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The Importance of Confined Space Safety and Rescue

Confined Space Safety | February 22, 2018

Proper confined space safety and rescue training can help prevent fatal injuries from happening on the jobsite. At United Scaffold Supply, we know that two major factors that lead to fatal injuries in confined spaces are a failure to recognize hazards and inadequate emergency response when an accident occurs. The importance of confined space safety and rescue should not be overlooked, as it can help prevent these major factors from occurring.

What is a Confined Space?

Confined spaces are places that are large enough to physically enter, but are not intended for human occupancy, as they have limited entry or egress. Confined spaces may be enclosed on all sides or as little as two sides and are often places that need to be entered from time to time for cleaning, maintenance, inspection, or repair. Some of the most common confined spaces include:

  • Bins
  • Bunkers
  • Conveyors
  • Large pipelines
  • Mobile equipment
  • Pump or lift stations
  • Silos
  • Sumps
  • Tanks
  • Tunnels
  • Vats
  • Water cisterns and tanks
  • Wells

The Risks of Working in Confined Spaces

While incidents in confined spaces are becoming less common, they still tend to be devastating when an accident does occur. In most cases, confined space accidents happen suddenly, without any warning that something is wrong. Incidents in confined spaces involving toxic gases or a lack of oxygen can often lead to injury or death in more than one person; however, the most common risk factor associated with working in a confined space is trying to rescue someone who is injured. This is because more people are killed trying to rescue someone in trouble rather than the people who need to be rescued.

How to Reduce the Risks

The first step in ensuring the safety of everyone working in confined spaces is reducing the risks on the jobsite. The best way to reduce risks is to make sure that every worker who enters a confined space has received the appropriate training and hands on experience. All workers should be trained to:

  • Recognize and identify possible hazards related to confined spaces
  • Evaluate and control procedures for any recognized hazards
  • Setup, use, and know the restrictions for any and all equipment used in the confined space rescue process
  • Setup, use, and know the restriction for all personal protective equipment
  • Follow procedures in scenarios that could increase the risk to workers or the overall situation
  • Know what specific work needs to be done while in a confined space
  • Know how to work in a way that will not endanger others
  • Know every single safe work practice and procedure for entering confined spaces

At United Scaffold Supply, we want to help ensure the safety of everyone working in confined spaces. That is why we offer a wide range of safety supplies, as well as safety training courses. If you would like to learn more about the importance of confined space safety and rescue, or if you are interested in one of our products or services, please contact United Scaffold Supply at 1-866-820-6341 or by filling out a contact form on our website. We are a Vancouver scaffolding company that is proud to provide customers with the best scaffolding and scaffolding equipment on the market.