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Campus Safety Manual

Confined Space Entry

It is University procedure that individuals working within areas designated as confined spaces within designated campus facilities will follow the procedures outlined in this document. These procedures are designed to meet applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and State Office of Risk Management (SORM) guidelines for safe work practices. The primary purpose of these procedures is to help insure that individuals are protected from injury or death associated with working within designated confined spaces.

The University has designated the crawl spaces under the University Center building and University West building as confined spaces by OSHA and SORM definitions.


"Attendant" means an individual stationed outside one or more permit spaces who monitors the authorized entrants and who performs all attendant's duties assigned in the employer's permit space program.

"Authorized entrant" means an employee who is authorized by the employer to enter a permit space.

"Confined space" means a space that:
(1) Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; and
(2) Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (for example, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, and pits are spaces that may have limited means of entry.); and
(3) Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

"Rescue service" means the personnel designated to rescue employees from permit spaces.


  1. The Facilities Coordinator or his designate must determine if work in the confined space is necessary after reviewing and evaluating options.
  2. If confined space work is authorized by the Facilities Coordinator or his designate, a written Confined Space Entry Log and Debriefing Documentation (Appendix A) must be maintained.
  3. The authorized entrant must conduct an initial atmospheric test using a device for that purpose prior to entering the confined space. Adequate ventilation of the confined space must also be confirmed. The authorized entrant must ensure that atmospheric oxygen content is 19.5% to 23.5% and that the LEL (lower explosive limit) is 0%. Otherwise entry will not be permitted unless the condition changes or proper protective equipment is used to safely enter.
  4. The authorized entrant must ensure that proper protective equipment, if required, is used during the entry.
  5. While the authorized entrant is in the confined space, a standby attendant must remain outside of the confined space entry location at all times.
  6. The authorized entrant must have a means of regularly (at least every 10 minutes) communicating with the standby attendant when in the confined space area. Communication by cell phone, radio, or verbal contact is acceptable. The purpose is to access the condition of the individual in the confined space.
  7. The standby attendant will contact 911 – Emergency Service Personnel should a rescue situation occur. The standby attendant must never enter the confined space for rescue or other reasons. The purpose for this is that the same hazard that affected the authorized entrant may overcome the standby attendant as well.
  8. If rescue services are required, the standby attendant should next contact the Facilities Coordinator. The Facilities Coordinator should notify the Facilities Director and the Safety & Risk Manager.

Training, Record Keeping and Documentation

  • Annually, the Facilities Coordinator and other supervisory staff who may instruct employees to enter confined spaces and any employee who may be required to work within a confined space must participate in training and basic knowledge testing of confined space procedures. Initial and refresher training is to be provided so that employees will have an understanding of the procedures to be followed as well as the understanding, knowledge and skills to perform confined space entry work safely.
  • Training is the responsibility of the Facilities Coordinator. For confined space entry training requirements, refer OSHA standards and SORM guidelines. Annual training is provided utilizing SORM computer based interactive CD-ROMs which include course testing and record-keeping documentation.
  • Training and basic knowledge testing documentation will be maintained by the Facilities Coordinator for audit and institutional compliance review purposes, for a minimum of three years following the close of the active fiscal year. Training records will include each employee’s name, the signatures or initials of the trainers, and the dates of training.
  • The meter used to conduct the atmospheric testing and the LEL testing should be calibrated periodically per industry standards. Employees conducting the testing should have initial training and annual refresher training on the proper use of the meter.

Confined Space Entry Log and Debriefing Documentation

  • Facilities Services will maintain a written Confined Space Entry Log and Debriefing Documentation (Appendix A) of all confined space activities including contractor confined space entry.
  • The Confined Space Entry Log will include the following information: the Reason for Entry, Building, Standby Attendant name, Authorizing Supervisor signature, Authorized Entrant’s name and signature, Date of Entry, Time In and Time Out. The Debriefing Documentation will ask each authorized entrant specific questions related to the confined space entry

Contractor Confined Space Entry

When the University arranges to have employees of another employer (contractor) perform work that involves confined space entry, the University shall:

  • Inform the contractor that the workplace contains confined space entry and that entry is allowed only through compliance with a confined space entry program meeting OSHA standards.
  • Apprise the contractor of the elements, including the hazards identified and the University’s experience with the confined space entry.
  • Apprise the contractor of any precautions or procedures that the University has implemented for the protection of employees in or near the confined space entry where contractor personnel will be working.
  • Coordinate entry operations with the contractor by verifying that the contractor employees have been properly trained, authorizing the entry, providing the entry log and debriefing documentation, testing the internal atmosphere and ensuring the entry is performed safely.

In addition to complying with the confined space entry requirements that apply to all employers, each contractor who is retained to perform confined space entry operations shall comply with applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards specifically 29 CFR Part 1910 – Permit-Required Confined Spaces, Section 1910.146 (c) (9) (i, ii, iii).

Annual Review

  • The Facilities Coordinator shall annually review this procedure and recommend any changes to the Safety & Risk Manager. Changes may result from OSHA standards or SORM guideline changes or changes in institutional practices.

This procedure will be maintained in the UHV Campus Safety Manual and website under Section 17. Occupational Safety.

Additional Resources for Texas State Agencies

Risk Management for Texas State Agencies (RMTSA) Volume III, Section Two, - Employee Safety and Health Program, Chapter 7 – Occupational Health Program, Subchapter 7.6 - Confined Entry Space: State Office of Risk Management (SORM)

Occupational Safety and Health Standards – 29 CFR Part 1910, Section 1910.146 – Permit-Required Confined Spaces: U.S. Department of Labor (OSHA)

Revision Date: March 9, 2006

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