Even though working in confined spaces is often temporary, it can be some of the most dangerous work an employee performs. Top hazards of confined spaces can include toxic atmospheres, oxygen-deficient environments, excessive heat, flammable atmospheres, and more. While these are the common ones, there are many other risk factors that you may not be aware of (but should take seriously).
Always Be Prepared
When working in a confined space, it should be tested, evaluated, and monitored. Some employees may not even realize they’re working in a confined space! They need to be trained on how to recognize confined spaces and the hazards that come with them. Workers need to understand how it can lead to severe injury or worse if they don’t take preventative measures.
Before entering permit-required confined spaces, it must be tested by a qualified person to determine if the atmosphere is safe. They’ll test for flammability, oxygen levels, and other toxic substances. A gas monitor can effectively conduct the test. Then, it needs to be evaluated to look out for things such as hazards or if it’s considered a “permit-required” confined space. The evaluation is much more complex and needs to be done by a professional (usually a supervisor). If deemed safe, it needs to be continuously monitored for atmosphere changes and dangers.
Have a Rescue Plan
Rescuing workers from confined spaces requires careful planning and consideration. Employers need to implement adequate rescue plans that protect both the employees and rescuers. It needs to be outlined in the written confined space program. In addition to having a written plan, workers must actively participate in ongoing training and drills. Practice will make sure they know exactly what to do in the situation.
Not Following Procedures
Even when employees are trained, they may ignore safety procedures or forget to bring the PPE necessary for emergencies. Even if the safety procedure process seems time-consuming or unnecessary, it’s crucial to preventing accidents. Remember, always listen to your gas detector! If the alarm goes off, employees need to evacuate the space. Even if they’re almost done with the job, they need to get out and wait until it’s determined to be safe again.
Extreme Safety is Here to Help
Knowing some of the common and uncommon top hazards of confined spaces will help employers and employees reduce the risk of workplace accidents. In addition to assessing its potential dangers, workers should follow safety procedures and be prepared with a rescue plan. We understand it may seem time-consuming, but it can make a world of difference when in a dangerous situation. As experts in the safety industry, our team is always happy to help out and answer any questions! To contact us, you can call (310) 856-0166 or click here to contact us on our website.