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.

Figure 1: Standard drop light

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.
  • Figure 2: Explosion-proof area lamp
    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.
  • Figure 3: Explosion-proof drop light
    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 temporary lighting when permanent lighting does not generate adequate illumination (29 CFR 1915.82(a)(4)). Portable and emergency lighting is required in dark areas that do not have permanent or temporary lights, where lights are not working, or where lights are not readily accessible (29 CFR 1915.82(c)(1)).
  • Maintain good housekeeping conditions at all times. [29 CFR 1915.81]
  • 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)]
  • Figure 4: Marine Chemist verifies that piping is secured
    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.)
  • Figure 5: Adjacent spaces
    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.)