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MFD Safety Program

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Confined Space

Recent Changes to SLAC Confined Space Program

Confined SpaceSignificant changes have been made to the SLAC confined space program detailed in ES&H Manual Chapter 6 "Confined Space". Major changes include establishing:

  • A formal procedure for entry into non-permit-required confined spaces (section 5.2.1).
  • A formal procedure for entry into permit-required confined spaces (section 5.2.2).
  • A requirement for a rescue plan for all Permit Required Confined Space Entries.
  • Expanded Roles & Responsibilities (section 5.1.3) for all personnel involved in confined space program. Positions new to the program are:
    • Confined Space Owners - MFD must designate an owner for each confined space in our buildings
    • Competent Entry Supervisors - This is a person who is responsible for determining if acceptable entry conditions are present for entry, for authorizing entry, overseeing entry operations, and terminating any permit required space operations. Randy Ralston has been qualified and designated to serve as a Competent Entry Supervisor for MFD (alternate is Don Dains)

Steps to Take for Entering a Confined Space

Entry into all confined spaces must be done following newly established procedures.

Classification of Confined Spaces

Confined spaces will be classified as permit-required or non-permit required by the confined space program manager or competent entry supervisor. The program manager will maintain an inventory of all confined spaces (database under development)

In addition, permit-required confined spaces will be evaluated, profiled, and labeled by the program manager or a competent entry supervisor.

Confined space

A space that has the following three characteristics:

  • It is large enough and so configured that a person can bodily enter and perform assigned work.
  • It has limited or restricted means for entry or exit
  • It is not designated for continuous human occupancy.

Permit-required confined space (PRCS)

A confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
  • Contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant
  • Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section
  • Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard

Confined Space Owners Responsibilities

Owners of confined spaces are responsible for:

  • Ensuring the confined space is properly signed
  • Reporting any obvious change in condition to the space to the confined space program manager.
  • Ensuring the confined space is identified on the Area Hazard Analysis
  • Preventing unauthorized persons from entering PRCSs by one or more of the following:
    • Placing a prohibitive warning sign at the entrance
    • Placing the entrance in a location that is difficult to reach without the use of a ladder, scissor lift, hoist, or other inconvenient means
    • Locking or bolting the entrance
    • Welding the entrance shut
    • Making access to the entrance difficult without the use of tools, heavy equipment, or multiple employees

MFD Confined Spaces and the Owners

(coming soon ...)


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Last update: October 24, 2013