It is helpful to document every entry that is made into a confined space so that those records can be reviewed with a view to improving future entries into that space. This article discusses some of the information that should be captured in the record of an entry into a confined space.

The Location of the Confined Space

The document should contain details about the location of the confined space that was entered. Describe the exact location and the specifications of the confined space. For example, you should include the serial number of the fermentation tank in case several exist at a processing facility. This identification information can help to trace any problems that persist among employees who work inside that particular confined space.

Hazards Identified

Working in confined spaces presents numerous hazards, ranging from physical hazards, such as the risk of being buried, to atmospheric hazards, such as the risk of asphyxiation resulting from exposure to a hazardous gas. Maintaining a record of the risks can reveal whether additional risks are being found at subsequent visits so that appropriate measures can be taken to safeguard employees will enter that confined space in future.

Testing Instruments

You should also document the instruments that were used to test the atmosphere before an entry was made. This information can be helpful in case an investigation is being conducted to establish whether accurate test results were obtained before an employee was given a permit to enter the confined space. Any instruments found to give unreliable results can be replaced with better ones. Test results should also be included in the entry documentation.

Control Measures Instituted

It is also prudent to include the specific control measures that were put in place to address the hazards which were identified during the risk assessment. For example, what was done to protect an employee from the hazardous gas in the confined space? Appropriate PPE, such as gas masks, should be recorded.

Safety Officer

The entry documents should include the details of the individual responsible for making sure that the appropriate safety conditions are in place before an entry is made into the confined space. This person should sign the entry documentation to authenticate all the information contained in that document.

Working in confined spaces requires effective coordination between different parties, such as the entrant, the attendant and the entry supervisor. Each of these parties has a role that they play to ensure a successful outcome of an entry into that space. Enroll for confined space training so that you can be enabled to play your role properly during confined space work.