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Working Safely in Confined Spaces

Working Safely in Confined Spaces

Confined Spaces have killed and are hazardous if you do not know how to work safely in confined spaces.

Today we will talk about some of the following

  • Hazards in Confined Spaces

  • Confined Space Entry Permit

  • Employer’s Role

  • For More Information

Hazards in Confined Spaces There are many hazards in confined spaces. Some examples include of confined space hazards include:

  • Suffocation (from lack of oxygen or oxygen deficiency)

  • Fire and explosion (from the presence of flammable gases and vapours)

  • Poisoning (from the presence of toxic gases, vapours or fumes)

  • Engulfment or entrapment (by materials such as collapsing particles including solids)

  • Falling from heights (from openings inside confined spaces, or even scaffolds inside the confined spaces)

  • Electrocution

  • Physical hazards

  • Ergonomics

  • Thermal hazards

  • Noise hazards

Confined Space Entry Permit

There must be an approved Confined Space Entry Permit prior to any entry or work in confined spaces. The confined space entry permit provides a formal check to ensure that all the elements of a safe system of work are in place before persons can enter and work in confined spaces. It should include:

  • Identification and location of the confined space (example tank or vessel number);

  • Purpose of entry (example inspection, erection of scaffold etc);

  • Entry date, time and duration;

  • Potential hazards and their control measures;

  • PPE;

  • Other precautions (e.g. barricades, signboards);

  • Emergency response plan;

  • Name of confined space attendant;

  • Atmospheric testing results (of the confined space); and

  • Names and signatures of supervisor, confined space safety assessor and authorised manager.

Employer’s Role Employers must:

  • Develop a permit to work system

  • Develop safe practices for work in confined spaces

  • Appoint and send personnel for training that are involved in confined space work

  • Appoint and send personnel for training for those involved in rescue work in confined spaces

  • Evaluate the need to enter the confined space.

  • Ensure safe means of access to and egress from the confined space.

  • Make information of the confined space available to persons who may be exposed to the hazards of the confined space.

  • Ensure safe practices are in place for opening the entrance to the confined space.

  • Ensure there is sufficient and suitable lighting for entry into and work in the confined space.

  • Implement procedures and controls for entry into the confined space including gas testing.

  • Provide training for working safely in confined spaces for workers and supervisors.

  • Establish emergency rescue plan and provide rescue equipment.

  • Appoint a confined space attendant.

Employers and Occupiers should send their personnel for Perform Work in Confined Space Operation course for those entering or working in confined spaces including the confined space watchman.

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