Your Guide to When May the Attendant Enter a Confined Space

confined space rescue entry

Confined Space Entry

Confined space regulation limits entry into the space. However, there are some exceptions when attendants can enter the space too. Learn when this is possible.

CARSON, CA, UNITED STATES, June 8, 2021 / -- Suppose you work in a manufacturing plant, a chemical facility, or other similar places. In that case, you are probably aware of the various rules and regulations that dictate entry into a confined space. When it comes to dealing with these spaces, there are usually three types of people involved. These are the supervisor, the entrant, and the attendant. Typically, only the entrant enters the confined space. However, there are some exceptions when an attendant can enter this space too. Read on as we discuss when may the attendant enter a confined space.

What Is A Confined Space?

To the uninitiated wondering what is a confined space, a confined space is an enclosed space that is typically difficult to access and poses a high level of risk to entrants. It can exist above or below the ground and usually lacks appropriate ventilation. There is also the risk of water flooding a confined space, putting the people inside at risk.

What are the Duties of an Authorized Entrant and Attendant?

As mentioned earlier, only authorized entrants can enter a confined space. These are employees who are aware of the hazards associated with entering a confined space. They also know how to use the necessary equipment and the process of communicating with the attendant. Besides this, an authorized attendant knows how to send an alert to the attendant about any hazardous conditions and can carry out a self-rescue by exiting the space when necessary.

In comparison, an authorized attendant has different responsibilities. They are required to know about the hazards of a confined space and their behavioral effects. They should also identify the entrants, communicate with them, monitor them, and evacuate them if necessary. Moreover, an attendant must remain outside the confined space until they have been relieved of their duties. Finally, they are required to summon teams to initiate a confined space rescue. They must also make sure any unauthorized persons cannot enter the space.

When May the Attendant Enter a Confined Space?

Most confined space programs outline an attendant’s duties and responsibilities as per the description provided above. They make sure that an attendant never enters a confined space. However, 1910.146(i)(4) of the OSHA guidelines provide an exception to this rule. It states:

When a permit entry program allows it, the attendants may enter a confined space and attempt to rescue the individuals present inside. However, to do so, the attendant should be trained and equipped to carry out rescue operations if they have been relieved by another attendant.

Given this exception, it is clear that an attendant can enter a confined space under specific circumstances. They are also required to adhere to specific rules.

Wrapping It Up

We hope this answers your question as to when may the attendant enter a confined space. If you need to conduct maintenance or repair work in confined spaces, reach out to DCS rescue to have a team on standby for safely evacuating your team. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

Lance B
DCS Rescue
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