Over a 100 workers every year suffer fatal injuries while working in confined spaces that require a permit. These spaces are naturally confined and made in such a way that presents hazards leading to significant injury. The key factor here is to control issues around the work zone in such a way that you can limit any chances of injury, and make the environment a pleasant one for working.
The work done by workers within a confined space can become exponentially dangerous, because of the limited room they have for movement, and because of how hard it is for them to work in the mess.
Confined spaces that aren’t properly controlled or assessed can jeopardize the life of all employees, which is why the number of deaths resulting from exposure to uncontrolled confined spaces is rising. In cases where the accidents don’t lead to any fatalities, we have injuries where workers cannot go back to live the life they previously had.
Preventing Confined Spaces Incidents
Adding salt to the wound, the biggest tragedy of confined spaces accidents is that, they could have easily been prevented. The fact that such accidents can be prevented is exactly why the moral responsibility of looking after these spaces rests on the shoulders of the employers. Employers should make sure that all unnecessary risks are mitigated, so that workers can easily work in permit-required confined spaces.
To ensure that all safety standards are met, employers have to assess the typical hazards that can happen within confined spaces. Proper procedures should be developed to make sure that all safety needs of the employees are met, and that they can work in peace without a threat of injury.
Assessing Hazards within a Confined Space
How can the hazards within a confined space be assessed? Through a thorough evaluation of the space and the area surrounding it! The evaluation should look at all the potential hazards that can impede operations and worker safety.
Some factors you should consider during a hazard assessment include:
- Hazardous Atmosphere: Look at the atmosphere and see whether the place could become oxygen enriched, or has any other chemical imbalance leading to explosive, flammable or fatal gasses.
- Engulfment Hazard: Can the space fill up with substances that can engulf an employee?
- Entrapment Hazards: Is it easy to get out of the space? Is exiting the space easy or potentially difficult. The exit should be well defined, without chances of entrapment.
Looking after employees in a confined space is extremely necessary. Metro Safety Training provides a wide range of different safety courses including Level 3 First Aid in Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, Coquitlam, and Burnaby. For more details you can get in touch with them online.