Confined Spaces Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

Assist Employees to understand the requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) with regard to working in a Confined Space.

2 Scope

Applicable to all Employees, Students, contractors and visitors while they are at the University.

3 Procedure Overview

No person is permitted to enter a Confined Space unless they are a competent person who has a combination of training, education, experience, acquired knowledge and skills, enabling them to correctly perform a specified task.

Certified Contractors only will carry out work in a Confined Space at the University. Where work is performed in a Confined Space on a University site, that work must be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Standard AS 2865 - 2009 Confined Spaces.

4 Procedures

4.1 Hazards

Confined Spaces can be potentially hazardous because of the presence of one or a combination of:

  • known waste contaminants (sewerage, etc.);
  • suspected, unidentified gas contaminants (possibly H2S (hydrogen sulphide), or Methane);
  • poor or no ventilation (oxygen deficient or a high CO (carbon monoxide) or CO2 (carbon dioxide) atmosphere);
  • dangerous or difficult access;
  • poor or inadequate lighting;
  • possibility of sudden or uncontrolled flow variations; or
  • hazardous substances;
  • unsafe oxygen levels;
  • flammable and explosive atmospheres;
  • engulfment;
  • electrical hazards;
  • plant and machinery hazards;
  • thermal hazards;
  • noise hazards;
  • physical hazards;
  • biological hazards;
  • psychological hazards.

4.2 Prior to entry

The appropriate Category 4 Delegate or above must ensure that the person entering a Confined Space is a competent person. A contractor must be a competent person and show documented compliance to the AS 2865: 2009 which requires certified operators, appropriate air monitoring equipment, safety equipment and all documentation as required by the Standard.

The competent person must ensure that actions appropriate to the work are carried out:

  • a risk assessment of the identified Confined Space is undertaken;
  • any risks are minimised or eliminated;
  • all potentially hazardous services are isolated;
  • contaminated Confined Spaces are cleaned with suitable purging agent;
  • no person enters without an entry permit;
  • O2 (oxygen) levels are safe;
  • contaminants are below relevant exposure standards;
  • the Confined Space is free from extremes of temperature;
  • flammable contaminants are below 5% LEL (Lower Explosive Limit);
  • suitable personal protective equipment and respiratory equipment is provided;
  • testing and monitoring is carried out while the Confined Space is occupied;
  • stand-by personnel are available at all times while the Confined Space is occupied;
  • signs and barriers are erected while work is carried out;
  • first aid is available;
  • fire suppression equipment is provided;
  • an exhaust extraction system must be available if an entry team is required to carry out activities that produce dangerous fumes or gases (such as the use of solvents or welding) while in a potentially hazardous Confined Space;
  • all persons required to work within or engaged in activities related to the entry to a Confined Space have been trained;
  • training must be carried out by competent, knowledgeable persons.

4.3 Training

The appropriate Category 4 Delegate or above must ensure that training has been undertaken by:

  • any person entering a potentially hazardous Confined Space on a University site; and
  • anyone engaged in activities related to the entry to a Confined Space.

Training must be carried out by a competent person and include the following topics:

  • relevant standards and regulations
  • the hazards of Confined Spaces
  • assessment Procedures
  • control measures and safe work practices in Confined Spaces
  • emergency evacuation and extraction Procedures
  • selection, use, fit, and maintenance of safety equipment
  • communication systems
  • fire protection and control.

4.4 Records

The appropriate Category 4 Delegate or above must maintain the following records:

  • a copy of all Written Authorities (a document which permits entry to or work in a Confined Space) for one month;
  • all risk assessments which must be held for 5 years;
  • all Employee training data which must be held for the term of the Employee's employment.
  • all records must be available for inspection by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.

5 References

Nil.

6 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

7 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Executive Director (Campus Services)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date

13/6/2019

Effective Date

20/5/2019

Review Date

3/4/2022

Relevant Legislation

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld)

Standard AS 2865 - 2009 Confined Spaces, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland: A guide to working safely in a Confined Space.

Related Policies

Work Health and Safety Policy

Related Procedures

Related forms, publications and websites

Laboratory Safety Manual

Work Health and Safety Manual

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Delegate (noun)

Delegate (noun) means the officer, Employee or committee of the University to whom, or to which, a delegation of authority has been made under this Policy....moreDelegate (noun) means the officer, Employee or committee of the University to whom, or to which, a delegation of authority has been made under this Policy.

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.

Procedure

An operational instruction that sets out the process to operationalise a Policy....moreAn operational instruction that sets out the process to operationalise a Policy.

Student

A person who: has been Admitted or Enrolled in an Academic Program at the University, but has not yet graduated from the program; or has been Enrolled in a Course at the University but has not yet completed the Course....moreA person who: has been Admitted or Enrolled in an Academic Program at the University, but has not yet graduated from the program; or has been Enrolled in a Course at the University but has not yet completed the Course.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Confined Space

Defined in 'A guide to working safely in a Confined Space', means an enclosed or partially enclosed space that:

  1. Is at atmospheric pressure when anyone is in the space; and
  2. Is not intended or designed primarily as a workplace; and
  3. Could have restricted entry to, or exit from, the place; and
  4. Is, or is likely to be entered by a person to work; and
  5. At any time, contains, or is likely to contain, any of the following:
    1. An atmosphere that has potentially harmful levels of contaminant;
    2. An atmosphere that does not have a safe oxygen level;
    3. Anything that could cause engulfment.

Under this definition Confined Spaces at the University include but are not limited to:

  • all sewerage pits with a depth greater than 1.5 metres;
  • all storm water pits with a depth greater than 1.5 metres;
  • all pump pits.

Keywords

Confined Spaces, Standard, Hazard, Training

Record No

13/285PL

Complying with the law and observing Policy and Procedure is a condition of working and/or studying at the University.

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