This program provides guidance to ensure that appropriate confined space procedures are followed before, during and after entry into any permit required confined spaces.  The program protects individuals from recognized mechanical and atmospheric hazards that are unique to confined space environments.


This program establishes the requirements to be used before, during and after entry into a permit required confined space at Juniata College.

Juniata’s program covers those confined spaces which are potentially hazardous.  These terms are defined as follows:

A confined space is a space that:

  • is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work, and
  • has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and
  • is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

Characteristics making a confined space permit required include:

  • contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere (example – carbon monoxide, oxygen deficient/enriched, > 10% LEL) and/or
  • contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant  and/or
  • has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated and/or
  • contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard

General Requirements

Permit System 

Prior to entering a permit required confined space, individuals must be issued a confined space work permit (Reference Attachment A) that has been completed and signed by an entry supervisor.  The permit is made available to all entrants and the attendant prior to and during the entry by posting it at the entrance to the space.

All confined space work permits are immediately cancelled by the Facilities Department following the completion of entry operations or when a condition that is not permitted according to the entry permit arises in or near the permitted space.

All cancelled confined space work permits must be forwarded to the Operations Supervisor, where they are retained for review for a minimum of one (1) year.


Juniata College employees whose work requires them to enter confined spaces complete a training course to ensure that they acquire an understanding of hazards and prevention techniques associated with confined space entry.  Individuals shall acquire the knowledge and skills for the safe performance of duties associated with being an authorized entrant, attendant, or entry supervisor. The training course shall address:

  • Recognition of potential mechanical and atmospheric hazards found within confined spaces.
  • Awareness of past experiences associated with entering confined spaces.
  • Measures to be used to isolate confined spaces and eliminate or control permit space hazards including atmospheric hazards prior to entry.
  • How to secure emergency assistance. 
  • Entry supervisors are instructed on how to select, calibrate and use specific instruments to test atmospheres in confined spaces.
  • Retraining is provided for all authorized and affected employees whenever there is a change in their job assignments, a change in permit space operations that present a new hazard, or when there is a change in the Confined Space Entry Program.  Additional retraining is also conducted whenever periodic audits reveal, or whenever there is reason to believe that there are deviations from or inadequacies in employee’s knowledge or use of confined space entry procedures.


Authorized Entrants

Employees recognized as authorized entrants perform their assigned duties without exception as follows:

Hazard Recognition: Entrants must recognize the physical and atmospheric hazards that may be encountered within the confined space.  This includes an understanding of mode, signs, symptoms, and consequences of exposure.

Protective Equipment: Entrants must understand the proper selection and use of entry equipment including instruments used to monitor atmospheres, forced ventilation, communications, lighting, barriers, and ladders, as well as personal protective equipment.

Communications: Entrants must communicate with the attendant to enable the attendant to monitor entrant’s well being and to enable the attendant to successfully alert entrants of the need to evacuate the confined space.  Additionally, entrants must alert the attendant whenever he/she recognizes any warning signs or symptoms of exposure to a dangerous situation or when he/she detects a prohibited condition.

Entrants: must immediately evacuate a confined space as rapidly as possible whenever an order to evacuate is given by the attendants or whenever they recognize the warning signs of exposure to potential hazardous substances or dangerous situations.


All individuals who enter a confined space are observed by a qualified attendant located outside the confined space work area. All confined space entries require a qualified attendant.  The attendant must remain on duty continuously during entry operations and perform their assigned duties and responsibilities without exception as follows:

Hazard Recognition: Attendants must know and be able to recognize potential physical and atmospheric hazards associated with the confined space.  The attendant must continuously monitor conditions both inside and outside the confined space work area to determine if individuals can safely remain in a confined space.

Communications:  It is the attendant’s responsibility to order all entrants out of the space when: conditions not allowed on the entry permit occur; the attendant notices behavioral changes in the entrants; an uncontrolled hazard within the permit space occurs; the attendant notices a condition outside the permit space that could endanger entrants area; or the attendant must leave his/her post.

Administrative:  Attendant must remain outside the confined space during entry operations, unless another qualified attendant properly relieves them.  Attendants must maintain and document an accurate count and identity of authorized entrants in the confined space.

Securing the Area: The attendant is also charged with keeping unauthorized personnel from entering the area.  If unauthorized personnel enter the vicinity of the confined space area, it is the attendant’s responsibility to instruct them to leave.  If unauthorized personnel enter the confined space work area itself, the attendant must notify entrants, as well as the entry supervisor.

Emergency Response: Attendants must immediately summon help as soon as it is determined that entrant(s) may need assistance to escape from permit space hazards. Attendants must never enter a confined space to assist entrants.  The duty of an attendant in an emergency situation is to call 911 and alert Public Safety immediately.

Entry Supervisors

Individuals who have successfully completed appropriate training to be entry supervisors shall perform their assigned duties without exception as follows:

Hazard Recognition: Entry supervisors must recognize potential physical and atmospheric hazards associated with the confined space being entered and communicate the mode, sign, symptoms, and consequences of potential exposure.

Permit Certification: Entry supervisor verifies that the appropriate entries have been made on the permit, that all tests specified by the permit have been conducted and that all procedures and equipment specified by the permit are in place before signing the permit and allowing entry.  By completing and signing the confined space entry permit, the entry supervisor is certifying that the following acceptable entry conditions have been met:

  • All mechanical and chemical energy sources associated with the confined space have been isolated, properly locked out and all residual energy has been safely depleted.
  • Atmospheric conditions inside the confined space are suitable for entry.
Condition Acceptable Range
Oxygen 19.5% - 23.0%
Flammable Vapor/Gas < 10% LEL
Hydrogen Sulfide 0.00 PPM
Carbon Monoxide (CO) < 50 PPM

Permit Termination: Entry supervisor shall terminate entry and cancel the entry permit when operations covered by the permit have been completed or when a condition that is not allowed under the entry permit arises.