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Alberta Legislation

 

Alberta Confined Space

This material has been extracted from the Acts and Regulations of the Province to help students understand the subject. It is not an official source of information and must not be used for any other purpose.

The following is © 1995 - 2010 Government of Alberta.

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE 2009

Definitions

1 In this Code,

“confined space” means a restricted space which may become hazardous to a
worker entering it because of
(a) an atmosphere that is or may be injurious by reason of oxygen
deficiency or enrichment, flammability, explosivity, or toxicity,
(b) a condition or changing set of circumstances within the space that
presents a potential for injury or illness, or
(c) the potential or inherent characteristics of an activity which can
produce adverse or harmful consequences within the space;

Part 5 Confined Spaces
Code of practice
44(1) An employer must have a written code of practice governing the practices
and procedures to be followed when workers enter and work in a confined
space.
44(2) The code of practice must
(a) take into account and apply the requirements of this Part and of
section 169,
(b) be maintained and periodically reviewed, and
(c) identify all existing and potential confined space work locations at a
work site.
44(3) A worker involved in any aspect of a confined space entry must comply
with the requirements and procedures in the code of practice.

Hazard assessment
45 If a worker will enter a confined space or a restricted space to work, an
employer must appoint a competent person to
(a) identify and assess the hazards the worker is likely to be exposed to
while in the confined space or restricted space,
(b) specify the type and frequency of inspections and tests necessary to
determine the likelihood of worker exposure to any of the identified
hazards,
(c) perform the inspections and tests specified,
(d) specify the safety and personal protective equipment required to
perform the work, and
(e) identify the personal protective equipment and emergency equipment
to be used by a worker who undertakes rescue operations in the event
of an accident or other emergency.

Training
46(1) An employer must ensure that a worker assigned duties related to
confined space or restricted space entry is trained by a competent person in
(a) recognizing hazards associated with working in confined spaces or restricted spaces, and
(b) performing the worker’s duties in a safe and healthy manner.

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46(2) An employer must keep records of the training given under
subsection (1).
46(3) An employer must ensure that competence in the following is represented in the workers responding to a confined space or restricted space emergency:
(a) first aid;
(b) the use of appropriate emergency response equipment;
(c) procedures appropriate to the confined space or restricted space.

Entry permit system
47(1) A person must not enter a confined space at a work site without a valid
entry permit.
47(2) An employer must establish an entry permit system for a confined space
that
(a) lists the name of each worker who enters the confined space and the
reason for their entry,
(b) gives the location of the confined space,
(c) specifies the time during which an entry permit is valid,
(d) takes into account the work being done in the confined space, and
(e) takes into account the code of practice requirements for entering, being in and leaving a confined space.
47(3) An employer must ensure that, before a worker enters a confined space,
an entry permit is properly completed, signed by a competent person and a copy
kept readily available.
47(4) Based on a review of similar confined spaces, an employer may issue an
entry permit that can be used for a number of similar confined spaces.

Safety and protection
Generally;
48(1) An employer must ensure that
(a) if a lifeline is required in a confined space or a restricted space, it is
used in a manner that does not create an additional hazard,
(b) the safety and personal protective equipment required under this
Code is available to workers entering a confined space or a restricted
space,
(c) a worker who enters, occupies or leaves a confined space or restricted
space uses the safety and personal protective equipment,

Occupational Health and Safety Code 2009 Part 5
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(d) the personal protective equipment and emergency equipment required under this Code is available to workers undertaking rescue operations in a confined space or restricted space,
(e) equipment appropriate to the confined space or restricted space, including personal protective equipment, is available to perform a timely rescue, and
(f) a communication system is established that is readily available to workers in a confined space or a restricted space and is appropriate to the hazards.
48(2) An employer must ensure that all personal protective equipment and emergency equipment required for use in a confined space or a restricted space is inspected by a competent person to ensure the equipment is in good working order before workers enter the confined space or the restricted space.
48(3) An employer must ensure that written records of the inspections required
by subsection (2) are retained as required by section 58.

Protection — hazardous substances and energy
49(1) An employer must ensure that workers within a confined space are
protected against the release of hazardous substances or energy that could harm
them.
49(2) An employer must ensure that a worker does not enter a confined space
unless adequate precautions are in place to protect a worker from drowning,
engulfment or entrapment.
49(3) An employer must ensure that any hazardous energy in a restricted space
is controlled in accordance with Part 15.

Unauthorized entry
50 An employer must ensure that persons who are not authorized by the employer to enter a confined space or a restricted space are prevented from entering.

Traffic hazards
51 An employer must ensure that workers in a confined space or a restricted space are protected from hazards created by traffic in the vicinity of the confined space or restricted space.

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Testing the atmosphere
52(1) If the hazard assessment identifies a potential atmospheric hazard and a worker is required or authorized by an employer to enter the confined space, the
employer must ensure that a competent worker performs a pre entry atmospheric test of the confined space to
(a) verify that the oxygen content is between 19.5 percent and 23.0 percent by volume, and
(b) identify the amount of toxic, flammable or explosive substance that
may be present.
52(2) The employer must ensure that the testing required by subsection (1) is
performed using calibrated test instruments appropriate for the atmosphere
being tested and the instruments are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s
specifications.
52(3) The employer must ensure that as often as necessary after the first time a
worker enters the confined space, a competent worker
(a) performs the tests specified in subsection (1), and
(b) identifies and records any additional hazards.
52(3.1) The employer must ensure that if there is a potential for the atmosphere
to change unpredictably after a worker enters the confined space, the atmosphere is continuously monitored in accordance with subsection (2).
52(4) If tests identify additional hazards, the employer must deal with the
identified hazards in accordance with this Code.
52(5) The employer must ensure that the procedures and practices put in place
under subsection (4) are included in the code of practice.
52(6) The employer must ensure that the results of tests required by this section
are recorded.

Ventilation and purging
53(1) If the atmospheric testing under section 52 identifies that a hazardous
atmosphere exists or is likely to exist in a confined space, an employer must
ensure that the confined space is ventilated, purged or both before a worker
enters the confined space.

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53(2) If ventilating or purging a confined space is impractical or ineffective in
eliminating a hazardous atmosphere, the employer must ensure that a worker
who enters the confined space uses personal protective equipment appropriate
for the conditions within the confined space.
53(3) If mechanical ventilation is needed to maintain a safe atmosphere in a
confined space during the work process, an employer must ensure it is provided
and operated as needed.
53(4) If mechanical ventilation is required to maintain a safe atmosphere in the
confined space, the employer must ensure that
(a) the ventilation system incorporates a method of alerting workers to a failure of the system so that workers have sufficient time to safely leave the confined space, and
(b) all workers within the confined space have received training in the
evacuation procedures to be used in the event of a ventilation system
failure.
53(5) All workers must evacuate a confined space or use an alternative means
of protection if a ventilation system fails.

Inerting
54(1) An employer must ensure that a confined space is inerted if it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate an explosive or flammable atmosphere within
the confined space through another means.
54(2) If a confined space is inerted, an employer must ensure that
(a) every worker entering the confined space is equipped with supplied air
respiratory protection equipment that complies with Part 18,
(b) all ignition sources are controlled, and
(c) the atmosphere within the confined space stays inerted while workers are inside.

Emergency response
55(1) An employer must ensure that a worker does not enter or remain in a
confined space or a restricted space unless an effective rescue can be carried out.
55(2) A worker must not enter or stay in a confined space or restricted space
unless an effective rescue can be carried out.

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55(3) An employer must ensure that the emergency response plan includes the
emergency procedures to be followed if there is an accident or other emergency,
including procedures in place to evacuate the confined space or restricted space
immediately
(a) when an alarm is activated,
(b) if the concentration of oxygen inside the confined space drops below
19.5 percent by volume or exceeds 23.0 percent by volume, or
(c) if there is a significant change in the amount of hazardous substances
inside the confined space.

Tending worker
56(1) For every confined space or restricted space entry, an employer must
designate a competent worker to be in communication with a worker in the
confined space or restricted space.
56(2) An employer must ensure that the designated worker under subsection
(1) has a suitable system for summoning assistance.
56(3) An employer must ensure that a competent worker trained in the
evacuation procedures in the emergency response plan is present outside a
confined space, at or near the entrance, if
(a) the oxygen content of the atmosphere inside the confined space is less
than 19.5 percent by volume,
(b) the oxygen content of the atmosphere inside the confined space is
greater than 23.0 percent by volume,
(c) the concentration of a substance listed in Schedule 1, Table 2 inside
the confined space is greater than 50 percent of its occupational exposure limit, or
(d) a hazard other than one listed in clauses (a), (b) or (c) is identified by
the hazard assessment and the hazard cannot be eliminated or effectively controlled.
56(4) An employer must ensure that the tending worker under subsection (3)
(a) keeps track at all times of the number of workers inside the confined
space,
(b) is in constant communication with the workers inside the confined
space, and
(c) has a suitable system for summoning assistance.
56(5) A tending worker must not leave the area until all workers have left the
confined space or another tending worker is in place.

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Entry and exit
57 An employer must ensure that a safe means of entry and exit is available
to all workers required to work in a confined space or a restricted space and to all
rescue personnel attending to the workers.

Retaining records
58 An employer must ensure that all records respecting entry and work in a
confined space, including entry permits and testing under this Part, are retained
for not less than
(a) one year if no incident or unplanned event occurred during the entry,
or
(b) two years if an incident or unplanned event occurred during the entry. 1

 

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