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Confined Space Entry
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Confined Space Entry Program

Confined space entry is a dangerous task that must be performed from time to time by street department employees of the City of Litchfield, Illinois. Confined spaces are filled with silent, invisible, imperceptible, and potentially deadly hazards. This written program is intended to identify the confined spaces to which this program applies, and to list the procedures which must be followed when it is necessary to enter these spaces.

Confined Spaces Identification

A confined space is an environment which has limited opening for entry and exit, unfavorable natural ventilation, is not intended for continuous human occupancy and could reasonably be believed to have dangerous air contaminants.

The confined spaces under the jurisdiction of the City of Litchfield, Illinois to which this program includes but is not limited to:

All sanitary sewer manholes
All lift stations/wet wells

Safety and Health Procedures

No employee may enter a confined space unless they have received training on the entry procedures established in this document. Annual retraining is required for employees who must enter confined space. This training will be with the assistance of the Illinois Department of Labor or other trained personnel.

The procedures for confined spaces are as follows:

Evaluate the Area

Based on the size and shape of the space, the type of work to be done, the nature of the contaminates which are present or may be introduced as a result of the work and the number of employees who must enter the confined space, determine which additional entry precautions may be needed. There must be sufficient manpower available to perform the required work without creating a hazardous situation for every employee who must enter a confined work space. There must be a top side attendant on the site at all times.

Provided Forced Ventilation

When it has been determined that a confined space must be entered for any reason and occupied by a City employee, the atmosphere within the confined space shall be continuously provided with forced ventilation. The ventilation equipment shall be set up and placed in operation according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Test the Atmosphere

Utilizing atmospheric testing devices provided by the City of Litchfield, test the atmosphere of the confined space from top to bottom before entering. It is important to test the entire work space prior to entry. The manufacturer's instructions for the use of this device must be followed. The device shall be field tested each day prior to use. The device is calibrated by the City of Litchfield employees. The device shall be returned to the manufacturer for recalibration as required by law.

A confined space shall not be entered until the atmosphere is first tested and found to have:

An oxygen content of at least 19.5%, but not greater than 23.5% by volume

A hydrogen sulfide level less than 10 parts per million

A combustible gas/vapor mixture less than 10% of the lower explosive limit

A concentration of any hazardous chemical less than the limits listed in 29 CFR 19* 110 SUBPART Z

Space Entry

With the continuous forced ventilation properly in place and operating after atmospheric testing indicates that the air is space, the employees may enter the space to perform the work. The employee entering the confined space shall be equipped with the atmospheric monitoring device in order to continuously monitor the space for oxygen, hydrogen sulfide, combustible gas/vapor and any other suspected toxic/hazardous material. If the monitoring devices should signal that the air quality within the work area has reached a level outside the established regulatory limits, all employees shall immediately exit the confined space. Reentry may occur if the contamination source is discontinued and atmospheric tests indicate an atmosphere within the specified limits. If a confined space work area cannot be brought fully within the limits specified by regulation, no employee of the City of Litchfield shall enter this space. In this case, an outside contractor properly equipped to work in this atmosphere shall be brought in by the City to complete the work.

Additional Entry Requirements

Additional precautions which should be taken, in certain circumstances, arise from the danger of a fall injury (a depth greater than 5 feet), or a distance which would take more than 2 or 3 seconds to traverse (15 feet to 20 feet), in the event of an air monitor alarm. In these cases, any worker entering the space shall be wearing a D-Ring harness provided by the City of Litchfield, with a rope attached to the ring. In the case of working in an open area, a rope of sufficient length shall be attached to provide contact with the top side attendant. The top side attendant shall remain in place the entire time the worker is in the confined space. He shall not be assigned any other duties.

Equipment Operation and Maintenance

Following is a list of the equipment to be provided by the City of Litchfield for confined space entry:

Tripod with fall protection/retrieval system
Harness
Ventilation equipment
Multi-gas detection monitor

No employee may enter a confined space or act as top side attendant until complete training in the correct operation and maintenance of all the equipment has been received. Employees shall refer to the manufacturer's instructions regarding the correct use of this equipment if questions or operational problems arise. If all equipment is not fully operational the confined space entry will be rescheduled until repairs or replacements can be made.

Emergency Procedures

When a confined space entrant is alerted to a hazardous condition, either by a monitoring device alarm, or recognized otherwise, all employees shall immediately exit the confined space. The top side attendant shall immediately pull the person out of the confined space with the retrieval device, if fall protection is used. The space may not be re-entered until atmospheric tests indicate the atmosphere has returned within the specified limits. If a worker within a confined space should collapse and become unconscious, and the fall protection/retrieval systems is not in use, under no circumstances is the top side attendant to enter the space and attempt a rescue. The top side attendant shall immediately call 911 and instruct emergency personnel of the location and situation.

Training

All employees shall receive regular training on the procedures required to be followed for confined space entry and the proper operation and maintenance of the equipment. Training shall be provided by the Department head, manufacturer representative and the Illinois Department of Labor seminars and classes. Training should be a continuous process, but must be done on a yearly basis as a minimum.
 

 



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