Confined Spaces

Chapter 296-809, WAC

Effective Date: 05/01/04

Helpful Tools

Alternate Entry Procedures

WAC 296-809-600

For printing

Your Responsibility:

To choose alternate entry procedures for spaces where the only hazard is a hazardous atmosphere


In addition to this section, you also need to meet the requirements in the following sections of this chapter:

WAC 296-809-200, Identifying and controlling permit-required confined spaces.
WAC 296-809-300, Permit-required confined space program.
WAC 296-809-400, Employee training.

You must

Make sure the following conditions are met if using alternate entry procedures.

Follow these alternate entry procedures for permit-required confined spaces.

WAC 296-809-60002
Make sure the following conditions are met if using alternate entry procedures

You must

• Make sure, when using alternate entry procedures, instead of permit entry procedures, that you have monitoring and inspection data that supports the following:

– That the only hazard of the permit-required confined space is an actual or potentially hazardous atmosphere.

– That continuous forced air ventilation alone is all that is needed to maintain the permit-required confined space for safe entry.

• Make sure an entry to obtain monitoring and inspection data or to eliminate hazards is performed according to WAC 296-809-500, Permit Entry Procedures.
• Make sure all documentation produced is available to each affected employee and their authorized representative.

WAC 296-809-60004
Follow these alternate entry procedures for permit-required confined spaces

You must

• Use the following alternate entry procedures:

– Eliminate any unsafe conditions before removing an entrance cover.

• When entrance covers are removed, promptly guard the opening with a railing, temporary cover, or other temporary barrier to prevent accidental falls through the opening and protect entrants from objects falling into the space.

• Certify that pre-entry measures have been taken (such as safe removal of the cover and having protection needed to gather pre-entry data), with the date, location of the space, and signature of the person certifying.

• Make the pre-entry certification available before entry to each entrant.

– Before an employee enters the confined space, test the internal atmosphere with a calibrated, direct-reading instrument for all of the following, in this order:

• Oxygen content.

• Flammable gases and vapors.

• Potential toxic air contaminants.

– Provide entrants, or their authorized representatives, with an opportunity to observe the pre-entry and periodic testing.

– Make sure the atmosphere within the space isn't hazardous when entrants are present.

- Use continuous forced air ventilation, as follows:

• Wait until the forced air ventilation has removed any hazardous atmosphere before allowing entrants into the space.
• Direct forced air ventilation toward the immediate areas where employees are, or will be, and continue ventilation until all employees have left the space.
• Provide the air supply from a clean source and make sure it doesn't increase hazards in the space.

- Test the atmosphere within the space as needed to make sure hazards don't accumulate.

- If a hazardous atmosphere is detected during entry, do all of the following:

• Evacuate employees from the space immediately.
• Evaluate the space to determine how the hazardous atmosphere developed.
• Implement measures to protect employees from the hazardous atmosphere before continuing the entry operation.
• Verify the space is safe for entry before continuing the entry operation.

Helpful Tool:

Atmospheric Testing of Permit-required Confined Spaces

You can find information on atmospheric testing of permit-required confined spaces in the Resources section of this rule.

End of main content, page footer follows.

Access Washington official state portal

© Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. Use of this site is subject to the laws of the state of Washington.