The majority of fatal accidents occurring in confined spaces are related to air problems due to a deficiency or surplus of oxygen, gas behaviour and toxic vapours, explosive levels of products, etc.
What is a “confined space”?
First, a confined space is an enclosed or partially enclosed area that is not designed for human occupancy. It also has limited and restricted means of entry (opening size, location, means of entry and exit). A confined space involves certain health and safety risks for workers, such as the gases and materials present, the work to be performed, atmospheric conditions, discomfort, etc. Contrary to popular belief, confined spaces are not all enclosed, small or narrow areas. An empty pool, a vat, a tank or a trench; any area where it is difficult to climb out are good examples.
CONFINED SPACE HAZARDS!
The majority of fatal accidents occurring in confined spaces are related to air problems due to a deficiency or surplus of oxygen, gas behaviour and toxic vapours, explosive levels of products, etc. In many cases, detections had already been done before starting the work, but were they performed adequately using the proper gas detector?
The right sampling for the right GAS detector
Right from the start, it is essential to assess the following needs:
- The nature of the work to be executed (cleaning/toxic products, repairs/welding, etc.)
- The possibility of chemical reactions (potential interference)
- The presence of flammable and/or toxic gases
- Humidity, cold and heat levels
For an adequate sampling, please refer to a qualified person who has been trained, is knowledgeable of atmospheric hazards and instrumentation, and can interpret sampling results. Therefore, it is essential to use a detector, either bought or leased, but again, you need to have the right one and know how to use it properly!
At SPI Health and Safety, we have the confined space experts to advise you, to perform all the work on site or train you to do it. We offer many confined space training courses that will address your specific needs. Contact us; we have already trained more than 30,000 people in confined space to date!