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DOE-EM-STD-5503-94
13.5.1. Engineering Controls
Engineering controls are those controls which eliminate or reduce the hazard through
implementation of sound engineering practices.
Ventilation is one of the most common engineering controls used in confined spaces. When
ventilation is used to remove atmospheric contaminants from the confined space, the space
should be ventilated until the atmosphere is within the acceptable ranges. Ventilation should be
maintained during the occupancy if there is a potential for the atmospheric conditions to move
out of the acceptable range. When ventilation is not possible or feasible, alternate protective
measures or methods to remove air contaminants and protect occupants should be determined by
the qualified person prior to authorizing entry. Conditions regarding continuous forced air
ventilation should be used as follows:
Employees should not enter the space until the forced air ventilation has eliminated any
hazardous atmosphere,
Forced air ventilation should be so directed as to ventilate the immediate areas where an
employee is or will be present within the space,
Continuous ventilation is maintained until all employees have left the space, and
Air supply for forced air ventilation should be from a clean source.
13.5.2. Work Practice (Administrative) Controls
Work practice (administrative) controls are those controls which eliminate or reduce the hazard
through changes in the work practice (e.g., rotating workers, reducing the amount of worker
exposure, housekeeping). Confined spaces should be cleaned/decontaminated of hazardous
materials to the extent feasible before entry. Cleaning/decontamination should be the preferred
method of reducing exposure to hazardous materials. Where this is not practicable, PPE should
be worn by the entry personnel to provide appropriate protection against the hazards which may
be present.
13.5.3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
If the hazard cannot be eliminated or reduced to a safe level through engineering and/or work
practice controls, PPE should be used. A qualified person should determine PPE needed by all
personnel entering the confined space, including rescue teams. PPE which meet the
specifications of applicable standards should be selected in accordance with the requirements of
the job to be performed.
13.6. ENTRY PERMITS
The Confined Space Entry Permit is the major tool in assuring safety during entry in confined
spaces with known hazards or with unknown or potentially hazardous atmospheres. The entry
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