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Part 2 of 3

Permit-Required Confined Space Entry - The Attendant



Every Monday by
Grain Journal
Editor Kendall Trump

A permit-required confined space entry team must fill three roles: entrant, attendant, and entry supervisor.

The attendant plays a critical role in permit-required confined space operations. 

The attendant is the individual stationed outside of a permit-required confined space who monitors the authorized entrants.

The attendant must perform all attendant-related duties assigned in the employer's permit-space program.

The duties of the attendant include:

  • Identifying the hazards that may be faced during entry including the modes, signs, or symptoms and consequences of exposure.
  • Being aware of effects of hazard exposure in authorized entrants (e.g., oxygen deficiency).
  • Continuously maintaining an accurate count of authorized entrants in the permit space.
  • Remaining outside the permit space during entry operations.
  • Communicating with authorized entrants to monitor their status and alert entrants of the need to evacuate the space, if the attendant detects a prohibited condition, behavioral effects of hazard exposure, or the attendant cannot perform his or her duties effectively and safely.
  • Summoning rescue and other emergency services as soon as it is determined that the authorized entrants need assistance to escape from the permit space hazards. 
  • Warning authorized persons that they must stay away from the permit space and advising unauthorized persons that they must exit immediately if they have entered the space.
  • Informing the authorized entrants and entry supervisor if unauthorized persons have entered the permit space.
  • Performing non-entry rescue as specified by the employer's rescue procedure.
  • Not performing duties that interfere with the duty to monitor and protect the authorized entrants.

If you are assigned the role of attendant, take it seriously; your coworkers are counting on you.

Part 1 - The Entrant

Part 3 - The Supervisor - Next Week!

Source: Joe Mlynek is president of Progressive Safety Services LLC, Gates Mills, OH;; and content creation expert for Safety Made Simple Inc., Olathe, KS;

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