I recently went out on a hiking adventure. One of the most exciting activities involved walking through a 500meter long tunnel. The tunnel was dark, humid and windy. As the hikers strained to use lighters to light the way out to the other side, l kept wondering about the workers who work in such confined spaces.
What is confined space training?
Confined space training involves preparing workers for hazards, risks and precautions while working in tunnels, pipes, silos and other places. Osha confined space training identifies these places as a potential for accidents, especially in industries and sewers, because of limited space to manoeuvre.
Working in a confined space is hazardous for individuals in simple storage areas and complex buildings such as industries and storage facilities. Employers should mind casual labourers, managers, and supervisors’ welfare by providing them with relevant training to enhance their safety.
Benefits of training employees working in confined places
When employees are trained, they are equipped with skills to help them become more efficient and deal with emergencies. Confined space training is associated with the following benefits:
- Ensures a safe working environment for all the concerned workers
- Introduces workers to confined space risks and hazards
- Familiarize workers with evacuation measures to take during emergencies
- Helps the workers to understand the roles of different persons working in such spaces
- Emphasize the need to have permits, safety policies and monitoring methods
- Train members for rescue operations for evacuation when accidents happen
Who is best suited for confined space training?
Confined places include enclosures with limited access openings, including sewers, silos, tanks, pits, boilers, wells and pits. This means a helicopter cockpit or passenger cabins are classified as confined spaces. Therefore, managers, supervisors, safety officials, and new entrants in confined spaces require relevant training to enhance their safety. These
Common hazards in confined spaces
Confined spaces are deficient in oxygen and can easily cause asphyxia. Working in confined spaces is notorious for noxious fumes, which reduce oxygen levels. Other dangers include fires, flooding, drowning and getting trapped.
Do and don’ts when working in confined spaces
Anyone working in a confined space should be aware of the imminent danger in their environment. Therefore, only trained and qualified personnel should work in confined spaces because they understand the risks involved and know the precautions to take when emergencies occur. Training for working in confined spaces involves using and maintaining the appropriate emergency equipment.
It is best to keep off confined space unless it is essential to do so, and while at it, you should never take precautionary measures and the risks involved for granted. Working in confined places for a long time does not mean it is safe to throw caution to the wind. Employees working in confined spaces should never allow entrants until safety is confirmed.
A confined space is any enclosed area with limited access opening where accidents can easily occur. Therefore, employees working in confined places must proceed cautiously to enhance safety and avoid injuries and hazards during construction work, repair and maintenance.