Working in a confined space is always considered a dangerous place to work. It is important to consider the various risk factors as well as safety hazards while working at such places. Confined spaces can include the places such as tunnels, manholes, wells, tanks, silos, open ditches, and vaults.
There could be the possibility of various risks associated with confined spaces such as Air quality, Fire, Chemical burns, Biohazards, Asphyxiation, Slips, Trapped, Material shifting, etc.
Working in these places requires a lot of confined space training as well as planning. These types of spaces are found in almost every industry. According to the experts, there are around more than 1.6 million workers who work in confined spaces every year.
According to the experts, the confined space should be large enough for a worker to enter and do the work. Apart from this, the confined place should also have limited access for entry as well as exit. There are few more things that one should consider while working in confined spaces. Here is the list.
The atmosphere of the space
The first thing that you would need to test before entering into the space is the atmosphere of the confined space. Here it is important to test the presence of gases and chemicals with the help of suitable equipment.
Make sure to conduct the test at all the levels below the exposure limits of the space. Here you can hire a technical professional to do the same. According to the experts, it is important to test the oxygen, combustible gases, and toxic gases. It is important to test the space regularly to maintain the safe atmosphere of the space.
Plan of Entry and Exit
Entry and Exit points of the confined space are considered as the important sections. Hence it is important to keep an eye on the entry as well as exit plan of the space. Fitting into the confined spaces can be challenging at times. Hence it is important to draft a clear plan of entry and exit for the workers.
Functions of Equipment
Working with the right equipment will always ensure safety for your employees. Getting the damaged equipment can put your worker’s safety at risk. Hence it is important to get the equipment inspected by health and safety professionals at regular intervals to ensure its good condition. It is also important to store all the confined space equipment on a single trailer.
Generally, confined spaces do not include any kind of lights for workers. Hence it could be risky for workers to roam around in the dark, which can cause trips or falls. Workers can certainly avoid these if they get a proper light while working. Make sure that all the pieces of equipment are well equipped with the lights.
The Rescue Plan
According to the experts, it is important to have a well-designed rescue plan for the confined space. All the rescue procedures should be implemented at the entry of the confined space, and they should be specified according to the area. Here all of your employees should be trained on emergency procedures.
You can also place the written rescue plan at the entrance. Make sure to be aware of all of your employees on the potential hazards. You can conduct regular training sessions to practice the rescue procedures to eliminate life-threatening rescue attempts.
There are certain questions you would need to ask yourself while detecting the condition of a confined space. Make sure if the place has enough height or is it underground. It is also important to check whether the walls are sloped or whether there is a collapsible overhead material. It is important to get the answers to all these questions before letting your workers work in a confined space.
Most of the time, the communication part is overlooked while preparing the safety plan for the confined space. It is important to consider a few of the ideal communication devices such as hands-free devices, wireless devices, full-duplex devices, independently powered devices, and integrated with hearing protection devices. These communication devices are important during emergencies.
Getting the wireless systems to help you with connectivity as well as the reception problems in case of electricity failure or non-availability of the power supply.
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