API PUBL 2217A
Guidelines for Work in Inert Confined Spaces in the Petroleum Industry
|Publication Date:||1 September 1997|
This publication provides guidelines for safely entering and working in and near confined spaces that have inert atmospheres. This publication applies to confined spaces that have been intentionally purged with an inert gas until the vapor space and any emissions are below flammable or reactive levels.
This publication addresses special considerations for entry into confined spaces containing inert atmospheres and is intended to supplement (not replace) the OSHA Permit-Required Confined Spaces (29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.146) standard. Inert confined spaces are, by definition, always OSHA Permit-Required Confined Spaces and subject to the provisions of 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.146. Inert atmospheres in confined spaces are hazardous atmospheres that may expose entrants to the risk of death, incapacitation, impairment of the ability to self-rescue (escape unaided), injury, or acute illness. The fundamental concepts presented here should be applicable to most situations that involve inert atmospheres in confined spaces in the petroleum industry. The specific work areas of concern are the inert confined space itself and the area at or near the entrance to or exhaust of the inerted space.
Other publications that provide information on work in confined spaces are listed in Section 2. Users of this guide should also refer to the applicable regulations and standards of federal, state, and local governments.