Confined Space and Tunnel Safety Programs

Summary: Confined Space

A safe and successful confined space entry requires preplanning. Preplanning includes identifying anticipated hazards inside the confined spaces, selecting proper equipment to control the hazards, providing good documentation on the necessary controls via the written Permit System, providing appropriate training for everyone involved in the entry, and rapidly responding to emergency situations.

EHS consults with departments and supervisors about feasible precautions and required safeguards to prevent exposures to toxic gases, oxygen deficiency, flammable atmospheres, and accidents related to entering confined spaces. By identifying the hazards and providing the appropriate controls, a confined space can become a safe and routine part of an employees’ everyday responsibilities. This program is intended to describe the University of Oregon's (UO) Confined Space Entry Program as required by the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OR-OSHA) rules Subdivision J, 1910.146. An addendum includes a list of locations of identified Confined Spaces.

Summary: Utility Tunnel Safety Program

The UO maintains an extensive tunnel system to facilitate the maintenance and repair of campus utility distribution systems. The tunnel system is a critical portion of the university’s utility distribution system and must be maintained and used in a safe manner at all times. The purpose of the tunnel safety program is to provide guidance for safely working in the tunnel system and sets forth the requirements for all university employees, associated contractors and vendors.

Contacts

Haily Griffith, Occupational Health and Safety Manager

hailyg@uoregon.edu

541-346-2962

General rules for use

Confined space program

The program will apply to any UO employee, student, and/or contractor employee that may enter into a space identified as a confined space.  Contractors must have a confined space program at least equivalent to this program and in accordance to applicable OR-OSHA related codes.

Before any employee becomes an entrant or attendant/rescuer connected with confined spaces, they shall be trained by EHS in their specific duties and be familiar with confined space entry procedures, conducting pre- and continual atmosphere testing, hazard recognition, and evaluation and control of suspected or known hazards associated within a confined space, etc.

Tunnel safety program

This policy applies to UO spaces requiring a tunnel key for entry, and applies to all persons entering tunnel spaces. Only persons that have authorization from the Central Power Station (CPS) may enter the tunnel system. Unauthorized personnel will be considered trespassers.

Note:  Utility Tunnel entry safety communication requirements were updated as of June 2015 to require a radio compatible with the UO system. Cell phones are no longer sufficient or allowed for communication while in the utility tunnels. All utility tunnel entry briefing trainers will use the updated utility tunnel entry safety briefing form listed that outlines this radio requirement.

Information and Resources

Confined Space Safety Program Guide

Campus Locations where Confined Space Permits are Required

Utility Tunnel Safety Program Guide

Utility Tunnel Entry Safety Training