Chapter 296-842, WAC

Effective Date: 12/01/09

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Standby Requirements for Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) Conditions


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Provide standby assistance in immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) conditions


WAC 296-842-19005  

Provide standby assistance in immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) conditions


DOSH currently uses the IDLH values in the 1990 NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards to determine the existence of IDLH conditions. You may use more recent editions of this guide. Visit for more information.

(1) Provide at least 2 standby employees outside the IDLH area.



You need only one standby employee if the IDLH condition is well characterized, will remain stable and you can show one employee can adequately do all of the following:

– Monitor employees in the IDLH area;

– Implement communication; and

– Initiate rescue duties.


(2) Train and equip standby employees to provide effective emergency rescue. Equip them with:

(a) A pressure-demand SCBA or a pressure-demand air-line respirator with an auxiliary SCBA, for each standby employee;


(b) Appropriate retrieval equipment, when it would help with the effective rescue of the entrant, or an equivalent means of rescue.

(3) Make sure standby employees maintain visual, voice, or signal line communication with employees in the IDLH area.

(4) Make sure that in the event of an emergency:

(a) Standby employees notify you or your designee before they enter the IDLH area to provide emergency rescue;


(b) You provide necessary assistance when notified.

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