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Enclosed or Confined Space

An ‘Enclosed Space’ is defined as a space that has the following
  • Limited openings for entry and exit.
  • Unfavorable natural ventilation.
  • Not designed for continuous worker occupancy.
Enclosed or confined spaces include, but are not limited to, cargo spaces, double bottoms, fuel tanks, ballast tanks, pump rooms,
compressor rooms, cofferdams, void spaces, duct keels, inter barrier spaces, engine crankcases and sewage tanks.

Although pump rooms come within the definition of an enclosed space, they have their own particular equipment, characteristics and risks which require special precautions and procedures.
It is the responsibility of the ship’s operator to establish procedures for safe entry of personnel into an enclosed spaces. The process of requesting, raising, issuing and documenting permits to enter into an enclosed or confined space should be controlled by procedures in the ship’s Safety Management System (SMS). 

It is the Master’s responsibility to ensure that the established procedures for entry into an enclosed space are implemented.
The Master and responsible officer are responsible for determining whether entry into an enclosed space may be permitted. It is the duty of the responsible officer to ensure:
  • That the space is ventilated.
  • That the atmosphere in the compartment is tested and found
  • satisfactory.
  • That safeguards are in place to protect personnel from the hazards
  • that are identified.
  • That appropriate means for controlling entry are in place.

Personnel carrying out work in an enclosed space are responsible for following the procedures and for using the safety equipment specified


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