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Enclosed Space Entry

Before allowing access to the space, the responsible officer should ensure that:
  • Appropriate atmosphere checks have been carried out.
  • Piping, inert gas and ventilation systems have been isolated.
  • Effective ventilation will be maintained continuously while the enclosed space is occupied.
  • Fixed lighting, such as air-turbo lights, are ready for extended entry periods
  • Approved self-contained, positive pressure breathing apparatus and
  • resuscitation equipment is ready for use at the entrance to the space.
  • A rescue harness, complete with lifeline, is ready for immediate use at the entrance to the space.
  • Fully-charged safety torch is ready for immediate use at the entrance to the space.
  • A responsible member of the crew is in constant attendance outside the enclosed space, in the immediate vicinity of the entrance and in direct contact with a responsible officer.
  • These persons should be trained in the actions to be taken in the event of an emergency.
  • Lines of communications have been clearly established and are understood by all concerned.
  • The personnel undertaking the task should ensure that such safeguards are put into effect prior to entering the space.
  • The personal protective equipment to be used by people entering the space must be prescribed. 
  • The following items should be considered:
  1. Protective clothing including work clothing or protective suits, safety boots, safety helmet, gloves, safety
  2. glasses.
  3. For large spaces, or where climbing access will be undertaken, the wearing of safety harnesses may also be appropriate.
  4. Approved safety torches.
  5. Approved UHF radio.
  6. Personal gas detector or an area gas detector and alarm.
  7. Emergency Escape Breathing Device(s).

Prior to entry into an enclosed or confined space, a risk assessment should be completed to identify the potential hazards and to determine the safeguards to be adopted.The resulting safe working practice
should be documented and approved by the responsible officer before being countersigned by the master, who confirms that the practice is safe and in compliance with the ship’s Safety
Management System. The permit, or other enabling document, should be sighted and completed by the person entering the space, prior to entry.
The controls required for safe entry vary with the task being performed and the potential hazards identified during the risk assessment. However, in most cases an Entry or Confined space Permit System will provide a convenient and effective means of
ensuring and documenting that essential precautions have been taken and, where necessary, that physical safeguards have been put in place. The adoption of an Entry or confined space Permit System, which may include the use of a check list, is therefore

Permission to continue work should only be given for a period sufficient to complete the task. Under no circumstances should
the period exceed one day.

A copy of the permit should be prominently displayed at the entrance to the space to inform personnel of the precautions to be taken when entering the space and of any restrictions placed upon the activities permitted within the space.

The permit should be rendered invalid if ventilation of the space stops or if any of the conditions noted in the check list change.

Inspection of cargo tanks after cleaning and before loading can require an independent surveyor to enter the tank.

All relevant tank entry procedures must be observed.


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