Alternate Entry Procedures

OSHA allows employers to use an alternate entry procedure for permit spaces where the only hazard is atmospheric and continuous forced air ventilation alone can control the hazard. By using the alternate procedure, employers are able to simplify confined space entries by eliminating OSHA’s requirements for:
§  Add a note hereAn attendant during the entry,
§  Add a note hereA written permit program, and
§  Add a note hereEmergency rescue provisions.
Add a note hereAlternate procedures are covered in the standard at §1910.146(c)(5). The steps involved in verifying that a space qualifies for the alternate entry provision include:
1.  Add a note hereEnsure that it is safe to remove the entrance cover;
2.  Add a note hereDetermine that ventilation alone is sufficient to maintain the permit space safe for entry and that work to be performed within the permit-required space must introduce no additional hazards;
3.  Add a note hereGather monitoring and inspection data to support (1) and (2);
4.  Add a note hereIf entry is necessary to conduct initial data gathering, perform such entry under the full permit program; and
5.  Add a note hereDocument the determinations and supporting data and make them available to employees.
Add a note hereEntry can take place after:
§  Add a note hereIt has been determined safe to remove the entrance cover;
§  Add a note hereAny openings are guarded to protect against falling and falling objects;
§  Add a note hereInternal atmospheric testing;
§  Add a note hereAir remains without hazard whenever any employee is inside the space; and
§  Add a note hereContinuous forced air ventilation has eliminated any hazardous atmosphere.
Add a note hereThe space has to be tested periodically. Employees must exit immediately if a hazardous atmosphere is detected during entry, and the space must be evaluated to determine how the hazardous atmosphere developed. When a permit space is entered using alternate procedures, the employer must verify that the space is safe for entry and that the required pre-entry measures have been taken. The certification has to include:
§  Add a note hereDate,
§  Add a note hereLocation of the space, and
§  Add a note hereSignature of the person providing the certification.
Add a note hereThis document has to be available for review by all entrants prior to entry.

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