Return Space to Service | Permit-Required Confined Spaces
The final element in a confined space program is a procedure to follow at the termination of the entry. Once the entry is complete:
§ Account for all equipment and supplies taken into the space;
§ Verify that all entrants have left the space;
§ Secure all openings;
§ Replace any gasket or seal that is damaged or defective;
§ Use the entry permit to identify all isolation equipment; and
§ Remove lockout equipment and instruments after the piping is reconnected.
Operating personnel should not be released to the space until it is returned to normal operating condition. Problems during start-up could occur if these steps are not accomplished properly.
Any items that were damaged during entry must be removed from service and discarded. All other equipment should be inspected and cleaned before the next entry. This equipment needs to be stored in its apropriate place where employees have access to it.
Some supplies which may be used during the entry will be consumed in the process, such as:
§ Respirator cartridges, and
§ Disposable coveralls.
These supplies need to be replaced prior to future entries.
Finally, at the conclusion of the work, the entry permit, must be terminated by the entry supervisor. The permit should include the recording of any problems or situations that may have been encountered during entry. Cancelled entry permits must be kept for at least one year and used to evaluate the effectiveness of the permit space program.
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