What is a Confined Space Permit Template?
A confined space permit template is a premade reproducible document that can be used for managing employee entry and work in confined spaces. It is often used before allowing someone to work in a confined space to ensure safety and understanding of risks.
Before allowing entry into any workspace with risks, it’s imperative to issue entry permits. These permits outline the necessary precautions, equipment, and procedures that must be followed. In particular, when working in a confined space, having entry permits is essential.
A confined space is defined by the US Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) as any space that is large enough for worker entry but with limited means for entry or exit, making it unfit for long-term employee work. This is because a worker were to encounter any hazardous risk in these spaces, they can struggle to get to safety or protect themselves.
According to the According to the UK Health Safety Executive (HSE), some of the most common risks associated with confined spaces are:
- fires and explosions;
- loss of consciousness;
- asphyxiation and general breathing difficulties; and
It is for this reason that confined space permit templates are essential, so workers know of the possible risks they might encounter, as well as the proper safety protocols to follow for them.
Templating your confined space permit is a great way to ensure all staff are aware of the necessary information. With a confined space permit template, it can also be easier to manage records as each file will be structured the same way.
Legal Requirements for Confined Space Permits
Many countries require entry permits to be filled out by workers before they enter any confined space. Some of them that have legal requirements for it include the following:
- US – OSHA 1910
- UK HSE – The Confined Spaces Regulations of 1997
- European Countries – EU Directive 92/57/EEC (specific for construction sites and other mobile work locations)
The International Labor Organization (ILO) also encourages the use of confined space permits whenever possible. Employers should take the initiative to inform employees about the risks they might face, and take then necessary safety measures to mitigate them.
What to Include in a Confined Space Permit Template
Although each workplace and confined space is different, a typical confined space permit template has fields for the following details:
- Name of worker or contractor
- Date of work
- Purpose of entry
- Lines of communication to be used
- Rescue procedures to follow
- Pre-work checklist to ensure all necessary work tools are available
- Checklist to review emergency items and procedures
- Status of other work permits, if applicable
- Signature of person preparing the permit and their staff, if applicable
Here is a sample confined space permit template in use for reference:
FAQs about Confined Space Permit Templates
Common examples of confined spaces include the following:
- Storage bins
A non-permit required confined space is a small or tight space that has risks like any confined space, but are controlled or reduced greatly. In some cases, certain hazards present can also be easily eliminated. On the other hand, a permit-required confined space has more hazards involved and can be dangerous to life and health.