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Six types of confined spaces you don't need a work permit for (And what you need to know about spaces that do need one)

by , 03 April 2015
A work permit gives you authorisation for specific work, the length of time and location. But did you know that there are several types confined spaces for which you don't need one?

Read on to find out what they are... As well as what you need to do for spaces that require this document.

Here are the six examples of confined spaces that don't need a work permit

1. HVAC units (air conditioning units);
2. Attics;
3. Walk-in freezers or refrigerators;
4. Building crawl spaces;
5. Basements; and
6. Ceilings.

In any other confined space, you'll need to have a work permit.

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This work permit must contain the following information

Here are the four items a Permit to Work must have:

• A summary of the hazards;
• The isolation procedures that you'll use to ensure a safe environment before entry and for the duration of the work;
• The methods you'll use to maintain the environment during the work; and
• The safe work procedures and practices to complete the work.

Note that both you and your employees must understand and sign the contents of the permit before entering the confined space. The supervisor on-duty or foreman who tests that the workplace is safe usually gives the Permit to Work.

You must keep or show the permit at the point of entry.

Also remembert that if an incident affects the safety of an employee, he must give the permit back to the issuer. You'll then need to reissue a permit before he can continue.

Finally, here are the six things to consider when issuing a work permit

• You issue the permit before your employee starts working in the confined space;

• All safety precautions are in place before you start working;

• Your employee reads and understands the permit;

• All participants at the job site are competent and you record their entry and exit;

• The receiver signs and prints his name agreeing to obey the conditions on the permit; and

• You return the permit after you finish the job.

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