According to the Institution of occupational safety & health (Nebosh/IOSH ), working in confined spaces is extremely critical and the workers should stay safe from potentially hidden and deadly dangers. These confined spaces are usually small, difficult to exit, and very fatal if precautionary methods have not adhered. They may include coal mines, wine tanks, manholes, etc. Hitech Safety, the best institute for safety courses takes pride in teaching the employees, the safety precautions to work in such confined spaces.
Before entering any confined space, a trained and experienced person should identify and evaluate all the potential hazards within the confined space. An important step in determining the hazards in a confined space is air testing.
- Lack of Oxygen:
- Flammable gases or liquids
- Workspace instability
- Heat hazards :
- Sudden inflow of fluid
- Insufficient moving space
- Poisonous insects, other biological agents, and excessive noise in such spaces are very hazardous and should be suppressed with adequate protection measures.
- Tools and operational processes can also be dangerous and workers should handle them properly. So, if workers take sufficient care and protection then confined workplaces can be as safe as any other place.
If workspace contains air with oxygen level less than 19.5 percent, then prolonged stay in such space can lead to severe health complications.
Oxygen levels can reduce in the air due to the presence of other gases, biological reactions, purging actions, or welding activities, making the air poisonous.
Enduring sufficient analysis of the place and using an oxygen mask can help to avoid suffocation and other health hazards.
As a lack of oxygen, excessive oxygen in the air is equally hazardous. If the oxygen level in the air goes above 23.5%, then it can trigger fire hazards. Improper or excessive usage of oxygen cylinders or oxygen- enriched items is some of the reasons increasing oxygen content in the air.
These confined spaces are also likely to have combustible gases, which can generate massive fire or explosions.
So, analyze the confined space and then go for it.
The places where the ground is not stable due to water stagnation like sewage lines, tunnels,etc are always very dangerous. There are chances of getting drowned in and buried, or collapse and cave-in. So, to safeguard workers, it is essential to analyze the risk factor and consider all the rescue measures.
Lack of proper ventilation ducts and worker activities cause reduced movement of air which induces a temperature rise in such confinement spaces. If the temperature rises above or falls below certain levels, then workers can face health issues.
Contingencies like the sudden unpredictable inflow of water or other fluids can be fatal for the workers and should be considered beforehand. Escape plans should be readily available for the workers.
Prolonged stay in confined places can cause serious ailments like musculoskeletal disorders. Frequent moving out of the employers should be facilitated to avoid such health issues.