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Confined Spaces Program
The purpose of the confined space program at Seattle University (SU) is to establish procedures to ensure that all confined spaces are identified on the campus and that employees are aware of and practice proper procedures for entry into these potentially hazardous spaces.
The procedures in this program apply to any space or area at SU that is by definition a confined space. A Confined space means a space that 1) is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; 2) has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and 3) is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. These spaces may include, but are not limited to, utility vaults, tunnels, attics, boilers, vessels, ducts, tanks, sewers, pipelines, silos, storage bins, hoppers and pits. See Appendix 4-A for a list of identified SU confined spaces.
Seattle University employees will be trained to enter permit-required spaces that can be reclassified to enable the use of alternate entry procedures. Employees are not currently trained, nor are their effective procedures or equipment in place, to permit entry into confined spaces that require full permit procedures to be used.
All employees will be made aware of the provisions of this program as those provisions apply to the employee’s respective role. The types of employees covered by this program include, but are not limited to Facilities maintenance employees, telecommunications technicians and supervisors.
All employees are required to comply with this program. Because of the potentially deadly nature of hazards in confined spaces, strict disciplinary procedures will be followed for employees violating these rules. Please refer to the corrective action policy in the personnel manual.
The University Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that employee training and retraining programs on this procedure are available for all affected employees.
All employees who must enter confined spaces will be trained in this program before the employee is assigned confined space responsibilities. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to arrange training for the employee. The Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator may be of assistance.
Training records containing the employee’s name, date of training, signature of trainers, and identity of trainer must be retained by the supervisor and submitted to the Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator.
Employee training will include:
Retraining for permit required spaces will be provided bi-annually. Otherwise training will be provided when there is a change in job assignments, a change in machine, equipment or a process that present a new hazard, a change in entry procedures, or when periodic inspection reveals that there are deviations in employee knowledge of the procedures.
The SU Project Manager will notify outside contractors, who have employees engaged in activities that may require entry into confined spaces, of Seattle University’s confined spaces policy and procedures. This notification will be provided to the contractor in writing
The Project Manager will identify all known confined spaces to the contractor. The contractor will supply his or her own equipment and employee training for confined spaces entry. All contractors must, at minimum, abide by the University’s confined spaces procedures as a condition of their contract; failure to comply with these procedures will result in the cancellation of any service contract and expulsion of the contractor from the SU campus.
Contractors must coordinate entry with employees who will also be working in the space. Contractors who are entering Seattle University confined spaces must have a confined space entry trained person from the department who “owns” the space sign on their permit or alternate entry worksheet to acknowledge that we know of their entry.
Contractors must report problems or changes to a confined space to the project manager who will convey those changes to the Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator.
The types of confined spaces on the SU campus are listed in Appendix A. This list includes the risks associated with the space and entry procedures required for the space. Signs will be posted at the entrance to the spaces identified in the confined space list.
Evaluation of potential confined spaces on the SU campus will be done on a continuous basis. As new confined spaces become known or as hazards are eliminated or identified in existing spaces, Appendix A will be adjusted accordingly by the Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator. Employees who are aware of such changes shall notify the Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator.
Procedures for entry into each type of confined space are listed in Appendix A. These procedures must be followed exactly before entry into confined spaces is allowed.
Entry will be coordinated among the entrants, if more than one type of activity is occurring at the same time within a single space.
Permit-required confined space (permit space) means a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics: 1) contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; 2) contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant; 3) has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section; or 4) contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.
A Non-permit confined space means a confined space that does not contain or, with respect to atmospheric hazards, have the potential to contain any hazard capable of causing death or serious physical harm.
Entry into permit-required spaces will require an entry permit.
Permit-required confined spaces that have hazards that can be controlled from the outside leaving only an actual or potential atmospheric hazard may be entered under alternate entry procedures. Employees may enter the space by reclassifying it at the time of entry using the following procedure. The space is continuously ventilated while the entrant is inside. Entrants must exit the space should any of the gas readings demonstrate an unsafe atmosphere or the space cannot be continuously ventilated.
All Lockout/Tagout procedures for permit-required spaces will follow SU’s Lockout/Tagout program.
Ventilation: Blowers may be used to adequately remove any hazardous atmospheres from the permit-required spaces. Spaces must be monitored before and during entry and must be within acceptable limits before entry is permitted.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Appropriate personal protective equipment will be used to enter any permit-required space as outlined in the procedures for that space. All PPE must be readily available to the employee and regularly inspected before each use.
Spaces will be monitored for oxygen level, flammable gases, and toxic gases (carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide before and during entry.
If someone becomes trapped or disabled in a confined space, call x5911 for help.
This program will be updated as new spaces or conditions are identified and procedures developed.
Appendix A. SU Confined Spaces
Type of Confined Space
Attic Crawl Spaces – No motorized equipment
Fall Hazard (in some areas)
Permit Required Confined Space unless Fall Hazard can be controlled from the outside. If fall hazard can be controlled from the outside, then Alternate Entry Confined Space
Attic Crawl Space –Motorized equipment present
Alternate Entry Confined Space
Atmospheric Hazard Temperature (heat)
Alternate Entry Confined Space
No special protocols
Atmosphere – oxygen deficiency and toxic gases
(Permit Required Space when heat can not be controlled)
Atmosphere – oxygen
Alternate Entry Confined