Look around your workplace. You likely have multiple rooms or even multiple levels in the building. If you are in a factory setting, there may be smaller areas or spaces off of main rooms for storage or machinery. Have you ever taken the time to consider if any of these areas could be a confined space in Toronto?
If you aren’t sure what exactly a confined space entails, it is important to educate yourself. This is important for the safety of not only your employees but also anybody else who may enter the space. Tragedy can strike with even just a quick entrance to a confined space, so it is incredibly important to be fully ready for anything that may arise.
Enclosed and confined
To be sure the space in your workplace is considered confined, it is important to understand the definition. It’s important to note that a confined space doesn’t necessarily mean it is fully enclosed on every side. There may be confined spaces that have an open-top or side, such as a vat or other receptacle. The key here is the entryways and exits, as well as the purpose of the space.
A confined space in Toronto likely has a small entryway, which is usually also the only exit. This is cause for concern as there are likely no emergency exits should a worker need to escape the space quickly. If you are unsure whether or not your space is considered confined, it is a good idea to ask the experts and have your workplace fully assessed for any safety issues.
Risks and hazards
There are important regulations to follow when it comes to confined spaces, and this is due to the safety risks involved. Much of the safety assessment has to do with the conditions in the space itself and what type of work is done in the space. Potential risks that can occur in a confined space include fires from flammable or toxic solvents, welding, or gas. Not all emergencies involve fire; there can also be a potential for drowning or asphyxiation from other environmental factors.
Even if space seems to be enclosed but not necessarily fully confined and hazardous, it still may be considered a confined space due to any work that needs to be carried out. For example, there could be a long-enclosed silo that may not have any hazardous materials in it now, but the yearly upkeep of the space may require welding and other flammable repairs. This means this confined space needs to have emergency plans in place.
Fully assessing any confined space in your workplace will help you to be fully prepared should any safety issues arise. Hire a professional to help with assessing your space and making a plan of action.