A confined space is just what it sounds like: a small or narrow space that is often difficult for people to move into and out of. If you have workers who must sometimes or routinely perform confined space entry, you are responsible for their safety and well-being. You are also obligated to ensure that your space doesn’t pose a risk to those around it.
If you haven’t already, contact a confined space service to learn more about your space and for safety training. Until then, read on to learn some basic fundamental truths about confined spaces.
Your staff cannot rely on their senses alone during confined space entry
A confined space may contain toxic gas. Some of these gases do not have a colour or leave an odour, meaning your staff cannot see or smell them even if they are present. On top of that, many people believe they can smell toxic gas known as hydrogen sulphide due to its “rotten egg” odour. However, this is false. The scent attributed to this gas is only present when the gas is at a lower concentration. If there is a lot of gas in the space, it can actually paralyze a worker’s sense of smell.
You must always have the air in your confined space tested before anyone enters. It is very easy for the presence of a dangerous gas to be missed when your staff is relying on physical senses alone.
You are responsible for knowing all laws, rules and regulations
As noted above, you are the person who is charged with keeping everyone near and in your confined space safe. This means complying with all relevant laws, regulations and rules regarding your type of confined space. Failure to do this can lead to loss of human life and fines and sanctions against you and your business.
Work with a confined space rescue and training company to identify all the possible restrictions you are under. This is not an area where you can afford to miss anything, so it is important to make sure you are in full compliance.
You must implement a rescue plan
Any time you have confined space entry on a worksite, you must have a corresponding confined space rescue plan in place. If you don’t, the consequences could be steep if you have an emergency. A lack of planning ahead of time could leave a worker in the space in jeopardy for a needlessly long time. Delays in rescue could result in serious injury or death.
If you decide to have an on-staff confined space rescue team, make sure they are fully trained and up to date on all techniques and equipment regarding rescues. A confined space rescue provider can train your staff on an ongoing basis.
Should you decide to go with a professional confined space rescue service for your team’s needs, you must ensure all of your staff know about it. They must be able to immediately contact the rescue service in the event of an emergency as you may not be there to do so.
Contact an experienced confined space rescue company for assistance with your space safety needs today.