Thursday, May 21, 2020

Entry into Confined Spaces Guidelines

Entry into Confined Spaces

Most of the activities or job tasks related to confined space are full of Hazards for workers who work in confined spaces. If necessary measures not adopted, it could be turned into a disaster and may lead to severe fatal circumstances and incidents. As being health and safety professional, you need to be aware of the risks associated with the confined spaces and must know how to prevent them. For more details regarding the work permit system, Use the links below on our website    to find detailed information on common hazards for workers working in confined spaces and how to examine these. You will also find information about precautionary measures that you can adopt and fulfill your legal duties. ​

Confined Space Safety Precautions

Always practice five steps of risk assessments before entry into confined space as mentioned below:
  1. Identify the hazards related to confined space entry.
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how (the worker who involved in the confined space activity).
  3. Evaluate the risks while entry into the confined space and decide on precautions.
  4. Record your significant findings and implement them as per the confined space entry requirements technical prevention guidelines.
  5. Review your assessment of the confined space entry and update if necessary.
If possible, avoid entry into confined spaces. If entry to a confined space is mandatory and necessary to work and not unavoidable then you must follow a safe system of work (SSOW). Have a proper emergency procedure in place before the activity starts. ​ The findings of your risk assessment will assist you to identify the risks, dangers and fundamental safety measures.

Safe Systems of Work (SSOW)

Being an employer, you must make sure that you have taken all the proper information, knowledge and experience to carry out the work activity within the confined spaces. A properly documented plan must be in place such as the worksite-specific method of statement​ to adhere to the work is carried out.  There should be a permit to work system in place.
The following Safety Measures Must Be Followed:

1. Proper Ventilation System

A suitable ventilation system must be present within the worksite. Proper ventilation must be installed prior the work activity start and if this is not possible to install due to space or design restrictions you have to provide a breathing apparatus to provide an air supply to the workers involved in the confined space work activity.

2. Segregation or Isolation

The following means of supply must be segregate or isolate from the confined space areas to avoid any severe dangerous occurrences:
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Electricity.

3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Before proceeding work activities in the confined space, the following measures must be in place:
  • Restricting communication
  • Ensure your employees have the proper head, hand and foot protection
  • Eye and hearing protection
  • Waterproof and thermal clothing
  • Respirators and breathing apparatus
  • Appropriate safety harnesses. ​ 

4. Emergency Plan Procedures

Prior proceeding work activity in the confined space, you should also consider the following initiatives:
  • First Aid Procedures
  • The health and safety of rescuers
  • Interface with emergency services.
  • Availability of an effective means of communication for raising the alarm both from the confined space and by someone outside the confined space. 
  • Work in confined spaces is often carried out when the premises or facilities are closed, for example, holidays. Consider how the alarm can be raised.
  • All means of power contacted with confined space must be isolated
  • Local emergency services must be available at the time of work activity. 

5. Rescuers

The rescuers need to be:
  • Prepared well
  • Appropriately Trained 
  • Must be competent
  • Must capable and expert in breathing apparatus, lifelines and fire-fighting equipment.

6. Training

At the last, Health and Safety Training is crucial when working with confined spaces. Ensure that all workforce and or employees are provided with appropriate training to carry out the worksite task. Specifically, competency training in the use of breathing apparatus.

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