Do I need a Confined Space Entry Permit?

A confined space entry permit provides a formal check to ensure all elements of a safe system of work are in place before people are allowed to enter the confined space. It also provides a means of communication between site management, supervisors and those carrying out the work and ensures that the person conducting the business or undertaking has checked and authorised the entry to the confined space and it is safe to proceed.

Regulation 67 states:

A person conducting a business or undertaking must not allow or direct a worker to enter a confined space to carry out work unless the person has issued a confined space entry permit for the work.

The permit must be completed in writing by a competent person and:

  1. specify the confined space to which the permit relates
  2. record the names of persons permitted to enter the confined space and the period of time that the work will be carried out
  3. set out risk control measures based on the risk assessment, and
  4. contain space for an acknowledgement that work in the confined space has been completed and all persons have left the space.
Regulation 77: The permit must be kept until the work is completed, or if a notifiable incident occurs, for at least 2 years after the confined space work to which the permit relates is completed.

A competent person is one who has acquired through training, qualification or experience, the knowledge and skills to carry out this task.

A confined space entry permit must be issued for each entry into the confined space. Each permit only applies to one confined space and allows one or more workers to enter that space. A competent person who directs and supervises the work should be nominated and authorised to issue the permit on behalf of the business or undertaking.

A confined space entry permit is also required when a person enters a confined space to conduct the initial hazard identification or risk assessment. The permit may need to be revised after the risk assessment is completed.

Do you need training in:

  1. Issue permits
  2. Observe permit work
  3. Work in accordance with an issued permit