Confined space work comes with a variety of hazards that traditional tasks would not. As a result, it is important that any employees expected to work in confined environments be adequately trained according to the OSHA safety standards. There are a few key elements you need to consider when it comes to confined space risks and safety training.
The first thing that your employees need to understand is how to recognize, mitigate, and control hazards in confined spaces. Remember that, within a confined space, the ability to avoid a hazard is severely restricted. That means you need to know exactly what the risks are before entering a space so that you can take every possible precaution.
Some of the hazards to consider include airflow and oxygen restriction issues, exposure to gases or chemicals, obstruction and barricade hazards, and even fire or combustion risks. Make sure that every confined space receives a thorough hazard assessment before anyone enters, and that assessment is conducted every time someone enters that space. Remember that environmental changes happen, so stay proactive about these evaluations.
PPE And Rescue Gear
Every employee working in a confined space or surrounding area must be adequately trained on PPE and rescue gear, including knowing when and what to wear and how to use the rescue gear. Nobody should enter a confined space without the proper PPE and rescue gear as well as a path for helping them evacuate the area if necessary.
Confined space work should always include the use of monitoring systems to assess the levels of gases and toxins, air temperature, oxygen concentration, and other hazards. Use technology and monitoring equipment to your advantage at all times so that you know exactly what the situation is within any confined space before someone enters the area.
Human Error Risks
Human error is a leading cause of confined space hazards, injuries, and deaths. Complacency, unrealistic expectations, and a desire to get things done can lead to unsafe decisions, a lack of attention to detail, and a hazardous work environment. Make sure everyone working on your job site, especially those around confined spaces, understand the importance of slowing down, focusing on the details, and prioritizing safety and practicality over timelines.
These are just a few of the many things to consider when it comes to confined space entry training. Talk with a local job site safety specialist today for more help with the training topics you need to address.