A confined space entry program (CSEP) is a program that is intended to control a confined space by moderating employee entrance into these spaces which require a permit. This is necessary not only to remain compliant with OSHA but also to protect employees on a day to day basis. There are a couple of components to a proper confined space entry program, let’s take a look at them.
What Does an Entry Supervisor Do?
Every confined space entry program requires an entry supervisor to function properly. The entry supervisor is the person who must decide is the present entry conditions are acceptable enough for an employee to go inside. Because the entry supervisor is ultimately judging whether a confined space is safe or not, it stands to reason that this employee must be well versed in the basics of confined spaces. They must have a good grasp on the general requirements of what constitutes a confined space, the permit system as well as what permit vs non-permit requires spaces are and much more. It is a position with a lot of responsibility, therefore this individual must be highly experienced and diligent with checking available permit data for any confined spaces in the work area. If proper safety conditions are not met, the entry supervisor has the power to terminate access to the space.
What is a Confined Space Attendant?
The entry supervisor has a lot to consider and macro-manage in regards to looking over permits and determining what hazards a space may present. They have to look at the big picture for a space and what challenges are present for employees as well as how work may be impeded. This person may have to overlook several spaces at a work site and so for each individual confined space, a confined space attendant becomes necessary to take some of the monitoring duties from the supervisor.
While the supervisor CAN and sometimes will perform these duties; the attendant takes on the responsibilities of the supervisor and is tasked with monitoring entry into spaces. It is their duty to relay any information from the entry supervisor to the entrants. Attendants serve a critical function to the team for these reasons, they come into contact with the entrants the most and also are in communications with the entry supervisor. So their function is the glue which keeps the team together. Should any accidents or injuries occur on site in a space, it is their job to call in rescue personnel.
The Confined Space Entrant
The last and arguably most important part of the CSEP is the entrants themselves! Without these daring individuals, the work would not get done. Before entering a permit-required confined space, the entrant must gain authorization from the attendant or directly from the supervisor. As per OSHA Confined Space standards, the entrant must understand the hazards associated with entry as well as any hazards particular to that space. They must be well versed in the usage of any equipment required for entry. The most important ability an attendant must have is knowing the proper procedures and manner by which they should communicate with the attendant. All confined space entrants should understand or have some idea by which they can exit the space should contact be cut off and they are on their own. While rescue personnel can be called in, having a self-rescue contingency is important as well.
Safety Sense Management System
Each of these valuable team members has many more duties than what we’ve discussed. There are numerous safety regulations that must be complied with to maintain the safest work protocols as possible. In order to assist in that aim, we created the SafetySense Management System. SafetySense is a cloud-based software that can deliver lightning quick access to permit data and any related information regarding a confined space. It also provides additional tracking data such as building information, descriptions and even photos of the spaces if they are available. With our software, your CSEP will be a lot quicker and safer in dealing with confined spaces on the work site.
Our tool is fully OSHA compliant and your entry attendant will be able to complete the attendant worksheet electronically to save time but also download/upload any documents necessary for the confined space entry procedure. To learn more about this life saving tool, visit our contact page here.