A confined space, as defined by OSHA, is an area that has limited openings for entry or exit, is large enough for entering and working, and is not designed for continuous occupancy. Working in a confined space is often required of MSC service technicians who must enter air handlers, exhaust fan plenums, tanks, filter assemblies, various process equipment, pits, and tunnels on a routine basis.
A permit-required confined space has one or more of the following characteristics: contains, or has the potential to contain, a hazardous atmosphere; contains material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper to a smaller area that could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; contains any other recognized safety or health hazard such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.
All MSC technicians are trained in confined space safety and awareness, and a number of our service technicians are fully trained in permit-required confined space entry. We also have an internal confined space rescue team as required by OSHA for permit-required work, enabling MSC to perform all types of confined space work as an important turnkey service.
Before entering any confined space, workers must identify physical hazards, follow proper entry procedures, and know how and when to exit. The atmosphere should be tested and monitored for oxygen content, flammability, toxicity, and explosive hazards as necessary. Required equipment may be necessary for fall protection, rescue, air monitoring, ventilation, lighting, and communication per established procedures. Finally, workers must maintain visual, phone, or radio contact with trained attendant at all times while in a confined space.