General Environmental Controls

Temporary Labor Camps §1910.142(k)(1)–(2)

(1) Adequate first aid facilities approved by a health authority shall be maintained and made available in every labor camp for the emergency treatment of injured persons.

(2) Such facilities shall be in charge of a person trained to administer first aid and shall be readily accessible for use at all times.

Specifications for Accident Prevention Signs and Tags §1910.145(c)(1)(ii), (2)(ii) and (3)

(1)(ii) All employees shall be instructed that danger signs indicate immediate danger and that special precautions are necessary.

(2)(ii) All employees shall be instructed that caution signs indicate a possible hazard against which proper precautions should be taken.

(3) Safety instruction signs. Safety instruction signs shall be used where there is a need for general instructions and suggestions relative to safety measures.

Permit-Required Confined Spaces §1910.146(d)(8), (g)–(k)

(8) Designate the persons who are to have active roles (as, for example, authorized entrants, attendants, entry supervisors, or persons who test or monitor the atmosphere in a permit space) in entry operations, identify the duties of each such employee, and provide each such employee with the training required by paragraph (g) of this section;

(g) Training. (1) The employer shall provide training so that all employees whose work is regulated by this section acquire the understanding, knowledge, and skills necessary for the safe performance of the duties assigned under this section.

(2) Training shall be provided to each affected employee:

(i) Before the employee is first assigned duties under this section;

(ii) Before there is a change in assigned duties;

(iii) Whenever there is a change in permit space operations that presents a hazard about which an employee has not previously been trained;

(iv) Whenever the employer has reason to believe either that there are deviations from the permit space entry procedures required by paragraph (d)(3) of this section or that there are inadequacies in the employee's knowledge or use of these procedures.

(3) The training shall establish employee proficiency in the duties required by this section and shall introduce new or revised procedures, as necessary, for compliance with this section.

(4) The employer shall certify that the training required by paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(3) of this section has been accomplished. The certification shall contain each employee's name, the signatures or initials of the trainers, and the dates of training. The certification shall be available for inspection by employees and their authorized representatives.

(h) Duties of authorized entrants. The employer shall ensure that all authorized entrants:

(1) Know the hazards that may be faced during entry, including information on the mode, signs or symptoms, and consequences of the exposure;

(2) Properly use equipment as required by paragraph (d)(4) of this section;

(3) Communicate with the attendant as necessary to enable the attendant to monitor entrant status and to enable the attendant to alert entrants of the need to evacuate the space as required by paragraph (i)(6) of this section;

(4) Alert the attendant whenever:

(i) The entrant recognizes any warning sign or symptom of exposure to a dangerous situation, or

(ii) The entrant detects a prohibited condition; and

(5) Exit from the permit space as quickly as possible whenever:

(i) An order to evacuate is given by the attendant or the entry supervisor,

(ii) The entrant recognizes any warning sign or symptom of exposure to a dangerous situation,

(iii) The entrant detects a prohibited condition, or

(iv) An evacuation alarm is activated.

(i) Duties of attendants. The employer shall ensure that each attendant:

(1) Knows the hazards that may be faced during entry, including information on the mode, signs or symptoms, and consequences of the exposure;

(2) Is aware of possible behavioral effects of hazard exposure in authorized entrants;

(3) Continuously maintains an accurate count of authorized entrants in the permit space and ensures that the means used to identify authorized entrants under paragraph (f)(4) of this section accurately identifies who is in the permit space;

(4) Remains outside the permit space during entry operations until relieved by another attendant;


When the employer's permit entry program allows attendant entry for rescue, attendants may enter a permit space to attempt a rescue if they have been trained and equipped for rescue operations as required by paragraph (k)(1) of this section and if they have been relieved as required by paragraph (i)(4) of this section.

(5) Communicates with authorized entrants as necessary to monitor entrant status and to alert entrants of the need to evacuate the space under paragraph (i)(6) of this section;

(6) Monitors activities inside and outside the space to determine if it is safe for entrants to remain in the space and orders the authorized entrants to evacuate the permit space immediately under any of the following conditions;

(i) If the attendant detects a prohibited condition;

(ii) If the attendant detects the behavioral effects of hazard exposure in an authorized entrant;

(iii) If the attendant detects a situation outside the space that could endanger the authorized entrants; or

(iv) If the attendant cannot effectively and safely perform all the duties required under paragraph (i) of this section;

(7) Summon rescue and other emergency services as soon as the attendant determines that authorized entrants may need assistance to escape from permit space hazards;

(8) Takes the following actions when unauthorized persons approach or enter a permit space while entry is underway:

(i) Warn the unauthorized persons that they must stay away from the permit space;

(ii) Advise the unauthorized persons that they must exit immediately if they have entered the permit space; and

(iii) Inform the authorized entrants and the entry supervisor if unauthorized persons have entered the permit space;

(9) Performs non-entry rescues as specified by the employer's rescue procedure; and

(10) Performs no duties that might interfere with the attendant's primary duty to monitor and protect the authorized entrants.

(j) Duties of entry supervisors. The employer shall ensure that each entry supervisor:

(1) Knows the hazards that may be faced during entry, including information on the mode, signs or symptoms, and consequences of the exposure;

(2) Verifies, by checking that the appropriate entries have been made on the permit, that all tests specified by the permit have been conducted and that all procedures and equipment specified by the permit are in place before endorsing the permit and allowing entry to begin;

(3) Terminates the entry and cancels the permit as required by paragraph (e)(5) of this section;

(4) Verifies that rescue services are available and that the means for summoning them are operable;

(5) Removes unauthorized individuals who enter or who attempt to enter the permit space during entry operations; and

(6) Determines, whenever responsibility for a permit space entry operation is transferred and at intervals dictated by the hazards and operations performed within the space, that entry operations remain consistent with terms of the entry permit and that acceptable entry conditions are maintained.

(k) Rescue and emergency services.

(1) An employer who designates rescue and emergency services, pursuant to paragraph (d)(9) of this section, shall:

(i) Evaluate a prospective rescuer's ability to respond to a rescue summons in a timely manner, considering the hazard(s) identified;

Note to Paragraph (k)(1)(i):

What will be considered timely will vary according to the specific hazards involved in each entry. For example, §1910.134, Respiratory Protection, requires that employers provide a standby person or persons capable of immediate action to rescue employee(s) wearing respiratory protection while in work areas defined as IDLH atmospheres.

(ii) Evaluate a prospective rescue service's ability, in terms of proficiency with rescue-related tasks and equipment, to function appropriately while rescuing entrants from the particular permit space or types of permit spaces identified;

(iii) Select a rescue team or service from those evaluated that:

(A) Has the capability to reach the victim(s) within a time frame that is appropriate for the permit space hazard(s) identified;

(B) Is equipped for and proficient in performing the needed rescue services;

(iv) Inform each rescue team or service of the hazards they may confront when called on to perform rescue at the site; and

(v) Provide the rescue team or service selected with access to all permit spaces from which rescue may be necessary so that the rescue service can develop appropriate rescue plans and practice rescue operations.

Note to Paragraph (k)(1):

Non-mandatory contains examples of criteria which employers can use in evaluating prospective rescuers as required by paragraph (k)(1) of this section.

(2) An employer whose employees have been designated to provide permit space rescue and emergency services shall take the following measures:

(i) Provide affected employees with the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to conduct permit space rescues safely and train affected employees so they are proficient in the use of that PPE, at no cost to those employees;

(ii) Train affected employees to perform assigned rescue duties. The employer must ensure that such employees successfully complete the training required to establish proficiency as an authorized entrant, as provided by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this section;

(iii) Train affected employees in basic first-aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The employer shall ensure that at least one member of the rescue team or service holding a current certification in first aid and CPR is available; and

(iv) Ensure that affected employees practice making permit space rescues at least once every 12 months, by means of simulated rescue operations in which they remove dummies, manikins, or actual persons from the actual permit spaces or from representative permit spaces. Representative permit spaces shall, with respect to opening size, configuration, and accessibility, simulate the types of permit spaces from which rescue is to be performed.

(3)(i) Each authorized entrant shall use a chest or full body harness, with a retrieval line attached at the center of the entrant's back near shoulder level, above the entrant's head, or at another point which the employer can establish presents a profile small enough for the successful removal of the entrant. Wristlets may be used in lieu of the chest or full body harness if the employer can demonstrate that the use of a chest or full body harness is infeasible or creates a greater hazard and that the use of wristlets is the safest and most effective alternative.

Non-Mandatory Appendix F—Rescue Team or Rescue Service Evaluation Criteria

(1) This appendix provides guidance to employers in choosing an appropriate rescue service. It contains criteria that may be used to evaluate the capabilities both of prospective and current rescue teams. Before a rescue team can be trained or chosen, however, a satisfactory permit program, including an analysis of all permit-required confined spaces to identify all potential hazards in those spaces, must be completed. OSHA believes that compliance with all the provisions of §1910.146 will enable employers to conduct permit space operations without recourse to rescue services in nearly all cases. However, experience indicates that circumstances will arise where entrants will need to be rescued from permit spaces. It is therefore important for employers to select rescue services or teams, either on-site or off-site, that are equipped and capable of minimizing harm to both entrants and rescuers if the need arises.

(2) For all rescue teams or services, the employer's evaluation should consist of two components: an initial evaluation, in which employers decide whether a potential rescue service or team is adequately trained and equipped to perform permit space rescues of the kind needed at the facility and whether such rescuers can respond in a timely manner, and a performance evaluation, in which employers measure the performance of the team or service during an actual or practice rescue. For example, based on the initial evaluation, an employer may determine that maintaining an on-site rescue team will be more expensive than obtaining the services of an off-site team, without being significantly more effective, and decide to hire a rescue service. During a performance evaluation, the employer could decide, after observing the rescue service perform a practice rescue, that the service's training or preparedness was not adequate to effect a timely or effective rescue at his or her facility and decide to select another rescue service, or to form an internal rescue team.

A. Initial Evaluation

I. The employer should meet with the prospective rescue service to facilitate the evaluations required by §§1910.146(k)(1)(i) and 1910.146(k)(1)(ii). At a minimum, if an off-site rescue service is being considered, the employer must contact the service to plan and coordinate the evaluations required by the standard. Merely posting the service's number or planning to rely on the 911 emergency phone number to obtain these services at the time of a permit space emergency would not comply with paragraph (k)(1) of the standard.

II. The capabilities required of a rescue service vary with the type of permit spaces from which rescue may be necessary and the hazards likely to be encountered in those spaces. Answering the questions below will assist employers in determining whether the rescue service is capable of performing rescues in the permit spaces present at the employer's workplace.

1. What are the needs of the employer with regard to response time (time for the rescue service to receive notification, arrive at the scene, and set up and be ready for entry)? For example, if entry is to be made into an IDLH atmosphere, or into a space that can quickly develop an IDLH atmosphere (if ventilation fails or for other reasons), the rescue team or service would need to be standing by at the permit space. On the other hand, if the danger to entrants is restricted to mechanical hazards that would cause injuries (e.g., broken bones, abrasions) a response time of 10 or 15 minutes might be adequate.

2. How quickly can the rescue team or service get from its location to the permit spaces from which rescue may be necessary? Relevant factors to consider would include: the location of the rescue team or service relative to the employer's workplace, the quality of roads and highways to be traveled, potential bottlenecks or traffic congestion that might be encountered in transit, the reliability of the rescuer's vehicles, and the training and skill of its drivers.

3. What is the availability of the rescue service? Is it unavailable at certain times of the day or in certain situations? What is the likelihood that key personnel of the rescue service might be unavailable at times? If the rescue service becomes unavailable while an entry is underway, does it have the capability of notifying the employer so that the employer can instruct the attendant to abort the entry immediately?

4. Does the rescue service meet all the requirements of paragraph (k)(2) of the standard? If not, has it developed a plan that will enable it to meet those requirements in the future? If so, how soon can the plan be implemented?

5. For off-site services, is the service willing to perform rescues at the employer's workplace? (An employer may not rely on a rescuer who declines, for whatever reason, to provide rescue services.)

6. Is an adequate method for communications between the attendant, employer and prospective rescuer available so that a rescue request can be transmitted to the rescuer without delay? How soon after notification can a prospective rescuer dispatch a rescue team to the entry site?

7. For rescues into spaces that may pose significant atmospheric hazards and from which rescue entry, patient packaging and retrieval cannot be safely accomplished in a relatively short time (15–20 minutes), employers should consider using airline respirators (with escape bottles) for the rescuers and to supply rescue air to the patient. If the employer decides to use SCBA, does the prospective rescue service have an ample supply of replacement cylinders and procedures for rescuers to enter and exit (or be retrieved) well within the SCBA's air supply limits?

8. If the space has a vertical entry over 5 feet in depth, can the prospective rescue service properly perform entry rescues? Does the service have the technical knowledge and equipment to perform rope work or elevated rescue, if needed?

9. Does the rescue service have the necessary skills in medical evaluation, patient packaging and emergency response?

10. Does the rescue service have the necessary equipment to perform rescues, or must the equipment be provided by the employer or another source?

B. Performance Evaluation

Rescue services are required by paragraph (k)(2)(iv) of the standard to practice rescues at least once every 12 months, provided that the team or service has not successfully performed a permit space rescue within that time. As part of each practice session, the service should perform a critique of the practice rescue, or have another qualified party perform the critique, so that deficiencies in procedures, equipment, training, or number of personnel can be identified and corrected. The results of the critique, and the corrections made to respond to the deficiencies identified, should be given to the employer to enable it to determine whether the rescue service can quickly be upgraded to meet the employer's rescue needs or whether another service must be selected. The following questions will assist employers and rescue teams and services evaluate their performance.

1. Have all members of the service been trained as permit space entrants, at a minimum, including training in the potential hazards of all permit spaces, or of representative permit spaces, from which rescue may be needed? Can team members recognize the signs, symptoms, and consequences of exposure to any hazardous atmospheres that may be present in those permit spaces?

2. Is every team member provided with, and properly trained in, the use and need for PPE, such as SCBA or fall arrest equipment, which may be required to perform permit space rescues in the facility? Is every team member properly trained to perform his or her functions and make rescues, and to use any rescue equipment, such as ropes and backboards, that may be needed in a rescue attempt?

3. Are team members trained in the first aid and medical skills needed to treat victims overcome or injured by the types of hazards that may be encountered in the permit spaces at the facility?

4. Do all team members perform their functions safely and efficiently? Do rescue service personnel focus on their own safety before considering the safety of the victim?

5. If necessary, can the rescue service properly test the atmosphere to determine if it is IDLH?

6. Can the rescue personnel identify information pertinent to the rescue from entry permits, hot work permits, and MSDSs?

7. Has the rescue service been informed of any hazards to personnel that may arise from outside the space, such as those that may be caused by future work near the space?

8. If necessary, can the rescue service properly package and retrieve victims from a permit space that has a limited size opening (less than 24 inches (60.9 cm) in diameter), limited internal space, or internal obstacles or hazards?

9. If necessary, can the rescue service safely perform an elevated (high angle) rescue?

10. Does the rescue service have a plan for each of the kinds of permit space rescue operations at the facility? Is the plan adequate for all types of rescue operations that may be needed at the facility? Teams may practice in representative spaces, or in spaces that are "worst-case" or most restrictive with respect to internal configuration, elevation, and portal size. The following characteristics of a practice space should be considered when deciding whether a space is truly representative of an actual permit space:

(1) Internal configuration.

(a) Open—there are no obstacles, barriers, or obstructions within the space. One example is a water tank.

(b) Obstructed—the permit space contains some type of obstruction that a rescuer would need to maneuver around. An example would be a baffle or mixing blade. Large equipment, such as a ladder or scaffold, brought into a space for work purposes would be considered an obstruction if the positioning or size of the equipment would make rescue more difficult.

(2) Elevation.

(a) Elevated—a permit space where the entrance portal or opening is above grade by 4 feet or more. This type of space usually requires knowledge of high angle rescue procedures because of the difficulty in packaging and transporting a patient to the ground from the portal.

(b) Non-elevated—a permit space with the entrance portal located less than 4 feet above grade. This type of space will allow the rescue team to transport an injured employee normally.

(3) Portal size.

(a) Restricted—A portal of 24 inches or less in the least dimension. Portals of this size are too small to allow a rescuer to simply enter the space while using SCBA. The portal size is also too small to allow normal spinal immobilization of an injured employee.

(b) Unrestricted—A portal of greater than 24 inches in the least dimension. These portals allow relatively free movement into and out of the permit space.

(4) Space access.

(a) Horizontal—The portal is located on the side of the permit space. Use of retrieval lines could be difficult.

(b) Vertical—The portal is located on the top of the permit space, so that rescuers must climb down, or the bottom of the permit space, so that rescuers must climb up to enter the space. Vertical portals may require knowledge of rope techniques, or special patient packaging to safely retrieve a downed entrant.

Control of Hazardous Energy(Lockout/Tagout) §1910.147(c)(7)(i)–(iv)

(7) Training and communication.

(i) The employer shall provide training to ensure that the purpose and function of the energy control program are understood by employees and that the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage, and removal of energy controls are required by employees. The training shall include the following:

(A) Each authorized employee shall receive training in the recognition of applicable hazardous energy sources, the type and magnitude of the energy available in the workplace, and the methods and means necessary for energy isolation and control.

(B) Each affected employee shall be instructed in the purpose and use of the energy control procedure.

(C) All other employees whose work operation are or may be in an area where energy control procedures may be utilized, shall be instructed about the procedure, and about the prohibition relating to attempts to restart or reenergize machines or equipment which are locked or tagged out.

(ii) When tagout systems are used, employees shall also be trained in the following limitations of tags:

(A) Tags are essentially warning devices affixed to energy isolating devices, and do not provide the physical restraint on those devices that is provided by a lock.

(B) When a tag is attached to an energy isolating means, it is not to be removed without authorization of the authorized person responsible for it, and it is never to be bypassed, ignored, or otherwise defeated.

(C) Tags must be legible and understandable by all authorized employees, affected employees, and all other employees whose work operations are or may be in the area, in order to be effective.

(D) Tags and their means of attachment must be made of materials which will withstand the environmental conditions encountered in the workplace.

(E) Tags may evoke a false sense of security, and their meaning needs to be understood as part of the overall energy control program.

(F) Tags must be securely attached to energy isolating devices so that they cannot be inadvertently or accidentally detached during use.

(iii) Employee retraining.

(A) Retraining shall be provided for all authorized and affected employees whenever there is a change in their job assignments, a change in machines, equipment or processes that present a new hazard, or when there is a change in the energy control procedures.

(B) Additional retraining shall also be conducted whenever a periodic inspection under paragraph (c)(6) of §1910.147 reveals, or whenever the employer has reason to believe, that there are deviations from or inadequacies in the employee's knowledge or use of the energy control procedures.

(C) The retraining shall reestablish employee proficiency and introduce new or revised control methods and procedures, as necessary.

(iv) The employer shall certify that employee training has been accomplished and is being kept up to date. The certification shall contain each employee's name and dates of training.


(3) Lockout or tagout devices removal. Each lockout or tagout device shall be removed from each energy isolating device by the employee who applied the device. Exception paragraph (e)(3): When the authorized employee who applied the lockout or tagout device is not available to remove it, that device may be removed under the direction of the employer, provided that specific procedures and training for such removal have been developed, documented and incorporated into the employer's energy control program. The employer shall demonstrate that the specific procedure provides equivalent safety to the removal of the device by the authorized employee who applied it.


(ii) The on-site employer shall ensure that his/her personnel understand and comply with restrictions and prohibitions of the outside employer's energy control procedures.

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