Dealing With the Dangers of Confined Space Work

Emergency rescue personnel can confirm the inherent dangers caused from working at a job involving entry into confined spaces. Not only could they be themselves required to work in such situations once in a while, but every year hundreds of rescues will be affected as the result of a worker getting trapped, asphyxiated, engulfed by hazardous material, burned or injured while operating in a confined area. Professional rescue personnel are trained and outfitted while using necessary confined space equipment to complete their tasks as safely and efficiently as is possible. Industrial workers required to enter confined spaces to finish certain tasks should be no less equipped.

Types of Confined Spaces:

A confined space is described as any area large enough for an individual to enter that has a restricted or limited means for entering or exiting. It is actually a tunnel, a boiler, an underground vault, a septic tank or an enclosed area aboard a vessel. Certain confined areas that pose an obvious risk for hazards for example asphyxia, fire, flooding, entrapment, gas accumulation or presence of toxins may be required to have a special permit in accordance with OSHA regulations and also regulations enforced by the local fire authority. Such regulations demand the development of a written plan for ensuring safety within said confined spaces, including:

Required permits

Required placards

Designated observers or attendants

Special designation for those permitted entry

An established want to affect rescue if needed

Safety Equipment

Equipment necessary for safe and effective operations within confined spaces carries a wide range of items, the selection of which is determined by the nature of the work being done, the configuration of the space itself as well as the dangers that may be present. Specialty items utilized as confined space equipment can sometimes include:

Air sampling kits
Gas monitoring and detection units

A variety of respirators types.

Pumps

Specialized apparel, including protective clothing, helmets, shields, etc.

Air purifiers

Air supply equipment.

Bayard Plemont is a firefighter and has worked in tight places. He is meticulous about using Confined Space Equipment because he never knows when he will be in a confined area. If you need safe equipment, go to Confined Space Equipment.