E618 – Confined Space Safety Checklist and Entry Permit

A link to the Portable Document Format (PDF) of this form is provided below. The content of the form is duplicated in HTML following the PDF link.

PDF (25 Kb) [help with PDF files]


Shipboard confined space entry procedures

The procedures apply to all customs personnel involved in shipboard confined space examination. It is not discretionary and should not be treated as such. It is mandatory that the procedures be adhered to at all times. Strict compliance is essential to maintain a high level of safety.

Definition of a confined space:

Means an enclosed or partially enclosed space that

Hazards assessment and pre-entry verification:

Before entering a confined space, the Confined Space Safety Checklist and Entry Permit - form E-618 must be completed and signed by all team members.

Emergency procedures

Vessel construction, risk factors and entry environments differ in virtually all cases. Despite the hazards assessment and the pre-entry verifications, the assumption must remain that there are hidden hazards. The entrant must continuously proceed cautiously and not proceed any further where he believes he can be injured and/or cannot be rescued. The team's emergency preparedness is to remain high at all times.

Departmental safety – Entry into confined spaces

The atmosphere in any confined space may be incapable of supporting human life. It may be lacking oxygen content and/or contain flammable or toxic gases. This also applies to tanks which have been inserted.

Before entry into cargo tanks, pump rooms, fuel tanks, cofferdams, duct keels, ballast tanks, cargo holds, and similar enclosed or confined spaces, an assessment must be made by the attendant in conjunction with the master or responsible officer.

General precautions

Do not enter any such space unless authorized by the master or the responsible officer and unless the appropriate safety procedures laid down for the ship have been carried out. The checklist on the reverse side of this sheet must be used whenever examination of a confined space is to take place.

The attendant, together with the master or responsible officer MUST determine that it is safe to enter a potentially dangerous space by ensuring that:


When the atmosphere in the space is unsafe or suspect,it should never be entered to conduct an examination. Escape or breathing apparatus must never be used in such circumstances.

Protective equipment and clothing

All persons entering enclosed or confined spaces should wear suitable clothing and make use of protective equipment provided. Access ladders and surfaces within the space may be slippery and suitable footwear should be worn.  Safety helmets protect against falling objects and bumps. Safety harness/lifelines must be used on all applicable occasions.


Before entry into the confined space, the appropriate safety checks listed below must be carried out by the attendant and the entrant, having first made an assessment of the risk with a responsible ship's officer.

The attendant must ensure that this checklist has been fully completed before the examination commences.

Hazard assessment and identification

Section 1 – Atmospheric testing

Section 2 – To be checked by attendant

Section 3 – To be checked by the attendant and emergency officer

Section 4 – To be checked by entrant

Narrative Log

Date modified: