XVIII. Confined Spaces Entry Program

A. Purpose:
The purpose of the confined space entry program is to ensure safe entry methods are utilized prior to and during all work activities in confined spaces. The program covers any Nicholls State University employee or student whose duties require entry and work within confined spaces at the University. All contractors and subcontractors entering confined spaces at the University must abide by the procedure established or submit their respective confined space entry program for approval. The University Director of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for approving Confined Space Entry Programs.

B. Program:
Nicholls State University Confined Space Entry Program is designed to meet compliance with OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.146. The program is based on the current hazard assessment and is subject to a space specific plan if additional confined spaces are determined. The program consists of the following elements:
1.  Recognition
2. Hazard Assessment
3.  Training

C. Recognition of Confined Space:
Definition (OSHA) – “confined space” means a fully or partially enclosed space.
1. That is not both designed and constructed for continuous human occupancy.
2. In which atmospheric hazards may occur because of its construction, location or contents, or because of work that is done in it.

A space is only considered a confined space when it meets the following condition:
1.  It is not designed and constructed for continuous human occupancy.
2.  It is possible to have an atmospheric hazard.

D. Hazard Assessment:
Confined space must be assessed for all hazards. Hazard assessments are critical to identifying existing or potential hazards associated with each confined space.

E. Atmospheric Hazards:
“Atmospheric Hazards” means;
1.  Accumulation of flammable, combustible or explosive agents,
2.  An oxygen content in the atmosphere that is less than 19.5% or more than 23% by volume, or
3.  The accumulation of atmospheric contaminants, including gases,vapors, fumes, dust or mists that could:
a.  result in acute health effects that pose an immediate threat to life, or
b.  interfere with a persons ability to escape unguided from a confined space.

F. Associated Hazards:
Hazards to be aware of include, but are not limited to:

  • Oxygen deficiency/enrichment
  • Flammable, combustible, or explosive agents
  • Toxic air contaminants, smoke, fumes, and dust
  • Ignition hazards
  • Electrical
  • Engulfment
  • Access/Egress

G. Site Assessment:
Nicholls State University has only one Non-Permit confined space as defined by OSHA

Location Permit Required Description Potential Hazard Contaminant/Gases
Electrical Pit, Galliano Hall NO High Voltage Electrical Access Pit Potential air contaminants CO, O2 deficient atmosphere O2, CO

H. Safe Non-Permit Space Entry Operation:
All entries into Non-Permit confined spaces will be performed according to the procedures found on the checklist in Appendix A.

Appendix A – Confined Space Checklist

Date: ____________________

Department: ____________________

Expiration Date: _________________

Job Description: _________________

Location: _______________________

Precautions taken: (place check mark in blank as precautions taken)

______Notify the Environmental Health and Safety Department.

______ Ventilation/blower used before entering.

______ All employees entering have been properly trained.

______ Ventilation/blower used continuously while personnel is space.

______ Oxygen monitoring performed.

______ Continuous oxygen monitoring while personnel in space.

______ Emergency procedures reviewed.

Supervisor Signature: ______________________________

I. Training:
All Nicholls State University employees or students that enter a confined space must complete Nicholls State University General Confined Space Awareness training. This training is conducted by the University Safety Department. Please contact the Environmental Health and Safety Department to schedule training.