1. Have you identified all confined spaces at your workplace?
As mentioned above, confined spaces could be anywhere, and there are several definitions to help you identify them. Ensure that you check your local regulations for the specific criteria in your province. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety provides a list of characteristics including poor air quality, chemical exposures, fire hazard, noise and extreme temperatures, etc. Also bare in mind that the confined spaces your employees face may not be located on your business premise, which makes them even trickier to track down and manage. The prudent way to go is to pre-identify all potential confined spaces your employees may be working in or around to prevent accidents before they occur.
2. Do you have an entry procedure and rescue plan?
An effective hazard assessment and entry procedures can help eliminate confined space incidents. When it comes to casualties in confined spaces, an estimated 60% of fatalities happen to the would-be rescuers after the actual incident. An effective entry procedure and rescue plan are crucial to protecting the lives of both the entrant and the potential rescuer. Remember that each confined space is unique, and using a generic template procedure may not be effective. At Envirosafety, our approach starts with: a comprehensive review of the number and type of confined spaces requiring entry, the kind of work that is done in the spaces, the types of hazards associated with the space itself as well as the hazards that will be created during work, and the access methods. The final assessments, procedures and rescue plans will be designed based upon a full review and site visit by our qualified consultants.
3. Did your employees receive proper training?
Once the plan is ready, it’s time to prepare your crew. In addition to learning the theory and procedures involved in the entry and rescue, your employees will be much better prepared with hands-on experience. At the Envirosafety training centre, we offer training programs ranging from 1 day up to 5 days. With the use of confined space simulators, equipment, procedures as well as hands-on practice drills, trainees perform confined space duties as they would for the actual situation. Before we train, Envirosafety will also evaluate your training requirements and can tailor the training based on your applications, making the most of your time and investment.
4. Do you have the right equipment?
Confined space entry and rescue is a complex challenge that requires specialized tools to do the job right. For example, for vault inspection alone the equipment can include a gas detector, blower, rescue retrieval system, harness, lighting, respirators, and various PPE. In addition, confined space equipment requires regular inspection, maintenance, recertification and calibrations to ensure compliance. Envirosafety offers expert opinions on the suitable equipment to get your job done safely.]]>