Confined spaces are not just a place of work, they can be a dangerous place to work!
Our safety focus must always be on working safely in confined spaces.
Confined spaces are a unique and serious hazardous work place which can result in severe injuries and even death. Every year, workers die from accidents in confined spaces.
Confined spaces are one of the leading causes of fatalities due to workers entering spaces without identifying the hazards or not following the required procedures. One of the leading causes of fatalities in confined spaces is attempting to rescue downed co-workers without taking into account one’s own safety or the safety of others when feeling the need to help.
Some of the main hazards associated with confined space entry work that lead to injuries and fatalities include a lack of oxygen, the presence of hazardous gases or materials above the recommended safe levels, engulfment such as from liquids, fine particle solid materials such as grains or soil and physical contact with hazardous energy such as electricity, moving powered equipment, hot surfaces, hot air, steam or other environmental contaminants.
Emergency and Rescue Procedures
When accidents happen in a confined space, they can be and are often fatal. Typical causes are:
- Failure to recognise and control any hazards that arises whilst working in confined spaces
- Incorrect or inadequate training in an emergency.
Rescue plans are a vital part of all work in confined space.
NEVER ENTER A CONFINED SPACE TO RESCUE A COLLEAGUE
Attempts to rescue a person from a confined space should only be made from outside. Self-rescue should always be considered a first choice if possible. Methods of rescue could include the use of a Got-Ya kit and other retrieval equipment such as lifelines and tripods. Always carry a radio or call for help from the (appropriately trained) confined space sentry or confined space standby person.
There have been many documented cases of multiple fatalities due to improper entry procedure and failed rescue attempts.
Click here to understand What is a Confined Space ?
Hiring the right people for Confined Spaces
Hiring the right people for management of Confined spaces is extremely important. HazWatch Safety Services aim to employ the most competent and hazard-aware people. We understand the need that correct training plays a vital part of keeping safe working within and around confined spaces. We place great emphasis on all procedures and protocol and understanding the “life and death” reasons why these are in place. We all want to go home in an equal to or better state than we came to work in.
For more articles on confined spaces, visit the Expert Environmental website via this link.