Washington State University
SAFETY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL

SHOP / AGRICULTURAL WORKPLACE SAFETY
3.32
Revised 3-11
Reviewed 8-13
Environmental Health and Safety
335-3041

Confined Spaces

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OVERVIEW

Confined spaces may contain atmospheric and physical hazards that can quickly and unpredictably incapacitate individuals. Departments and employees are to follow the procedures in the University's Permit-Required Confined Space Program, which are designed to protect employees required to enter hazardous confined spaces.

The program includes:

Obtain copies of the written confined space program by contacting Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S); telephone 335-3041.

Departments must contact EH&S to obtain permits for employee entry into permit-required confined spaces.

DEFINITIONS

Confined Space

A confined space is a space that meets all of the following criteria:

Permit-Required Confined Space

A permit-required confined space is a space that meets all the requirements of a confined space plus one or more of the following characteristics capable of causing death or serious physical harm:

NOTE: A confined space can become a permit-required confined space if atmospheric and/or physical hazards are created by work activities within the space, such as chemical cleaning, painting, sealing, torch cutting, welding and other similar activities.

Examples

Examples of confined spaces and potentially permit-required confined spaces at WSU include: grain silos, utility vaults, boilers, sewage lift stations, septic tanks, air plenums and ducts, steam tunnels, sump pits, manure collection pits, and sanitary sewer manholes.

RESPONSIBILITY

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)

EH&S is responsible for:

Supervisors

Supervisors are responsible for:

Employees

Employees are responsible for:

Facilities Services, Capital and Facilities Services, Operations

The departments of Facilities Services, Capital and Facilities Services, Operations are responsible for coordinating with contractors and EH&S prior to contractors' employees entering University confined spaces.

CONFINED SPACE RESCUE

Supervisors and employees are not to enter a confined space to rescue incapacitated employees. Call 911 to report confined space emergencies. The emergency dispatcher contacts trained emergency responders to perform rescue operations.

ASSISTANCE

Contact EH&S for assistance in evaluating confined spaces, establishing entry procedures and training employees; telephone 335-3041.