How to prevent injuries from conﬁned spaces
Many construction sites have enclosed areas where work is done. These areas can create hazards such as lack of oxygen, explosive or toxic gases, electrical shock and materials falling from above. Many of these hazards can kill or injure workers. Many would-be rescuers have died entering a conﬁned space.
Here is an Example
Sipho went into a manhole to close a gate valve and immediately collapsed. The foreman called ﬁreﬁghters to the scene who entered the space wearing self-contained breathing apparatus to bring Sipho’s body out. Further investigation suggested that the manhole had not been tested or ventilated before Sipho entered and contained lots of methane gas.
1. How could this accident have been prevented?
2. What other hazard did that space pose?
3. Have you ever had an injury from a conﬁned space or know anyone who did? If so, what happened?
Preventing Injuries from Conﬁned Spaces:
- Treat all confined spaces as hazardous.
- Do not enter a space until the air has been tested for oxygen, ﬂammable vapors and toxic chemicals.
- Ensure tha structures are safe from collapse prior to entering conﬁned spaces.
- Use Personal Protective Equipment that is appropiate for the hazards.
- Make sure a safe and dependable method of communication is available between the person entering the space and the work partner.
- Exit the space immediately if any unsafe condition develops.
- Provide for rescue ans practice realistic drills.
- Make sure your comany provides you with the correct safety and personal protective equipment.