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REG - 30.07.2 - Confined Space Regulation

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Authority: Chancellor
Responsible Office Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
History: Effective Date: April 12, 2018
Related Links:
Contact: Environmental Health and Safety Office, 919-530-7694, ehs@nccu.edu

1.         Purpose

To provide a safe working environment for contractors on campus when working in confined space situations, e.g., in spaces defined as large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work, has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and is not designed for continuous employee occupancy per 29 CFR 1910.146(b).  This regulation contains requirements for practices and procedures to protect contract employees from the hazards of entry into permit-required confined spaces on the campus of North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

2.         Scope

NCCU employees are prohibited from entering permit-required confined spaces but contractors of the University enter such spaces to complete their scope of work.  When their scope of work requires confined space entry, contracting work units will adhere to the rules of this regulation to inform contractors of the need for precautions and to fulfill NCCU’s regulatory obligations.  Figure 1 broadly identifies the overall responsibilities of NCCU and the contractor, including: (1) Contractor implementation of the contractor’s confined space program; (2) Contractor oversight by the NCCU work unit project manager; (3) NCCU University Police mitigation and emergency response; and (4) NCCU Environmental Health and Safety Office consulting and audit functions. PRCS Contractor Pre-Inspection Checklist is available for contracting NCCU Departments and contracting NCCU work units.

3.         Acceptable Entry Conditions

3.1       The Environmental Health and Safety Office will offer awareness training on confined spaces for NCCU employees through their NCCU Departments and/or NCCU work units.

3.2       The Environmental Health and Safety Office will offer specialized training on Permit Required Confined Spaces for contracting NCCU Departments and/or contracting NCCU work units.

3.3       Requirements for Acceptable Entry Into Confined Space

3.3.1    "Acceptable entry conditions" means the conditions that must exist in a permit space to allow entry and to ensure that employees involved with a permit-required confined space (PRCS) entry can safely enter into and work within the space.

3.3.2    "Entry permit” means the written or printed document that is provided by the contractor and will be confirmed by the NCCU Project Manager to allow and control entry into a permit space and that contains the information specified in Paragraph 3.3.3 of this section.

3.3.2.1 Facilities shall maintain a log of all Permits issued, completed and/or revoked. 

3.3.3    Permit and Entry Requirements

3.3.3.1 The Permit and Entry Requirements shall include the following:

3.3.3.1.1 Providing each authorized entrant, or that employee's authorized representative, and representatives of NCCU, e.g., Project Manager, Emergency Management, or Environmental Health and Safety, with the opportunity to observe any monitoring or testing of permit spaces

3.3.3.1.2 Isolating the permit space. 

3.3.3.1.3 Purging, inerting, flushing, or ventilating the permit space as necessary to eliminate or control atmospheric hazards.

3.3.3.1.4 Providing pedestrian, vehicle, or other barriers as necessary to protect entrants from external hazards; and

3.3.3.1.5 Verifying that conditions in the permit space are acceptable for entry throughout the duration of an authorized entry. 

3.3.3.2 Equipment Requirements

3.3.3.2.1 The Contractor shall provide the following equipment at no cost to employees, maintain that equipment properly, and ensure that employees use that equipment properly.

3.3.3.2.1.1 Testing and monitoring equipment needed to comply with applicable OSHA requirements, including, but not limited to, 29 CFR 1910.146, 29 CFR 1926.103, as well as N.C. General Statute §95-129(1);

3.3.3.2.1.2 Ventilating equipment needed to obtain acceptable entry conditions;

3.3.3.2.1.3 Communications equipment necessary for compliance with OSHA requirements, as noted in Section 3.3.3.2.1.1;

3.3.3.2.1.4 Personal protective equipment insofar as feasible engineering and work practice controls do not adequately protect employees; 

3.3.3.2.1.5 Lighting equipment needed to enable employees to see well enough to work safely and to exit the space quickly in an emergency;

3.3.3.2.1.6 Barriers and shields as required by applicable OSHA requirements, as noted in Section 3.3.3.2.1.1;

3.3.3.2.1.7 Equipment, such as ladders, needed for safe ingress and egress by authorized entrants; 

3.3.3.2.1.8 Rescue and emergency equipment needed to comply with OSHA requirements, as noted in Section 3.3.3.2.1.6 and notification of the City of Durham Fire/Rescue Department of the location of the PRCS, measurement of the space, number of persons working, contact names and numbers, entry date(s), time(s) and scheduled completion of the work through NCCU University Police (919-530-6106); and

3.3.3.2.1.9 Any other equipment necessary for safe entry into and rescue from permit spaces. 

3.3.4    Evaluation by NCCU Emergency Management (EM) /NCCU Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).

3.3.4.1 NCCU EHS will ensure potentially-exposed NCCU employees are informed of permit-required confined spaces on campus by posting danger signs or by any other equally effective means, of the existence and location of and the danger posed by the permit-required confined spaces, (e.g., DANGER -- PERMIT-REQUIRED CONFINED SPACE, DO NOT ENTER, per 29 CFR 1910.146(c)(2)).

3.3.4.2 NCCU EM/EHS will audit contracting NCCU work units to ensure that they have informed contractors of the following:

3.3.4.2.1 NCCU contains permit-required confined spaces (PRCSs);

3.3.4.2.2 OSHA entry compliance requirements;

3.3.4.2.3 Hazards that make the particular space in question a permit-required confined space (PRCS); and

3.3.4.2.4 Precautions or procedures that NCCU has implemented for the protection of their employees.

3.3.4.3 NCCU EM/EHS will also audit contracting NCCU work units to ensure that they do the following:

3.3.4.3.1 Provide available information regarding permit space hazards to the contractor;

3.3.4.3.2 Coordinate multi-contractor entry operations;

3.3.4.3.2 Maintain a copy of the current permit space program used that the contractor;

3.3.4.3.3 Maintain a written record of hazards confronted or created in the particular permit-required confined space; and

3.3.4.3.4 Inform NCCU University Police and a member of either NCCU EM or EHS of PRCS entry before permit-required confined space entry.

3.3.4.4 NCCU EM/EHS will provide consultation to NCCU work units/project manager as requested.

3.3.4.5 NCCU EM/EHS will provide spot audits of contracted company procedures’ implementation on NCCU with or without the NCCU work unit project manager, the results of which will be provided to the applicable department head, (e.g. Facilities Management or Information Technology Services, Director of Public Safety and the Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance).

3.3.4.6 NCCU University Police/Telecommunications will accept from the project manager of the contracting NCCU work unit for each permit-required confined space entry and maintain the following information for immediate use:

3.3.4.6.1 The plain-language entry location of the permit space, including the name of the NCCU University Police representative who provided the positive identification of the PRCS site;

3.3.4.6.2 Associated hazards that make the space in question a permit-required confined space;

3.3.4.6.3 Special precautions or procedures to be implemented by contractor;

3.3.4.6.4 NCCU work unit project manager’s name, work unit, and contact information for immediate use, e.g., mobile number(s);

3.3.4.6.5 Expected entry time and departure time;

3.3.4.6.6 Name of contracted company whose employees are entering the permit-required confined space, entry supervisor’s name, and contact information for immediate use, e.g., mobile number(s); and

3.3.6.6.7 Verification the contracted personnel have notified the City of Durham Fire/Rescue of the permit-required confined space entry.


3.4       Operations

3.4.1    Contractor is required to provide at least one attendant outside the permit space into which entry is authorized for the duration of entry operations.

3.4.1.1 Attendants may be assigned to monitor more than one permit space provided the duties described in 29 CFR 1910.146 can be effectively performed for each permit space that is monitored.

3.4.1.2 If multiple spaces are to be monitored by a single attendant, include in the permit program the means and procedures to enable the attendant to respond to an emergency affecting one or more of the permit spaces being monitored without distraction from the attendant's responsibilities;

3.4.1.3 Shall designate the persons who are to have active roles (as, for example, authorized entrants, attendants, entry supervisors, or persons who test or monitor the atmosphere in a permit space) in entry operations, identify the duties of each such employee, and provide each such employee with the training as required by OSHA standards; and

3.4.1.4 Pre-notification of the Durham Fire/Rescue Department for summoning rescue and emergency services, for rescuing entrants from permit spaces, for providing necessary emergency services to rescued employees, and for preventing unauthorized personnel from attempting a rescue as well as being given the University Police Emergency Number (919) 530-6106.

3.4.1.5 To summon the Durham Fire/Rescue Department, the Contractor is required to contact their contracted emergency rescue service or Durham rescue and emergency services (911), then NCCU University Police (919-530-6106).

3.4.1.6 To extend their scheduled time in the PRCS or inform that the Contractor has finished PRCS entry, the City of Durham Fire/Rescue Department will be notified through NCCU University Police (919-530-6106).

3.5       Cancellation of the Entry Permit Requirements

3.5.1    A stop work order is required to following the cancellation of entry permits requirements of this section: 

3.5.1.1 Implement procedures (such as closing off a permit space and canceling the permit) necessary for concluding the entry after entry operations have been completed;

3.5.1.2 Review entry operations when the employer has reason to believe that the measures taken under the permit space program may not protect employees and revise the program to correct deficiencies found to exist before subsequent entries are authorized.

3.5.1.2.1          Examples of circumstances requiring the review of the permit space program are: any unauthorized entry of a permit space, the detection of a permit space hazard not covered by the permit, the detection of a condition prohibited by the permit, the occurrence of an injury or near-miss during entry, a change in the use or configuration of a permit space, and employee complaints about the effectiveness of the program.

3.5.1.3 Review the permit space program, using the canceled permits retained under 29 CFR 1910.146 of this section within one (1) year after each entry and revise the program as necessary, to ensure that employees participating in entry operations are protected from permit space hazards.

3.5.1.4 Employers may perform a single annual review covering all entries performed during a 12-month period. If no entry is performed during a 12-month period, no review is necessary.