicable to designated oxygen deficiency hazard (ODH)).
      • ii. Flammability - Less than 10% of the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL).
      • iii. Toxicity - Carbon Monoxide in a confined space is 25 parts per million (ppm) and Hydrogen Sulfide in a confined space is 5 ppm.
    • NOTE: Contact the EHS Department for limits on other toxic chemicals.
    • Barriers Barriers shall be in place to protect entrants from external hazards.
    • Welding/Burning/Brazing Permit (Thermal Hot Work Permit- to be developed) The fire extinguishers required for this permit must be placed outside of the confined space.
  5. Entry supervisor assures all attendants and entrants are trained.
  6. Entry supervisor informs authorized entrants and attendants of the required safety equipment and their proper use.
  7. Entry supervisor verifies, by checking that the appropriate information has been entered onto the permit, that all tests specified on the permit have been conducted, and that all procedures and equipment specified by the permit are in place before approving the permit and allowing entry to begin.
  8. The attendant performs air monitoring before entry and continuously during entry for atmospheric and other hazards associated with the confined space. As stated earlier, the attendant shall record monitoring results on the permit at a minimum of once an hour. The entrant(s) may also be required to perform continuous monitoring for the hazards associatedwith the confined space in the event that the attendant is unable to monitor the immediate vicinity of the workers within the confined space.
  9. The entry supervisor shall authorize the permit before entry. The EHS Safety Officer or designee may be required to approve the permit before entry based upon the Job Hazard Analysis. If a written approval is not practical, a verbal approval may be given and so noted on the permit.
  10. The Project Manager and EHS Department shall be notified prior to entry.
  11. The entry supervisor determines whenever responsibility for confined space entry operation is transferred to another entry supervisor, that entry operations remain consistent with terms of the entry permit and that acceptable entry conditions are maintained.
  12. The attendant must keep in constant communication with the entrant(s).
  13. The attendant shall order the entrant(s) to evacuate the confined space immediately when there are:
    • a. Condition(s) which is/are not allowed in the permitted space.
    • b. Behavior effects of hazard exposure.
    • c. Any situation outside of the space which could endanger the entrants.
    • d. Sudden uncontrolled hazards within the confined space.
  14. When the attendant orders an evacuation, the entry supervisor shall be notified and shall cancel the entry authorization. The entry supervisor shall notify the EHS Department. Re- entry will not be permitted without the written approval of the EHS Department Safety Officer or designee.
  15. In the event of an emergency, the attendant will contact the Emergency Response Coordinator by following the Emergency Call-Out procedures for Surface and/or Underground. If a phone is not immediately available, radio communications shall be used. It is imperative that the attendant never enters a confined space to attempt a rescue. In the event of a rescue situation, the attendant's main role shall be to summon help.