Confined spaces such as coal mines, water supply towers, sewers, boilers, aircraft wings, etc. require individuals to meet a standard health condition. Workspaces such as these are hazardous; any incident in these can be fatal.

Confined space is any workspace or a public space which meets the requirements of a confined space set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) throughout Canada. Following are the specifications of a confined space:

  • Has enough space for an employee to enter and complete the assigned task
  • Is not occupied by the employee continuously
  • Has restricted ways of entry and exit

There are various aspects of managing a confined space and most of it needs to be compliant with state policies. Other protocols may be set by your own workspace as deemed necessary.

There should always be a safety monitor to approve of people entering the confined space. This person is responsible to check for all standards that one should meet before starting to work in these spaces. Here’s what you need to know:

Confined Space Hazard Assessment

In order to manage risks attached to working in and around confined spaces, all employers are required to develop a confined space hazard assessment and control program. These guidelines should be in and around all confined spaces as a reminder to everyone working in these risky surroundings. The program should have the following:

  • Roles & Responsibilities
  • Ways to identify confined spaces
  • List of hazards that may already exist, or will come forward, during work activities
  • Ways to control or limit all such hazards
  • Protocols of entry permit system
  • Emergency plan with guidelines for equipment and training
  • Emergency Response system
  • Reporting mechanism to identify hazards in confined space
  • Documentation methods

Entry Permit System

To maintain a standard, the state requires all the companies to meet certain requirements in order to be allowed to house a confined workspace. If you are choosing to become a safety monitor, you will have to apply for an entry permit which should contain the following information:

  • Permit’s validity time period
  • Detail(s) of employee(s) authorised to work in confined space(s)
  • Detail(s) of safety monitor(s) and/or supervisor
  • Description and location of the confined space
  • List of work activities to be performed in that space
  • Hazards of being in and around the confined space

Other details and procedures of attaining a safety work permit can be found on the official website of Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety.

At Metro Safety, along with other emergency response courses, we also offer training for entrants in confined spaces. The course’s learning outcomes meet the state compliance policies and is certified from Canadian Red Cross. Visit the website to know more!