Learning is an area that people assume comes with mistakes, but there are some exceptions to this rule, and one of them is certainly confined space entry. Making mistakes while learning in this area can result in immediate grave harm and death, which is why you must know everything you can before anyone enters a restrictive space in your workplace.
There are rules, recommendations and requirements in place
Multiple levels of government in Canada have rules, regulations and recommendations when it comes to confined spaces. You are legally obligated to know and follow all of the rules and regulations, and should always follow any recommendations. If you fail to do so, your business can be found liable in the event of an accident.
To help keep your business and anyone on your premises entering a confined space safe, consider working with an experienced confined space rescue and education service. These service providers will help you confirm you know and are following any rules, regulations or recommendations regarding your particular confined space. If you don’t have an emergency plan for those spaces, a service provider can also help you create one.
Employees cannot use their senses during confined space entry
Unfortunately, there are many confined space accidents in which a person’s use of their senses to detect a hazard was a factor. A confined space can be a breeding ground of toxic gasses. While some have odors, some do not and cannot be seen or smelled before someone enters the space. On top of that, some gasses, such as hydrogen sulfide, do have a scent, but that scent may be less noticeable when the levels of gas are higher.
To ensure the safety of everyone in and near the space, it must be tested before anyone attempts a confined space entry. You must get the proper equipment and have a designated and trained tester or testing team available at all times the space is in use. Never allow workers to enter a space using just their sense of smell or vision alone.
A rescue plan must be in place
The consequences of a confined space emergency can be deadly without a rescue plan in place. In an emergency, a delay of mere minutes can mean the difference between injury and death. You must have a clear plan in place and ensure everyone on the site knows what the plan is.
Should you opt to use an experienced confined space rescue service, make sure the people on your site know how to contact them immediately if there is an emergency. You should also always have at least one person on the ground who has had confined space training as they can take a few immediate actions before the rescue personnel arrive on the scene.
A confined space comes with many responsibilities and safety hazards. To protect your workers and your company, you must treat these spaces with the care and concern they require. Work with an experienced confined space services provider so your workplace is never the site of an avoidable tragedy.