OHS Code

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 5 Confined Spaces

Section 53 Ventilation and purging

(1) If the atmospheric testing under section 52 identifies that a hazardous atmosphere exists or is likely to exist in a confined space, an employer must ensure that the confined space is ventilated, purged or both before a worker enters the confined space.

(2) If ventilating or purging a confined space is impractical or ineffective in eliminating a hazardous atmosphere, the employer must ensure that a worker who enters the confined space uses personal protective equipment appropriate for the conditions within the confined space.

(3) If mechanical ventilation is needed to maintain a safe atmosphere in a confined space during the work process, an employer must ensure it is provided and operated as needed.

(4) If mechanical ventilation is required to maintain a safe atmosphere in the confined space, the employer must ensure that

(a) the ventilation system incorporates a method of alerting workers to a failure of the system so that workers have sufficient time to safely leave the confined space, and

(b) all workers within the confined space have received training in the evacuation procedures to be used in the event of a ventilation system failure.

(5) All workers must evacuate a confined space or use an alternative means of protection if a ventilation system fails.