Converting A Permit Required Confined Space to a Non-Permit Required Confined Space
29 CFR (Code for Federal Regulation) 1910.146 defines a confined space as a space that 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.
A “permit required confined space” is further defined as a confined space that contain all of the above, plus one or more of the following:
1. A substance that has the ability to engulf or asphyxiate the entrant
2. A potentially hazardous atmosphere
3. Inwardly converging walls within the space or a floor the slopes downward, tapering to a small cross-section
4. Contains any other serious safety or health hazard
With the use of Fixed Gas Detection Equipment, we can address items 1 & 2 above and convert the permit required confined space to a non-permit required confined space. We would accomplish this by monitoring the space for Combustible gases, Oxygen Deficiencies and any known toxic gases. This can be very beneficial to the customer as it can save time, money, resources, and most importantly lifes!
Once a confined space has been identified as having any one of the above four potential hazards, an employer should identify it as such via either signs or another effective means of communication. Any time an employer has workers that will be entering confined spaces, there needs to be a written program developed that outlines and instructs on the proper procedures for working around these spaces. One such important procedure is drafting the actual permit for the permit required confined space. This is called the entry permit and is defined by OSHA as “the written or printed document that is provided by the employer to allow and control entry into a permit space and that contains the necessary information as required in paragraph (f) of this standard’s section.” Paragraph (f) goes on to list an additional 14 items of information.
When converting a space from a permit required confined space into a non-permit required confined space, recommended practice is placement of the gas detection sensor inside of the confined space area with annunciation outside the entry point and within the confined area. This conifiguration provides notification for workers prior to entering the area and while working inside the confined space.
Sensidyne has several ways to accomplish the task of converting the permit required confined space to a non-permit required confined space:
SenseAlarmPlus with Remote Sensors
This option allows you to remote the sensors into the space with a display of the gas reading for each sensor as well as a dual set of alarms for each sensors should it reach its threshold value (LEL, O2, any known toxics [CO/H2S]).
SenseAlertPlus with Remote Sensors
This option allows you to remote the sensors into the space with a display of the gas reading for each sensor as well as a dual set of alarms if any one of the sensor readings reaches its threshold value. (LEL, O2, any known toxics [CO/H2S]).
Sample Draw Gas Detection System
This option allows you pull a sample from a Class 1 Division 1 area into a Class 1 Division 2 area across the sensors and then to remote the sensor readings to a safe area where the readings can be monitored by a Gas Controller with a display of the gas reading for each sensor as well as a dual set of alarms if any one of the sensor readings reaches its threshold value. (LEL, O2, any known toxics [CO/H2S]).