The person going into a confined space may be the most critical component of the safety puzzle. If you’re the person going in, here are some guidelines to keep you safe.
• Don’t accept a confined entry permit that doesn’t have a supervisor’s signature.
• Don’t accept any permit item that you don’t understand and can’t verify.
• Not all hazards inside a confined space are related to the fact it’s a confined space. The confined space permit restrictions, cautions, and conditions are in addition to normal electrical safety procedures.
• Conditions change. What was true when the permit was signed might not be true now. If in doubt, have the permit updated and re-issued.
• Every item on a permit is an attempt to anticipate a danger that is reasonably expected to exist. There are no “key points” to consider while ignoring the rest. Everything matters.
• Test extraction gear, radios, lights, gas meters, and PPE before entering. Test communications periodically after entering.
• A confined entry permit can’t possibly address every hazard inside the confined space. While in the confined space, always be alert to conditions the permit didn’t anticipate.