Learning in daily life is often done through the mistakes you make. While this is something that is natural in many areas and may even be necessary to gain a true understanding of a particular subject, it certainly does not apply when it comes to working with confined spaces. When mistakes happen in relation to a narrow space, the cost is often not just money or time but human life. Before you embark on any type of project involving your space, here are three things you need to do to make sure everyone involved stays safe.
Learn all rules, regulations and requirements
You find many applicable governmental requirements, rules and regulations when dealing with a small space, and it is important that you know and adhere to all of them. Should you not follow any of the rules or requirements, your company will be held responsible if an incident occurs, and you may face fines and additional sanctions, as well. The loss of human life is costly enough on its own, and the reputation of your business will also suffer.
Work with a professional service to ensure everyone entering your confined space is safe. Your service provider will confirm you are following all rules and regulations related to the narrow space on your premises.
Make sure the space is tested before any entry
A narrow space can have many hazards inside it, and not all of them are apparent. Therefore, your employees cannot simply rely on their senses before entering. Some hazardous gases have no colour or don’t always have an odour, such as hydrogen sulfide. While you may believe hydrogen sulfide always has a “rotten egg” smell, this is only true at lower concentrations. When the level of hydrogen sulfide is high in the air, it can actually paralyze someone’s sense of smell.
This is why you can never have your workers rely on their own senses before they enter the space. Instead, you must have testing done on the space before they enter each time.
Have a comprehensive confined space rescue emergency plan in place
A plan is absolutely necessary for emergencies within your space. If you don’t have a clear plan for everyone to follow in place and an emergency happens, the consequences can be steep. Additionally, your workers in and near the space must know the plan to the letter. It will do absolutely no good if your plan is locked up in your office when workers are dealing with a rescue situation on the ground.
Should you decide to use a professional rescue service outside of your business, make sure your people on the ground know how to contact the service provider. You can also have some of your personnel receive training from the service provider so they can take immediate action before the rescuers arrive in the event of an emergency.
A confined space can be very dangerous, so you must ensure you are setting up your employees to be truly safe in and around it. Work with an experienced rescue provider so that all safety bases are covered.