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19. Documents | Confined Spaces Guideline

  • Issued: September 2006
  • Revised: July 2011
  • Content last reviewed: July 2011

Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations. For further information please see full disclaimer.

What are the requirements for written documentation and which ones can be incorporated into the entry permit?

The following written documents are required:
  1. co-ordination document (if applicable)*
  2. program *
  3. assessment
  4. plan
  5. training records
  6. entry permit
  7. on-site rescue procedures *
  8. on-site rescue equipment inspection records
  9. air testing results

All of the above documents may be incorporated within the "entry permit" except for those with an asterisk.

How long do the above documents have to be retained?

All of the above documents must be retained for the longer of one year after they are created, and the period that is necessary to ensure that at least the two most recent records of each document are retained, with the exception of the confined space program which must be maintained at all times if the workplace includes a confined space that workers may enter to perform work.

For construction projects these documents must be retained for at least one year after the completion of the project.

What workplace parties must receive copies of these documents?

For all workplaces that are not construction projects:

  • The program must be provided to the JHSC or Health and Safety representative. The employer must also ensure that a copy of the program is available to any other employer of workers who perform work to which the program relates.
  • A copy of the program must also be available to workers who perform work to which the program relates where there is no JHSC or Health and Safety representative.
  • The assessment document and record of the details of the knowledge, training and experience of the person(s) who carried out the assessment, must be provided upon request to the JHSC, or Health and Safety representative, or to the workers if there is no JHSC or Health and Safety representative.
  • The co-ordination document must be provided to each employer of workers working in the same confined space or related work, to the JHSC or Health and Safety representative for each employer of workers who perform work in the same confined space or related work.
  • Entry permits must be readily available to every person who enters the confined space or performs related work during the time for which it applies.
  • The plan, training records, on-site rescue procedures, rescue equipment inspection and air testing results documents should be readily available at the workplace.

For workplaces that are construction projects:

  • The employer or the constructor, as the case may be, must keep available for inspection at the project the assessment, plan, co-ordination document, record of training, entry permit, record of inspection of rescue equipment, and air testing records.
  • The employer must provide a copy of the program to the constructor, who must provide a copy to the JHSC or Health and Safety representative of the project.
  • A copy of the program must also be available to other employers of workers to which the program relates and to workers where there is no JHSC or Health and Safety representative.
  • The co-ordination document must be provided to each employer of workers working in the same confined space or related work. Upon request, it must also be provided to the project’s JHSC or Health and Safety representative, if any.
  • The assessment document and record of the details of the knowledge, training and experience of the person(s) who carried out the assessment, must be provided upon request to the project’s JHSC, or Health and Safety representative, or to the workers if there is no JHSC or Health and Safety representative.
  • Training records of who provided the training, who received training, and the date the training must be provided to the project’s JHSC or Health and Safety Representative, upon request.
  • Entry permits must be readily available to every person who enters the confined space or performs related work during the time for which it applies.

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Disclaimer: This web resource has been prepared to assist the workplace parties in understanding some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the regulations. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation.

It is the responsibility of the workplace parties to ensure compliance with the legislation. This web resource does not constitute legal advice. If you require assistance with respect to the interpretation of the legislation and its potential application in specific circumstances, please contact your legal counsel.

While this web resource will also be available to Ministry of Labour inspectors, they will apply and enforce the OHSA and its regulations based on the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This web resource does not affect their enforcement discretion in any way.