Newfoundland Legislation

Newfoundland and Labrador 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.
Copyright © 2009: Queen’s Printer, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2009
under the
Occupational Health and Safety Act
(O.C. 2009-233)



Confined space entry
(1) An employer shall perform an assessment of the work area to determine whether it contains a confined space.
(2)       For the purpose of this Part, "confined space" means an enclosed or partially enclosed space that
(a)       is not designed or intended for human occupancy except for the purpose of performing work;
(b)       has restricted means of access and egress; and
(c)        may become hazardous to a person entering it as a result of
(i)         its design, construction, location or atmosphere,
(ii)        the materials or substances in it, or
(iii)       any other conditions relating to it.
(3)       A worker shall not work in a confined space after January 1, 2013 unless
he or she has completed a confined space entry program prescribed by     the commission.
(4)       An employer shall inform a worker who may have to work in a confined space of a hazard by posting signs or other equally effective means of advising of the existence of and dangers posed by confined spaces.

Corrective precautions
512.    (1) Upon first entering a confined space, a worker shall assume the space is hazardous until the contrary is demonstrated.
(2)       An employer shall ensure that a worker does not enter a confined space until
(a)       an adequate assessment of the hazards related to the confined space has been carried out;
(b)       a source containing a hazardous substance leading to the confined space is safely and completely blocked off or disconnected;
(c)        a test required under subsection (11) has been completed;
(d)       the worker is qualified to safely enter and perform dutieswithin the confined space;
(e)       a written work permit documenting the tests and safety precautions has been completed; and
(f)        a set of written safe work procedures has been developed and a worker has been instructed in these procedures.
(3)       The assessment referred to in paragraph (2)(a) shall be recorded in writing and shall consider, with respect to each confined space,
(a)       the hazards that may exist due to the design, construction, location, use or contents of the confined space; and
(b)       the hazards that may develop while work is done inside the confined space.
(4)       The record of the assessment may be incorporated into an entry permit.
(5)       Where 2 or more confined spaces are of similar construction and present the same hazards, their assessments may be recorded in a single document, but each confined space shall be clearly identified in the                                                 assessment.
(6)       The employer shall appoint a person with adequate knowledge, training and experience to carry out the assessment and shall maintain a record containing details of the person’s knowledge, training and experience.
(7)       The assessment shall contain the name of the person who carries out the assessment.
(8)       The person shall sign and date the assessment and provide it to the employer.
(9)       On request, the employer shall provide copies of the assessment and of the record to
(a)       the joint health and safety committee or the health and safety representative; or
(b)       every worker who performs work to which the assessment relates, where the workplace has no joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative.
(10)     The employer shall ensure that the assessment is reviewed as often as necessary to ensure that the assessment referred to in paragraph (2)(a) remains current.
(11)     Appropriate tests for harmful vapours, gasses, fumes, mists, dusts or explosive substances and oxygen deficiency shall be made and recorded
(a)       before entry into the confined space;
(b)       after an interruption in the work procedures; and
(c)        at appropriate intervals.
(12)     Where a test made under subsection (11) indicates an unsafe condition, the confined space shall be ventilated or cleaned or both and periodically retested to ensure that:
(a)       the oxygen content is between 20% and 22%;
(b)       the concentration of flammable substances is maintained below 10% of the lower explosive limit (LEL) of that substance or substances; and
(c)        a worker's exposure to harmful substances is maintained at acceptable levels in accordance the TLVs established by ACGIH.
(13)     Where a test under subsection (11) indicates the presence of a harmful or explosive substance and it is not feasible to provide a safe respirable atmosphere, an employer shall ensure that
(a)       a worker entering the confined space is provided with and wears respiratory and personal protective equipment appropriate to the hazards likely to be encountered; and
(b)       where a flammable or explosive gas or liquid is present all sources of ignition are controlled or eliminated.
(14)     Where control measures referred to in subsection (13) cannot be implemented, a worker shall leave the confined space.
(15)     Tests made under in subsection (11) shall be performed by a person who has been adequately trained in the proper use of testing and monitoring equipment.
(16)     Equipment used in testing and monitoring shall be calibrated and monitored according to the manufacturer's instructions.
(17)     The completed permit referred to in paragraph (2)(e) shall be made available at the time of entry to all authorized personnel by posting it at the entry portal or by another effective means.

Work procedures
(1)       An employer shall ensure that a worker who is required or permitted to enter a confined space in which a harmful atmosphere exists or may develop or where he or she may become entrapped by material
(a)       wears appropriate retrieval equipment which would keep the worker in a position to be rescued; and
(b)       has a life-line attached to the retrieval equipment which is tended at all times by a person, stationed outside the entrance to the confined space who shall be equipped for and capable of effecting rescue
and the employer shall prevent entanglement of life-lines and other equipment where one or more workers enter the confined space.
(2)       Notwithstanding subsection (1), the use of a lifeline is not required where an obstruction or other condition makes its use impractical or unsafe but, in that case, an employer shall implement procedures to ensure the safety of the worker.
(3)       Where a worker is required to enter a confined space his or her employer shall ensure that an attendant
(a)       is assigned the worker;
(b)       is stationed outside and near
(i)         the entrance to the confined space, or
(ii)        where there is more than one entrance to the confined space, the one that best allows the attendant to perform his or her duties under subsection (4);
(c)        is in continuous communication with the worker using the means of communication described in the relevant safe work procedure; and
(d)       is provided with a device for summoning an adequate rescue response.
(4)       An attendant shall not enter a confined space and shall, in accordance with the required safe work procedure,
(a)       monitor the safety of the worker in the confined space;
(b)       provide assistance to him or her; and
(c)        summon an adequate rescue response where one is required.

Entry into confined space
514.    A confined space shall be entered only where
(a)       the opening for entry and exit is sufficient to allow safe passage of a  person wearing personal protective equipment;
(b)       mechanical equipment in the confined space is
(i)         disconnected from its power source, and
(ii)        locked out and tagged;
(c)        pipes and other supply lines whose contents are likely to create a hazard are blanked off;
(d)       measures have been taken to ensure that, where appropriate, the  confined space is continuously ventilated;
(e)       liquid in which a person may drown or a free-flowing solid in which a person may become entrapped has been removed from the confined space;
(f)        adequate explosion-proof illumination is provided where appropriate; and
(g)       adequate barriers are erected to prohibit unauthorized entry.

Explosives or flammable atmosphere
515.    An employer shall ensure that a worker does not enter or remain in a confined space that contains or is likely to contain an explosive or flammable gas or vapour, unless
(a)       the worker is performing only inspection, work that does not produce a  source of ignition and, in the case of an explosive or flammable gas or vapour, the atmospheric concentration is less than 25% of its lower   explosive limit, as determined by a combustible gas measuring instrument;
(b)       the worker is performing only cold work and, in the case of an explosive or  flammable gas or vapour, the atmospheric concentration is less than 10% of its lower explosive limit as determined by combustible gas instruments;  or
(c)        the worker is performing hot work and all of the following conditions are  satisfied:
(i)         in the case of an explosive or flammable gas or vapour, the atmospheric concentration is less than 5% of its lower explosive limit, as determined by a combustible gas instrument,
(ii)        the atmosphere in the confined space does not contain, and is not likely to contain while a worker is inside, an oxygen content greater than 23%,
(iii)       the atmosphere in the confined space is monitored continuously,
(iv)       the entry permit includes adequate provisions for hot work and corresponding control measures, and
(v)        an adequate alarm system and exit procedures are provided to ensure that workers have adequate warning and are able to exit the confined space safely where either or both of the following occur, in the case of an explosive or flammable gas or vapour
(A)       the atmospheric concentration exceeds 5% of its lower explosive limit, or
(B)       the oxygen content of the atmosphere exceeds 23% by volume.

Rescue from confined space
516.    An employer shall ensure that emergency rescue procedures are established and followed where workers are trained in the event of an accident or other emergency in or near the confined space, including immediate evacuation of the confined space.

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