Enclosed or Confined Space Regulations: Provincial versus Federal

by Jan 5, 2024Confined Spaces

Federal and provincial regulations concerning work in enclosed or confined spaces in Quebec have many similarities. Nevertheless, and especially since the amendment of the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety (RROHS), there are a few important differences to consider when analyzing, identifying, entering or performing a rescue operation in a confined space:

  • The definition of a confined space in provincial regulations assumes that all spaces meeting the description and criteria set out in that definition are similar, and that the procedures and instructions are the same for all such spaces. On the federal side, however, confined spaces are classified into two categories, according to the risks involved in accessing or working in them. These regulations make a clear distinction between regular confined spaces and hazardous confined spaces.
  • According to Canadian regulations, the percentage of oxygen in the air of a hazardous confined space must be at least 19.5% and no more than 23% by volume at normal atmospheric pressure. However, on the provincial side, the oxygen concentration level must be between 20.5% and 23%.
  • Regarding the concentration level of flammable gases or vapors, the new provincial regulation requires that it must be less than or equal to 5% of the lower explosion limit. Whereas the Canadian regulation ensures that no hot work can be carried out in a hazardous confined space that contains an explosive or flammable hazardous substance in a concentration greater than 10% of its lower explosive limit, or oxygen in a concentration greater than 23%.

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Intervention Prévention Inc.

Intervention Prévention œuvre dans le domaine de la sécurité au travail en offrant des services spécialisés répondant aux normes CSA Z462 – Sécurité électrique en milieu de travail, CSA Z460 – Maîtrise des énergies dangereuses : Cadenassage et autres méthodes, et CSA Z432 – Protection des machines. Nos domaines d’expertise sont donc reliés au cadenassage, à la sécurité électrique et à la sécurité machine. La satisfaction de nos clients est le gage de notre compétence

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