Manitoba 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
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Workplace Safety and Health Regulation
Registered October 31, 2006
"confined space" means an enclosed or partially enclosed space that
(a) except for the purpose of performing work, is not primarily designed or intended for human occupancy; and
(b) has restricted means of access or egress.
15.1 This Part applies to every workplace where a worker works in a confined
Safe work procedures
15.2(1) An employer must
(a) develop and implement safe work procedures for working in a confined space;
(b) train workers in the safe work procedures; and
(c) ensure that workers comply with the safe work procedures.
15.2(2) The safe work procedures must include
(a) procedures for recognizing the risks associated with working in the confined
(b) procedures for isolating - including blanking, disconnecting, interrupting and
locking out - pipes, lines and sources of energy from a confined space;
(c) safety and personal protective equipment to be used;
(d) procedures for communicating with a standby worker;
(e) an emergency response plan and rescue procedures to be implemented in the
event of an accident or other emergency in a confined space; and
(f) information about the entry permit system under section 15.4.
15.3 Before requiring a worker to enter or work in a confined space, an employer
(a) identify and assess the risks to safety or health a worker is likely to be exposed to while in the confined space;
(b) identify and take measures to reduce, control or eliminate the risks to safety or
health associated with the confined space, including
(i) using alternative means of performing the work to be done that will not
require the worker to enter the space, and
(ii) making alterations to the physical characteristics of the space that may be
necessary to ensure safe access to and egress from all accessible parts of
(c) identify the appropriate type and frequency of tests and inspections necessary
to determine the likelihood of a worker being exposed to any of the identified risks,
and ensure those tests and inspections are completed by a competent person;
(d) identify the safety and personal protective equipment required to be used or
worn in the confined space by a worker while he or she performs work;
(e) identify emergency and personal protective equipment required by a worker
who undertakes rescue operations in the event of an accident or other emergency
within the confined space; and
(f) establish and implement an entry permit system for a confined space, in
accordance with section 15.4.
15.4(1) An entry permit system established by an employer under clause 15.3(f) must
(a) ensure that an entry permit containing the following information is completed
and signed by a competent person before a worker enters a confined space:
(i) the location of the confined space,
(ii) the name of each worker who will enter the confined space and the reason
for their entry,
(iii) the date and time during which the permit is valid; and
(i) the work being done in the confined space,
(ii) the safe work procedures for entering, being in and leaving a confined
(iii) all hazards to the safety and health of a worker identified by the risk
assessment carried out under clause 15.3(a).
15.4(2) An employer must ensure that a copy of the completed and signed entry
permit is readily available at the site of the confined space.
Review of entry permit
15.5(1) An employer must review and revise an entry permit when
(a) a work activity in a confined space changes;
(b) circumstances at the workplace or in a confined space change in a way that
poses a risk to the safety or health of a worker; or
(c) any of the workers or information listed in the permit changes.
15.5(2) An employer must ensure that a worker who may be affected by a change to
an entry permit or a work activity in a confined space is informed of the change.
No unauthorized entry 15.6 An employer and an owner must take all steps reasonably practicable toprevent any person, other than a worker who is required or permitted to do so, from entering a confined space.
Requirements before confined space is entered
15.7(1) An employer must, before requiring or permitting a worker to enter or work in
a confined space,
(a) ensure that the worker entering the space wears a full-body harness attached
to a lifeline that is attached to a personal hoisting device, unless an alternate safe
method of access and egress is provided from all accessible parts of the confined
(b) identify and take measures to ensure that a worker will not be exposed to the
risk of drowning or becoming engulfed or entrapped in any liquid or free-flowing
solid that may be present in the confined space; and
(c) identify and take measures to ensure that all energy sources that present a
hazard to a worker entering, occupying or leaving the confined space have been
locked out, and the energy sources have been put in a zero energy state.
15.7(2) An employer must ensure that the structural integrity of a confined space is
maintained when its physical characteristics are altered in order to ensure safe access
and egress by a worker.
15.8(1) An employer must ensure that
(a) a standby worker is designated for every confined space; and
(b) the standby worker remains present at the entrance to a confined space at all
times while a worker is in the space if the risk assessment done under
clause 15.3(a) has identified that the space is or may become hazardous to a
worker entering it for any reason, including:
(i) the design or construction of the confined space,
(ii) the materials or substances in the confined space, including the materials
or substances in its atmosphere, or
(iii) the work activities performed or the processes used in the confined
15.8(2) An employer must ensure that
(a) a worker designated as a standby worker is
(i) qualified as a first aider 1, 2 or 3, as set out in Part 5 (First Aid), and
(ii) trained in confined space work and emergency and rescue procedures;
(b) the designated standby worker
(i) is in direct communication with the worker in the confined space, and
(ii) has a suitable system to summon assistance if necessary; and
(c) the worker in the confined space is able to directly communicate with the
15.9 An employer must ensure that appropriate barricades and warning signs are
provided to keep vehicle and pedestrian traffic away from a confined space in which
work is, or is about to be, carried out.
Purging and ventilating unsafe atmosphere
15.10(1) In the following circumstances, an employer must ensure that a confined
space is purged, ventilated or both before a worker is required or permitted to enter it:
(a) where there is or may be a concentration of a flammable or explosive
substance present at more than 10% of its lower explosive limit, the space must
be purged, ventilated or both so that the concentration is reduced to less
(b) where there is or may be an oxygen deficiency - oxygen content less
than 19.5% by volume - or oxygen enrichment - oxygen content greater than 23%
by volume - the space must be purged, ventilated or both so that the oxygen
content is at least 19.5% but not more than 23%;
(c) subject to subsection (2), where there is or may be a chemical or biological substance that creates a risk to the safety or health of the worker, the space must
be purged, ventilated or both to the extent possible to eliminate or reduce the risk
associated with the substance.
15.10(2) When a worker occupies a confined space that has an atmosphere that may
create a risk to the safety or health of a worker, the employer must ensure that
(a) the space is continuously ventilated to maintain a safe atmosphere; and
(b) the atmosphere is continuously monitored by a competent person.
Personal protective equipment and other control measures
15.11 When purging, ventilating or both cannot bring the atmosphere within a
confined space into compliance with clauses 15.10(1)(a) to (c), an employer must
ensure that additional control measures are undertaken to protect the safety and health
of the worker entering the space, including providing to a worker personal protective
equipment appropriate for the conditions in the confined space.
15.12 Despite any other provision of this Part, an employer must not require or
(a) a worker to enter a confined space if the oxygen content level in the space is
above 23%; or
(b) a worker, other than a firefighter responding to an emergency, to enter a
confined space if a concentration of a flammable or explosive substance in the
confined space cannot be reduced to less than 10% of its lower explosive limit.
Emergency response - general
15.13 An employer must ensure that
(a) the personal protective and emergency equipment identified under
clauses 15.3(d) and (e) - equipment required to undertake rescue operations in
the event of an accident or other emergency within a confined space - is readily
available at the site of a confined space; and
(b) that, in the event of an accident or other emergency, the emergency response
plan and rescue procedures developed under clause 15.2(2)(e) are implemented.
Emergency response - top entry into confined space
15.14(1) When entry into a confined space is from the top, an employer must ensure
that, in the event of an accident or other emergency within the space,
(a) the worker entering the confined space and workers carrying out a rescue use
a full-body harness and are attached to a lifeline unless another appropriate
personal protective equipment system is provided;
(b) where a lifeline is used, the lifeline is attended by a worker who is trained in the
emergency response plan and rescue procedures; and
(c) where reasonably practicable, a personal hoisting device is
(i) available to assist with a rescue, and
(ii) located at the entrance to the confined space when a worker is in the
15.14(2) Despite clause (1)(a), when the use of a full-body harness attached to alifeline would create an additional risk to the worker in the confined space or would not be reasonably practicable, an employer must ensure that an alternate method of rescue is available to immediately remove a worker from a confined space into which entry is
from the top.
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