Scope and Responsibilities
An Entry Supervisor is a crucial figure appointed by employers to oversee confined space entry operations. This trained professional plays a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of workers involved in confined space work.
To qualify as an Entry Supervisor, individuals must attend a recognized training course on safe working in confined spaces for Authorized Gas Testers and Entry Supervisors, conducted by organizations like NIOSH and other DOSH-approved providers. They must also pass the Authorized Gas Tester examination to demonstrate their expertise in confined space safety.
The Entry Supervisor is responsible for staying up-to-date with the hazards associated with confined spaces. This includes being well-informed about the modes of exposure, signs and symptoms of potential risks, and the consequences of exposure. By possessing this knowledge, the Entry Supervisor can effectively mitigate risks during confined space entry operations.
Confined spaces may contain toxic gases or hazardous chemicals that can be harmful if inhaled or come into contact with the skin. These gases can include carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane, ammonia, and various other volatile substances.
Some confined spaces may have an insufficient oxygen supply, leading to an oxygen-deficient atmosphere. This can result in asphyxiation for workers if proper precautions are not taken.
The presence of flammable gases, vapors, or dust in a confined space can lead to potential fire or explosion hazards. Sparks or open flames from tools or equipment may trigger ignition.
Confined spaces with loose materials, such as grain silos or storage bins, can pose a risk of engulfment for workers if they fall into the material. Similarly, machinery or equipment inside the space can present entrapment hazards.
Confined spaces often have restricted entry and exit points, making it challenging for workers to escape in case of an emergency.
The confined space environment may include physical hazards, such as sharp edges, uneven surfaces, or moving parts, which can lead to injuries if workers are not cautious.
Some confined spaces may have extreme temperatures, either too hot or too cold, posing risks of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or hypothermia.
In certain confined spaces, there may be the presence of mold, bacteria, or other biological hazards that can cause respiratory issues or infections.
Confined spaces with electrical equipment or wiring can expose workers to electrical shocks or electrocution.
Communication may be hindered inside confined spaces due to limited access to communication devices, making it difficult to signal for help in emergencies.
Using his knowledge, an Entry Supervisor takes charge of overseeing and managing all activities related to confined space entry. This includes pre-entry preparations, the entry operation itself, and post-entry procedures. Their continuous oversight ensures that safety measures are adhered to at all stages.
Before permitting entry, the Entry Supervisor meticulously verifies the permit to work. They ensure that all necessary entries are completed, required tests are conducted, and specified procedures and equipment are in place. Only when the permit is deemed compliant will the Entry Supervisor authorize entry to commence.
If acceptable entry conditions cannot be maintained, the Entry Supervisor has the authority to terminate the entry operation and close the permit to work. This decision is made to prevent potential hazards from escalating.
The Entry Supervisor confirms that rescue services are available before any entry takes place, and that the means of summoning them are functional. Additionally, they are in charge of communication during emergencies, ensuring that all workers are informed and can take appropriate actions when needed.
It is the Entry Supervisor’s responsibility to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering the confined space during entry operations. They take necessary measures to restrict access to only authorized personnel.
In situations where responsibility for a confined space entry operation is transferred, the Entry Supervisor ensures that entry operations remain consistent with the permit-to-work terms. They also verify that acceptable entry conditions are maintained, performing periodic checks depending on the nature of the hazards and operations within the confined space.
Before entry operations commence, the Entry Supervisor conducts a comprehensive briefing session with the entry team. This session covers hazards, permit-to-work requirements, and emergency procedures. After the entry is completed, a debriefing session is held to discuss the confined space entry program and address any hazards encountered during the operation.
Entry Supervisors ensure that means to restrict unauthorized entry into the confined space are available and effectively implemented.
If an Entry Supervisor is also required to be a permit issuer for a permit to work, they cannot fulfill the role of the Entry Supervisor for the work described in that permit to work. This separation of responsibilities ensures the integrity of the safety procedures.
Myda Risk & Safety has been in the confined space industry for 10 years, serving over 100 clients. We are trusted by many and certified by both governmental bodies and industrial associations like the Malaysian Authorised Gas Tester Association (MAGTA).
As your strategic partner, we tailor our solutions to meet your specific needs, ensuring compliance with regulations and providing continuous monitoring and support during entry operations.
Contact us today to discuss your confined space safety requirements and let us become your trusted partner in maintaining a safe work environment.