Confined Space List of Terms

Attendant: A person designated by the supervisor in charge of entry to remain outside the confined space and to be in constant communication with the personnel working inside the confined space.

Authorized Entrant: A person who is approved or assigned by the supervisor in charge of the entry to perform a specific type of duty or duties or to be at a specific location at the job site.

Bonding: The joining of two or more items with an electrical conductor so that all ends joined have the same electrical charge or potential.

Confined Space:

Identifying Confined Spaces

Recognition is an important aspect of making a safe entry into a confined space. Not all confined spaces will be considered permit-required confined spaces and being able to identify the difference between the two is important. To clarify what constitutes a Confined Space, the following definition will be used.

A Confined Space is any space that has the following characteristics:

• It is large enough or so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work.

• It has limited or restricted means for entry or exit. Confined-space openings are limited primarily by size and location. Openings may be small in size and may be difficult to move through easily. However, in some cases openings may be very large; for example, open-topped spaces such as pits or excavations. Entrance and exit may be required from top, bottom, or side. In some cases, having to access the work area by a fixed ladder may constitute limited or restricted entry or exit. Size or location will generally make rescue efforts difficult.

• It is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. Most confined spaces are not designed for employees to enter and work on a routine basis. They may be designed to store a product, enclose materials and processes, or transport products or substances. Because they are not designed for continuous occupancy, frequently they will not have good ventilation or lighting. Therefore, occasional employee entry for inspection, maintenance, repair, cleanup, or similar tasks, can be difficult and dangerous. The danger associated with entry may come from chemical or physical hazards within the space.

A Non-Permit Confined Space is a confined space that does not contain, nor has the potential to contain, any hazard capable of causing death or serious physical harm. Examples of non-permit required confined spaces might include the interiors of HVAC units, certain air plenums and pipe chases, attics, walk-in freezers or refrigerators, and some building crawl spaces.

Department Head: Department Heads are those people in charge of employees of the company or facility with common interests, jobs, or objectives.

Entry: The action by which a person passes through an opening into a permit-required confined space. Entry includes ensuing work activities in that space and is considered to have occurred as soon as any part of the entrant's body breaks the plane of an opening into the space.

Entry Permit: The written or printed document that is provided by the employer to allow and control entry into a permit space and that contains the information specified in this program.

Entry Supervisor: Supervisor or the designated representative (such as the foreman or crew chief) responsible for determining if acceptable entry conditions are present at a permit space where entry is planned, for authorizing entry and overseeing entry operations, and for terminating entry as required by this program. Note: An entry supervisor also may serve as an attendant or as an authorized entrant, as long as that person is trained and equipped as required by this program for each role he or she fills. Also, the duties of entry supervisor may be passed from one individual to another during the course of entry operation.

Identifying All Confined Spaces: All confined spaces located within a facility or under the facility's control should be identified. Once the space has been identified as Confined, the Environmental Health and Safety Dept. shall determine if a permit is required. All employees shall be made aware of these confined spaces through training or instruction provided by supervisors or their designated representatives. Assistance in this training shall be provided by EHS.

Hazardous Atmosphere: An atmosphere that may expose employees to the risk of death, incapacitation, impairment of ability to self-rescue (that is, escape unaided from a permit space), injury, or acute illness from one or more of the following causes:

• Flammable gas, vapor, or mist in excess of 10% of its lower flammable limit (LFL).

• Airborne combustible dust at a concentration that meets or exceeds its LFL.
(NOTE: This concentration may be approximated as a condition in which the dust obscures vision at a distance of 5 feet or less.)

• Atmospheric oxygen concentration below 19.5% or above 23.5%.

• Atmospheric concentration of any substance for which a dose or a permissible exposure limit is published in Subpart G, Occupational health and Environmental Control, or in Subpart Z, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, of 29 CFR 1910 and that could result in employee exposure in excess of its dose or permissible exposure limit.
(NOTE: An atmospheric concentration of any substance that is not capable of causing death, incapacitation, impairment of ability to self-rescue, injury, or acute illness due to its health effects is not covered by this provision.)

• Any other atmospheric condition that is immediately dangerous to life or health.
(NOTE: For air contaminants for which OSHA has not determined a dose or permissible exposure limit, other sources of information, such as Material Safety Data Sheets that comply with the Hazard Communication Standard, section 1910.1200, published information, and internal documents can provide guidance in establishing acceptable atmospheric conditions)

Hot Work: Any work involving burning, welding or similar fire-producing operations. Also, any work that produces a source of ignition, such as grinding, drilling, or heating.

Hot Work Permit: The employer's written authorization to perform operations (for example, riveting, welding, cutting, burning, and heating) capable of providing a source of ignition.

Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health: An atmosphere that poses an immediate threat of loss of life: May result in irreversible or immediate severe health effects; may result in eye damage/irritation; or other condition that could impair escape from a confined space.

Lower Explosive Limit (LEL): The minimum concentration of a combustible gas or vapor in air that will ignite if an ignition source is introduced..

Non-Permit Required Confined Space: A confined space that does not contain, nor has the potential to contain, any hazard capable of causing death or serious physical harm (with respect to atmospheric hazards).

Oxygen-Deficient Atmosphere: An atmosphere that contains an oxygen concentration of less than 19.5% by volume.

Oxygen-Enriched Atmosphere: An atmosphere that contains an oxygen concentration greater than 22% by volume.

PPE - Personal Protective Equipment: Any devices or clothing worn by the worker to protect against hazards in the environment. Examples are respirators, gloves, and chemical splash goggles.

PEL - Permissible Exposure Level: Concentration of a substance to which an individual may be exposed repeatedly without adverse effect.

Permit-Required Confined Space (see confined space)

Purging: The removal of gases or vapors from a confined space by the process of displacement.