WHMIS

Nova Scotia Legislation

Nova Scotia 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 copyright © 2009, Province of Nova Scotia
Occupational Health and Safety Act
S.N.S. 1996, c. 7


Part 12 - Confined Space Entry

Application and interpretation
129 (1) In this Part, "confined space" means an enclosed or partially enclosed space
(a) not designed or intended for regular human occupancy;
(b) with restricted access or exit; and
(c) that is or may become hazardous to a person entering it because of its design, construction, location, atmosphere or the materials or substances in it or other conditions.
(2) Sections 130 to 137 do not apply to
(a) a development heading in an underground mine; and
(b) a firefighter engaged in structural fire-fighting or rescue, if the firefighter has received adequate training for confined space entry and rescue.
Clause 129(2)(b) replaced: O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000.
[Note: Section 129 effective November 1, 2000.]

Assessment and written procedures
130 (1) An employer shall ensure that no person enters a confined space until the employer has fulfilled the requirements of this Section and a competent person has provided a written certificate, in accordance with Section 131.
(2) Where a workplace includes a confined space, the employer shall ensure that a person who may be required to enter the confined space has the information necessary to identify it as such.
(3) Where at least one confined space has been identified, an employer shall develop a written confined space entry procedure that includes provision
(a) that prior to the entry of a person into the confined space, an assessment of the confined space is
(i) done in accordance with subsection (8), and
(ii) recorded by the person conducting the assessment in accordance with Section 131;
(b) for the training required by a person who may enter a confined space in the course of the person’s work, and for the training required by a person who may undertake rescue operations with regard to a confined space, including training on
(i) proper use of personal protective equipment,
(ii) written rescue procedures,
(iii) maintaining contact between a person in the confined space and an attendant required under clause 134(2)(a) and the means by which the written rescue procedure is initiated in the event of an emergency in the confined space,
(iv) the limitations on the type of work that can be performed in the confined space, and
(v) the means of identifying a hazard while in a confined space;
(c) for the process for notifying a person entering a confined space of the specific type of work that may be performed in the confined space;
(d) for the method to be followed by a person entering into, exiting from or occupying the confined space;
(e) for the protective equipment that is to be used by every person entering the confined space;
(f) for the written emergency procedures to be followed in the event of an accident or other emergency in or near the confined space, including
(i) immediate evacuation of the confined space when an alarm is activated or there is any significant, unexpected and potentially hazardous change in the concentration, level or percentage referred to in subsection (8),
(ii) a determination of whether more than one person is required to be present outside a confined space during the occupancy of any person, and
(iii) a written rescue procedure;
Clause 130(3)(f) replaced: O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000.
(g) for the protective equipment and emergency equipment to be used by a person who undertakes rescue operations in the event of an accident or other emergency;
(h) for a written procedure for testing the confined space in an adequate manner, at regular intervals and on a continuous basis, if necessary, to ensure the concentration or level of a hazardous substance or physical agent complies with the limits in subsection (8); and
(i) for a means of ventilating the confined space to ensure the removal or dilution of all airborne hazardous substances from the confined space.
(4) An employer shall provide to each person entering the confined space and a person who may undertake rescue operations the protective equipment and emergency equipment referred to in this Section.
(5) An employer shall ensure that
(a) a person who enters a confined space is trained at least once every 2 years in accordance with the procedures set out in clause (3)(b); and
(b) a person who undertakes rescue operations is trained at least once every year in accordance with the procedures set out in clause (3)(b).
Subsection 130(5) replaced: O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000.
(6) Every person who enters into, exits from or occupies the confined space shall follow the written procedures and use the protective equipment and emergency equipment as required.
(7) An employer shall review the confined space entry procedure at least once a year and amend it, if necessary.
(8) An employer shall designate a competent person who shall perform the assessment required in clause (3)(a), which shall include
(a) where the level of a chemical substance or a mixture of chemical substances may constitute a hazard, tests to ensure that the concentration of a chemical substance or a mixture of chemical substances in the confined space does not exceed its occupational exposure limit under the Occupational Health Regulations or 50% of its lower explosive limit;
(b) where the level of a physical agent may constitute a hazard, tests to ensure that the level of the physical agent in the confined space is not hazardous;
(c) tests to ensure that the level of oxygen in the atmosphere in the confined space is not less than 19.5 % and not more than 22.5 %, unless the employer can demonstrate that an unsafe oxygen level is not a possibility in the circumstance;
(d) a determination of whether the concentrations, levels or percentages referred to in clauses (a), (b) and (c) can be maintained during the period of proposed occupancy of the confined space;
(e) a confirmation that any liquid in which the person may drown or any free flowing solid in which a person may become entrapped has been removed from the confined space or that work practices have been developed that specifically address the presence of the liquid or solid;
(f) a confirmation that entry of any liquid, free flowing solid or hazardous substance into the confined space that could endanger the health or safety of a person has been prevented by a secure means of disconnection, the fitting of blank flanges or the implementation of a double block and bleed written procedure established by the employer or similar positive actions;
(g) confirmation that a machine, equipment, tool or electrical installation that presents a hazard to a person entering into, exiting from or occupying the confined space has been locked out; and
(h) confirmation that the opening for entry into and exit from the confined space is sufficient to allow safe passage of a person who is using personal protective equipment or emergency equipment.
(9) Where there is no possibility that a hazard identified in clauses (8)(a), (b) and (c) may occur, the requirements of clause (3)(h) do not apply.
(10) The competent person referred to in subsection (8) shall, when performing the tests required under clauses (8)(a), (b) and (c), use appropriate and properly calibrated instruments that have been functionally tested and maintain a written record of the functional and calibration tests.
(11) An employer shall keep the assessment and the confined space entry procedure required under subsection (3) at the place of business of the employer nearest to the workplace at which the confined space is located.
(12) An employer shall make available a copy of the confined space entry procedure to all persons involved in the entry of a confined space.
[Note: Section 130 and amendments to it made by O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000 effective November 1, 2000.]
Certification of confined space conditions
131 (1) Subsequent to performing the tests required in clauses 130(8)(a), (b) and (c), a designated competent person shall certify, in writing, that the conditions tested in the confined space are likely to be maintained within a predicted and recorded range for the entire time the certification is valid, and the certification shall include
(a) the signature of the competent person;
(b) the date and time of when the tests were performed;
(c) the type of work that
(i) can be performed in the confined space, and
(ii) is explicitly banned in the confined space;
(d) the means by which the work is to be performed;
(e) the expiry date and time of the certification; and
(f) a record of the tests performed and of the test results.
(2) No certification issued under subsection (1) shall be valid for longer than 24 hours after the time the tests required by clause 130(8)(a) and (b) were performed.
(3) An employer shall post a copy of the currently valid certification required in subsection (1) at the entrance to the confined space for the duration of the confined space occupancy.
(4) An employer shall maintain a copy of the certification required in subsection (1) for 12 months.
[Note: Section 131 effective November 1, 2000.]

Purging and further testing
132 Where the tests required in clauses 130(8) (a), (b) and (c) indicate that the concentration level or percentage referred to in those clauses cannot be complied with, an employer shall
(a) ensure that, where reasonably practicable, the confined space is purged at least twice to eliminate the hazards referred to in clauses 130(8)(a) to (d); and
(b) after the purging, ensure that the tests required under subsection 130(8) are conducted again.
[Note: Section 132 effective November 1, 2000.]

Response to hazardous condition
133 (1) An employer shall ensure that no person enters or remains in a confined space where the tests conducted under clause 130(8)(a) indicate that a concentration of a chemical substance or mixture of chemical substances in the confined space equals or exceeds 50% of the lower explosive limit of the chemical substance or mixture of chemical substances.
(2) Where the concentration of a chemical substance or mixture of chemical substances may cause a flammable or explosive hazard, and where the tests conducted under clause 130(8)(a) indicate that the concentration of the substance or substances in a confined space is between 10% and 50% of the lower explosive limit, an employer shall
(a) provide explosion-proof lighting and ensure that it is used where necessary; and
(b) ensure that the only work performed in the confined space is cleaning or inspecting and is of such a nature that it does not create any source of ignition.
(3) Where the level of oxygen in a confined space is more than 22.5% and a person is to work in the confined space, an employer shall ensure that the confined space does not contain any substance which would be classified as flammable and combustible material or as dangerously reactive material under the Controlled Products Regulations made under the Hazardous Products Act (Canada).
(4) Despite subsection (1), where the tests conducted under clause 130(8)(a) indicate that the concentration of a chemical substance or mixture of chemical substances in the confined space exceeds, or is likely to exceed, 50% of the lower explosive limit, measured at atmospheric conditions containing 20.9% oxygen, of the chemical substance or mixture of chemical substances and cannot be lowered below that prescribed threshold level, a person may enter the confined space if the employer ensures that
(a) the atmosphere is confirmed inert by a competent person after the performance of appropriate tests; and
Clause 133(4)(a) replaced: O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000.
(b) the person is using appropriate protective equipment when working in the confined space.
Subsection 133(4) amended: O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000.
[Note: Section 133 and amendments to it made by O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000 effective November 1, 2000.]

Protective equipment and security measures
134 (1) An employer shall ensure that all protective equipment and emergency equipment identified under subsection 130(3) is provided as close as reasonably practicable to the entrance to the confined space before a person enters the confined space.
(2) Where a person enters a confined space, an employer shall ensure that a designated competent person
(a) is in attendance in the immediate vicinity of the confined space;
(b) has a means of adequate communication with a person inside the confined space;
Clause 134(2)(b) amended: O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000.
(c) is provided with a means of activating the rescue procedure in an emergency;
(d) is adequately trained in the emergency response procedure; and
Clause 134(2)(d) replaced: O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000.
(e) maintains a record of who is in the confined space.
Clause 134(2)(e) added: O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000.
(3) An employer shall
(a) where reasonably practicable, provide a person entering into and occupying a confined space with a full body harness;
(b) ensure that a full body harness provided under clause (a) is worn; and
(c) where it does not present a hazard, ensure that an attached life line is
(i) securely fastened to an anchor point, and
(ii) controlled by the competent person referred to in subsection (2).
(4) An employer shall ensure that the full body harness referred to in subsection (3) complies with the requirements for Group E harnesses in CSA standard CAN/CSA-259.10-M90, "Full Body Harnesses".
[Note: Section 134 and amendments to it made by O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000 effective November 1, 2000.]

Respiratory protective equipment
135 (1) An employer shall provide
(a) appropriate respiratory protective equipment to a person who enters a confined space where the concentration of a chemical substance or a mixture of chemical substances in a confined space is hazardous to the health or safety of a person; and
Clause 135(1)(a) amended: O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000.
(b) positive pressure respiratory protective equipment to a person who enters a confined space where the concentration of oxygen is less than 19.5 %.
Clause 135(1)(b) amended: O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000.
(2) An employer shall ensure that the respiratory protective equipment referred to in clause (1)(b)
(a) has an air line and an independent 5-minute supply of air; or
(b) is self-contained and equipped with an audible alarm that sounds when the air supply has diminished to
(i) 20% of the capacity of the unit, or
(ii) a 5-minute reserve.
Subsection 135(2) amended: O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000.
[Note: Section 135 and amendments to it made by O.I.C. 2000-130, N.S. Reg. 52/2000 effective November 1, 2000.]

Hazard of electrical shock
136 Where there is a hazard of electrical shock in a confined space, an employer shall ensure that electrical equipment taken into the confined space is
(a) battery operated;
(b) double insulated;
(c) bonded to ground and not exceeding 30 v and 100 volt-amps; or
(d) equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A type that complies with CSA standard C22.1-98, "Canadian Electrical Code Part 1 (18th edition), Safety Standard for Electrical Installations" and that is tested before each use.
[Note: Section 136 effective November 1, 2000.]
137 An employer shall ensure that adequate warning signs and barricades are installed or erected to protect a person working as part of a confined space entry, if a hazard from any form of traffic exists.
 

 

Alert First-Aid Inc is now serving: 

Amherst | Antigonish | Barrington | Bedford | Bridgewater | Dartmouth | Digby | Enfield | Halifax | Hubbards | Kentville | Lawrencetown | Mahone Bay | New Glasgow | New Minas | North Sydney |Port Hawkesbury | Sheet Harbour | Stellarton | Sydney | Terence Bay | Troy | Truro | West Bay |Weymouth | Windsor | Wolfville | Yarmouth