Confined Spaces

A person is considered to have entered into a confined space when their body passes through an opening into an area, meaning that just reaching your arm into a confined space is considered entry and would require training. Each province has a slightly different definition of a confined space, but there are 4 common characteristics associated with confined spaces. Limited access or egress, the space is a partially or fully enclosed area, the space is not meant for human occupancy, and there are potential atmospheric hazards in the space. Confined space pre-entry training and awareness is important, as 85% of confined space injuries are preventable and are regularly due to workers not realizing they have entered into a confined space.
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  • Identify the confined spaces and hazards associated with them.
  • Create a risk assessment and emergency response plan (ERP).
  • Ensure workers have access to the ERP.
  • Provide the proper hazard controls, such as PPE, to the workers and keep the training records

Confined Space Responsibilities

this person must be aware and informed before entering to the confined space, participate in pre-job discussions, when a permit is issued, understand the scope of work, accepted work procedure and expectations know the restrictions before entering the confined space, like non-sparking tools in potential flammable atmosphere for example, or not switching off a personal atmospheric monitor use or respiratory protection or any other PPE.

In case of an emergency or retrieval the attendant must check and ensure that the arrangement or evacuation and mechanical retrieval are available, and in proper working conditions, this person must understand the emergency plan and attend training on how to use these devices and order an evacuation if the conditions warrant. Usa known entry retrieval equipment to help evacuate a worker that is down and inform the entry supervisor and rescue team as soon as an emergency situation is sensed. For an electrical powered retrieval system, that person must ensure that the system is energized and stop work if the evacuation system is inoperative.

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