Human Resources Policies
Confined Space

Category: Health and Safety
Sub-Category: General

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Policy Statement

This policy and its associated guidelines are intended to provide direction for the development of effective confined space programs to protect all employees who enter and perform work in confined spaces.

Application

This policy and its associated guidelines apply to all City-owned or leased facilities. It also applies to all City employees and contractors engaged in confined space entry at City of Toronto facilities.

This policy and its associated guidelines apply, with modification to Toronto Fire Services.


Definitions

“Assessment"

Means an assessment of the hazards with respect to one or more confined spaces in a workplace.

“Atmospheric Hazards”

Means

  • (a) the accumulation of flammable, combustible or explosive agents’
  • (b) an oxygen content in the atmosphere that is less than 19.5 percent or more than 23 per cent by volume,
  • (c) the accumulation of atmospheric contaminants, including gases, vapours, fumes, dust or mists, that could,

    • ; I. result if acute health effects that pose an immediate threat to life, or
    • ; II. interfere with a person’s ability to escape unaided from a confined space.

“Confined Space”

Means a fully or partially enclosed space,

  • That is not both designed and constructed for continuous human occupancy, AND
  • In which atmospheric hazards may occur because of its construction, location or contents or because of work that is done in it.

“Lead Employer”

Means an employer who contracts for the services of one or more other employers or independent contractors in relation to one or more confined spaces that are located,

  • (a) In the lead employer’s own workplace, or
  • (b) In another employer’s workplace

“Hot Work”

Means work that is capable of producing a source of ignition.

“Permit”

Means a written entry permit prepared by a competent person in advance of entering a specific confined space and that meets the requirements described in regulation. A “plan” may be incorporated into a permit.

“Plan”

Means a written plan (as described in regulation) for one or more confined spaces in a workplace.

“Program”

Means a written program (as described in regulation) for one or more confined spaces in a workplace.


Responsibilities

Division Heads Who Occupy and/or are Responsible for Maintaining Their Own Facilities (including City Properties) will ensure that:

  • Confined space work is performed in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, applicable regulations, this policy and its associated guidelines and industry standards.
  • Where there is multi-employer involvement in a confined space entry, a co-ordination document is prepared by the lead employer.
  • Resources and funds are made available to ensure work can be carried out in accordance with legislative requirements, this policy and its associated guidelines and divisional safe work procedures.
  • A process is developed for evaluating work operations to determine where a confined space entry program and plans are required.
  • A written confined space entry program is developed, implemented and maintained, as required by the applicable regulation and this policy’s associated guidelines
  • Adequate written confined space plans, including procedures for the control of hazards, are developed and implemented by a competent person for every confined space.
  • Identifying and providing appropriate personal protective equipment (refer to recommended PPE in the associated guideline).
  • General and specific training are provided to managers, supervisors and workers involved in confined space work every 3 years.
  • An evaluation process is established for the purchase of new equipment used in confined space work, in consultation with joint health and safety committees and health and safety staff.
  • Regular reviews of the confined space entry program and plans are performed.

Staff Who Acquire (purchase/lease) and/or Maintain Facilities will ensure that:

  • When purchasing or leasing facilities, where City employees will be located, conduct an assessment to identify if there are any confined spaces, and if there are, notify the occupying divisions prior to occupancy.
  • The requirements of the confined space legislation, this policy and its associated guidelines are met as they apply to maintenance operations.

Staff (Including PMMD) Who Hire Contractors Who’s Work Includes Confined Space Entry will ensure that:

  • Language in RFPs, contracts, etc. stipulate that the contractor’s employees are adequately trained in confined space procedures, provide their own equipment and if requested provide a copy of their confined space program.
  • Language in RFPs, contracts, etc. includes a requirement that contractors will adhere to the co-ordination document prepared by the division.

Managers (Whose Staff Work in Confined Spaces) will ensure that:

  • All confined spaces within their area of operation are identified and assessed.
  • For each of their workplaces, establish a centralized listing of all confined spaces including a description of the confined space, its location and its specific plan.
  • A written confined space program and plans are developed (in consultation with the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative), implemented and maintained.
  • A process is developed and implemented to ensure that all confined space equipment is adequate and is maintained in good working order.

Staff who have supervisory duties will:

  • Be familiar with all aspects of the divisional confined space program and specific confined space entry plans.
  • Be familiar with the actual and potential hazards associated with confined space work.
  • Develop written safe work procedures for specific tasks, particularly in unusual or unique situations in consultation with work crews, managers, the JHSC and safety staff as necessary.
  • Ensure that all employees under their supervision who work in confined spaces are competent to do assigned work and are provided with instruction and training prior to work assignments.
  • Ensure that confined space assessments, control plans, on-site rescue procedures and entry permits are completed prior to confined space work assignments.
  • Ensure that air monitoring is conducted prior to entering a confined space and that test results recorded onto the confined space entry permit.
  • Ensure that a hot work permits are issued before hot work is performed in a confined space.
  • Monitor staff to ensure procedures are followed and when violations occur, take appropriate action.
  • Ensure that all staff use or wear required safety equipment when performing assigned tasks.
  • Ensure that all equipment needed for confined space work is in good working condition.

Workers will:

  • Work in accordance with legislative requirements, this policy and its associated guidelines, and divisional confined space programs and plans.
  • Attend all relevant confined space training before performing confined space work and apply knowledge gained in the performance of their work.
  • Use or wear all equipment required to safely perform workplace specific activities.
  • Report any violations, hazards or deficiencies in equipment to immediate supervisor without delay.
  • Assist supervisory staff in developing safe work procedures for specific tasks.
  • Follow established procedures in the event of an injury, accident or emergency.

Joint Health and Safety Committees/Health and Safety Representatives will:

  • Actively assist management through consultation, in the development of the confined space program and specific plans.
  • Assist management in a regular review of equipment status.
  • Make recommendations during the evaluation process of new confined space equipment prior to purchase.
  • Review this policy and relevant procedures annually and make recommendations for changes if necessary.
  • Conduct an annual audit of confined spaces within their area of responsibility.

Occupational Health and Safety Staff will:

  • Assist in the evaluation of work operations as necessary, to determine the need for confined space entry programs.
  • Provide assistance in the development of confined space programs and plans.
  • Provide assistance in the development and delivery of confined space training.
  • Conduct periodic audits of the confined space entry program and plans, and recommend changes, as needed.
  • Provide assistance during the evaluation process of new confined space equipment prior to purchase.
  • Advise divisions and joint health and safety committees of any changes to the relevant legislation, standards and industry practices.

Related Policies/Guidelines


Authority





Endorsed by

  • Occupational Health & Safety Co-ordinating Committee, (OHSCC), June 6, 2007
  • OHSCC Reviewed: April 29, 2015 and April 26, 2016

Approved by

City Manager, July 23, 2007

Date Approved

July 23, 2007

Reviewed by OHSCC

April 26, 2016

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