Restricted and confined spaces are special types of hazardous environments that may present themselves at workplaces such as oil and gas facilities, construction sites, manufacturing, mining and many industrial sites.
Since the chances of death and disability increase when an employee enters a confined space due to gas and atmospheric hazards or physical dangers, they must be properly educated to work within. Since the hazard is often IDLH (immediately dangerous to life an d health), it is still essential to never leave a worker alone while they are in the space. Workers could be trapped in a sewer system and drown from incoming sewage emissions. A person might light a match in a dark tank and ignite a flammable vapor.
Deadly hydrogen sulphide gas could form under the substructure of a drilling rig. Recently, a drug addict crawled through a manway to cut copper wire in a utility vault. He was electrocuted while standing in a pool of rain water!
Employers have learned the hard way about confined space entry and its deadly repercussions. As a safety consultant, one of my first accident investigations was a young, untrained welders helper. He was asked to weld the hatch on a tanktruck. It had not been purged and tested. The flammable vapours blew the hatch off and put him into a coma and resulted in a fatality a few days later. Alberta labor investigated and a fine was levied to the employer, who was very sorry after the fact about the lack of work permitting, training and manwatch activities. He had to tell his family that dad was not coming home,
A simple means to educate the workers about Confined Space entry is to enroll in the 2.5 hour Confined Space basics online program. Its a great introduction to the deadly dangers of confined space entry without a proper program. This generic online course can be used as the basics of a program that the employer can set up to make it site specific. Take it today and avoid putting your workers at risk!
Courses for Online Confined Space are available at Allstar Enviro Safety.