Air monitoring should be performed prior to entry. At a minimum, oxygen and LEL levels need to be monitored. In addition, if other toxins are suspected, then those levels also need to be monitored (eg. CO, H2S, Cl2). Air within a confined space should be monitored prior to entry in the following order: Oxygen - test for oxygen first in order to be sure you get an accurate LEL reading. Most combustible gas meters are oxygen-dependent and will not provide reliable readings in an oxygen-deficient atmosphere. Oxygen levels should be between 19.5 and 23.5%.
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Wearing a respirator is only permitted if you have been medically cleared and fit-tested to wear a respirator.
A confined space is an area/location that meets all three of the following criteria: Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work. Has limited or restricted means of entry or exit (eg. tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults and pits). Is not designed for continuous occupancy.
Anytime there is an overhead hazard present.
General guidelines from OSHA, ANSI and most manufacturers state fall protection equipment does not have a specified shelf-life or life expectancy. However, their stance on this issue strictly depends upon manufacturer. Still, routine inspection of all fall protection should be done per manufacturer guidelines.
Lockout is the placement of an energy isolation device on a piece of equipment to render it inoperable. A lockout uses a lock to hold an energy-isolating device in a safe position and prevents the energization of the machine or equipment. Tagout is when a tag is placed on a piece of equipment to indicate that the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.