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General Requirements Shipbuilding Ship Repair Shipbreaking Barge Cleaning

Initial Entry Testing » Visual Inspection


A visual inspection of both the space to be worked in and the adjacent spaces is necessary before starting any work activity. [29 CFR 1915.12(a), (b), and (c)] Adequate correction of any problems found must be completed before beginning any work.


Visual Inspection
Figure 1: Standard drop light
Figure 1: Standard drop light.

Figure 2: Explosion proof area lamp
Figure 2: Explosion-proof area lamp.

Figure 3: Explosion-proof drop light
Figure 3: Explosion-proof drop light.

Figure 4: Marine Chemist verifying that piping is secured Figure 4: Marine Chemist verifying that piping is secured.

Fig 5: Adjacent spaces
Figure 5: Adjacent spaces.
This inspection should evaluate that at least the following actions have occurred:
  • Provide ladders or other suitable means to allow safe entry to and exit from a space. [29 CFR 1915.72 and 29 CFR 1915.76]
  • Determine whether coatings and residues in the space may create hazardous atmospheres under work conditions.
  • Ensure that spaces and adjacent spaces that contain or have contained liquids, gases, or solids that are toxic, corrosive, or irritating in nature have been visually inspected and tested before initial entry [29 CFR 1915.12]. Ensure appropriate action has been taken to make the space safe before entry.
  • Provide adequate illumination appropriate for present conditions and safe work performance in the space. [29 CFR 1915.12(b)] Explosion-proof lights may also be required. [29 CFR 1915.13(b)(9)] (See Figure 1, 2, and 3.)
  • Provide alternative illumination in the event of power failure of temporary lighting. [29 CFR 1915.92(d)]
  • Maintain good housekeeping conditions at all times. [29 CFR 1915.91]
  • Guarding of Deck Openings and Edges
    • Guard deck openings and edges inside the spaces, as well as on the weather deck, must be guarded. [29 CFR 1915.73(b)]
    • Guard flush manholes and other small openings immediately after opening. [29 CFR 1915.73(b)]
    • Provide fall protection during the installation of guards on large openings and deck edges in accordance with 29 CFR 1915.159.
    • Guard the openings when floor plates or gratings in bilges are removed. [29 CFR 1915.73(f)]
  • Disconnect, blank off, or otherwise block by positive method pipelines that could carry hazardous materials into the space while workers are present. [29 CFR 1915.15(a)] (See Figure 4.)
  • Evaluate adjacent spaces or work being carried out in adjacent spaces to ensure that no hazardous conditions may be created for personnel working in subject space. [29 CFR 1915.12(a), (b), and (c)] (See Figure 5.)
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