Six Things You Need To Do To Keep Workers In Confined Spaces Safe

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It's important to take the appropriate safety precautions if your employees carry out work tasks in confined spaces.

Work in confined spaces can entail numerous hazards that you need to anticipate and plan for to maintain a safe facility. Not only should you take safety precautions for the health of your employees, but you may even be required to do so by law.

The following are six things you need to do as an employer to keep workers in confined spaces safe:

Be aware of what the hazards are

Some of the major hazards involved with work in confined spaces are temperature extremes, poor air quality, fire or explosion risks, chemical exposure, collapse of structures, shifting of materials, electric shock, and entrapment.

It's important to analyze your own work site and determine which of these confined space hazards your employees could be subjected to. Then, you can take precautions to minimize risks once you have identified the applicable hazards.

Determine if there are any permit requirements

Companies carrying out construction or demolition work in confined spaces are often required to get permits for the work to meet their legal obligations.

You need to explore your legal responsibilities and consult municipal authorities in your area about permit needs before you proceed with any work in confined spaces.

Prevent access by unauthorized parties

It's important that you're always aware of who is accessing your work site if your work site has been identified as a potentially hazardous confined space. You therefore need to make sure that your work site is secured so that unauthorized parties cannot access the site unbeknownst to you and your staff members. 

You could potentially be held liable for any injuries that occur at your work site even if they happen to unauthorized intruders. Therefore, it's important to make sure that no one can access a confined space work site without the knowledge of your staff members. 

Acquire and distribute any necessary personal protective equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment such as harnesses, goggles, first aid kits, or ventilators may be necessary for safe work at your site. It's important to determine what PPE your employees can benefit from and make that equipment available to minimize the chances that injuries will occur.

Train employees on the hazards

Employees need to be aware of the hazards they're working with. They also need to be trained on proper protocol to minimize or avoid hazards to the greatest extent possible. 

Have any necessary monitoring devices installed

Depending on the nature of the work site, you may need to install monitoring devices that provide warnings if the atmosphere becomes unsafe.

Monitoring devices can test the air for potentially flammable or toxic substances and set off an alarm if evacuation becomes necessary. If potentially dangerous air quality is a possible risk at your site, you should have gas monitors or any other necessary devices installed and maintained to ensure continued operability. 

For more information, contact a company like Elite Technical Services Group.

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