Divisions are responsible for developing written safe working procedures and providing training specific to the confined space work their employees perform. The following areas must be addressed in relation to written procedures and training:

Safe Working Procedures Guidelines

Each division’s safe working procedures should address, as a minimum, the following components:

  • clearly identified procedure name
  • preparation date and review date
  • distribution list
  • the purpose of the procedure
  • specific legislative requirements
  • the responsibilities of the parties in the workplace where confined space entry operations are performed
  • all actual and potential hazards associated with the particular confined space entry work (see Appendix A)
  • protective equipment (see Appendix B), appropriate tools, machinery and equipment need to carry out the work
  • documentation including:
    • permanent records for gas monitoring results
    • equipment checklists
    • notification procedures (e.g. utility companies, fire, police, MOL, etc.)
    • traffic and worksite protection plans (where applicable)
  • emergency response plan and rescue preparation procedures (where practicable, a non-entry rescue should be performed)
  • training and retraining requirements to ensure the competence of those who perform confined space work

Each division should establish a standard procedure when dealing with contractor(s ) who work in areas which has been evaluated as a confined space.

Training Guidelines

Training must be provided to employees prior to assigning them confined space work. At a minimum, confined space entry training should include the following components:

  • legislative requirements
  • corporate policy requirements
  • definition of a confined space
  • actual and potential hazards associated with confined space work
  • proper use of tools, machinery and equipment
  • actual and potential machinery and equipment hazards
  • workplace specific procedures
  • potential consequences of failure to follow workplace specific procedures
  • record-keeping requirements
  • First Aid and CPR
  • Traffic Control, where applicable
  • Trenching and Shoring, where applicable
  • Lockout/Tagout, where applicable
  • Hotwork, where applicable

Training should include handouts, working knowledge of the appropriate tools, machinery and equipment and a practical confined space entry test exercise.

All training courses must be documented and include a sign-in sheet or log with the name of the training program, the date delivered, and the names of the instructor and attendees.

Appendix A

Common Confined Space Hazards

  • atmospheric conditions: – oxygen deficiency, oxygen enrichment, combustible atmospheres and toxic atmospheres
  • biological
  • electrical
  • work activities
  • poor visibility
  • noise
  • insects/animals
  • temperature extremes
  • chemical spills
  • traffic
  • poor housekeeping
  • fast/high water flows
  • entry/exit points
  • irregular/slippery walking surfaces
  • space dimensions
  • platforms
  • ladders/steps
  • psychological factors

Appendix B

Protective Equipment

  • Gas Monitoring Equipment
  • Ventilation Systems
  • Respiratory Equipment
  • Lifelines, Harnesses and Hoisting devices
  • Communication Systems
  • Emergency Response Equipment
  • Isolation/Lockout Equipment
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Personal Hygiene Equipment

Divisions should consider the following factors when determining and using appropriate equipment:

  • confined space application
    evaluation prior to purchase including:

    • ‘in house’ testing to confirm manufacturer’s claims
    • field testing to confirm appropriateness to specific application
  • intrinsically safe tools, machinery and equipment
  • spark resistant tools, machinery and equipment
  • tools, machinery and equipment should be equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters, where practicable
  • service contracts
  • life expectancy of equipment
  • gas monitoring alarm settings (oxygen sensor – lower alarm should be set at 19.5%)
  • routine maintenance program of equipment
  • routine inspection and calibration program of equipment
  • inspection prior to use
  • storage requirements
  • training
  • usage procedures

Approved by

Occupational Health and Safety Co-ordinating Committee (OHSCC) , April 30, 2001
Executive Management Team (EMT), June 15, 2001

Date Approved

June 15, 2001

OHSCC Reviewed

April 26, 2016

Related Information

Confined Space Policy