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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 16. Labor and Employment
Agency 25. Safety and Health Codes Board
Chapter 70. Virginia Confined Space Standard for the Telecommunications Industry
1/26/2020

16VAC25-70-10. Definitions.

Note: The following standard is unique for the enforcement of occupational safety and health within the Commonwealth of Virginia under the jurisdiction of the VOSH Program. The federal OSHA standard counterpart listed at 1910.268(o) does not apply; it does not carry the force of law and is not printed in this volume.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Attendant" means an individual with no other duties assigned to remain immediately outside the entrance to the confined space and who may render assistance as needed to employees inside the space.

"Blind" or "blinding" or "blanking" means the absolute closure of a pipe, line or duct, to prevent passage of any material (e.g., by fastening a solid plate or "cap" across the pipe).

"Calibration" or "Recalibration" means a laboratory or bench-top re-setting of alarm points, spans and zeros, if applicable, according to manufacturer's specifications. "Calibration" or "recalibration" shall be conducted by a factory authorized service center, a factory trained technician, or a trained company technician.

"Confined space" means any space not intended for continuous employee occupancy, having a limited means of egress, and which is also subject to either the accumulation of an actual or potentially hazardous atmosphere as defined in this subsection or a potential for engulfment as defined in this subsection. Confined spaces generally include, but are not limited to, storage tanks, process vessels, bins, boilers, ventilation or exhaust ducts, sewers, manholes, underground utility vaults, acid tanks, digesters, ovens, kiers, pulpers, tunnels, and pipelines. Open top spaces more than 4 feet in depth such as pits, tubs, vaults and vessels may also be confined spaces if the three criteria above are met.

"Engulfment" means the surrounding and effective capture of a person by finely divided particulate matter or a liquid. There is a potential for engulfment when such particulate matter or liquid exists in a sufficient quantity or at a sufficient pressure to surround a person before normal exit can be effected.

"Entrant" means any employee who enters a confined space.

"Entry" means any action resulting in any part of the employee's face breaking the plane of any opening of the confined space, and includes any ensuing work activities inside the confined space.

"Entry permit" means the employer's written authorization for employee entry into a confined space under defined conditions for a stated purpose during a specified time.

"Field checked" means a method of checking an instrument for a proper response in the field. It is a check of the instrument's functionality and is a pass-fail or go/no-go check. When an adequate response is not obtained then the equipment should be removed from service and adjusted or repaired by a factory authorized service center, or a factory trained technician, or a trained company technician.

"Ground-fault circuit interrupter" means a device whose function is to interrupt the electric circuit to the load when a fault current to ground exceeds a predetermined value that is less than that required to operate the overcurrent protective device of the supply circuit.

"Hazardous atmosphere" means an atmosphere presenting a potential for death, disablement, injury, or acute illness from one or more of the following causes:

(i) A flammable gas, vapor, or mist in excess of 10% of its lower explosive limit (LEL);

(ii) An oxygen deficient atmosphere containing less than 19.5% oxygen by volume or an oxygen enriched atmosphere containing more than 23% oxygen by volume;

(iii) An atmospheric concentration of any substance listed in Subpart Z of Part 1910 Standards above the listed numerical value of the permissible exposure limit (PEL); or

(iv) A condition immediately dangerous to life or health as defined in this subsection.

"Immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH)" means any condition that poses an immediate threat to life, or which is likely to result in acute or immediately severe health effects. See Appendix A for concentrations at which several chemicals exhibit IDLH effects.

"Immediate severe health effects" means that an acute clinical sign of serious, exposure-related reaction is manifested within 72 hours of exposure.

"Lockout or tagging" means placing locks or tags on the energy isolating device in accordance with 16VAC25-70-30 B of this chapter. Tags shall indicate that the energy isolated device shall not be operated until the removal of the tag.

"Qualified person" means a person who is trained to recognize the hazards of the confined space and how to evaluate those anticipated hazards and shall be capable of specifying necessary control measures to assure worker safety. The employer may designate an employee as employer representative for the purpose of assuring safe confined space entry procedures and practices at a specific site. The qualified person may also be the entrant when permissible according to 16VAC25-70-50 A of this chapter.

"Rescue team" means those persons whom the employer has designated prior to any confined space entry to perform rescues from confined spaces. A rescue team may consist of outside emergency personnel, provided the training requirements of 16VAC25-70-70 A 2 of this chapter have been met.

"Retrieval line" means a line or rope secured at one end to a worker's safety belt, chest or body harness, or wristlets with the other end secured to an anchor point or lifting device located outside the entry portal. The anchor point shall not be a motor vehicle. Retrieval lines must be of sufficient strength to remove an entrant when necessary.

"Zero mechanical state" means that the mechanical potential energy of all portions of the machine or equipment is set so that the opening of the pipes, tubes, hoses or actuation of any valve, lever, or button, will not produce a movement which could cause injury.

Statutory Authority

§ 40.1-22(5) of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR425-02-30, § 1, eff. November 15, 1987; amended, eff. July 1, 1988.

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