How To Protect Your Employees Who Work In Confined Spaces

If you run a business where employees have to enter confined spaces, such as storage bins, tunnels, ductwork, and manholes, you need to make sure that your employees have the proper training on how to enter confined spaces and how to rescue a colleague if they get stuck. This is not just smart; this is something that you are required to do by OSHA workplace and safety rules.

Understand What a Confined Space Is

OSHA has specific rules that define what exactly is a confined space. A confined space is not just any small space according to OSHA rules; it is a very specific type of space.

It is a space that has limited access, such as a tunnel that only has one way in and out. It is a space that was not made for humans to be in for an extended period. For example, ductwork is not made for humans to hang out inside. It is a space that a person can enter and work in. A space that is too small to enter into is not considered a confined space by OSHA rules.

Some confine spaces don't require special permits for a worker to enter, and other confined spaces require a special permit before a person can enter the space.

Approaching Work in a Confined Space

If you have employees who need to work in a confined space, you are going to want to ensure your employees are well-trained concerning how to enter and work in a confined space and that they know what to do if they get stuck. This is training that you should pay for in order to keep your employees safe and comply with OSHA rules.

For example, an employee should know how to assess the potential hazards of a confined space and then take steps to minimize the hazards that they may encounter. Employees should also have a detailed plan and understanding of the work that needs to be done in a confined space so that they can do the work and get out.

Helping Someone Out of a Confined Space

If you are going to send an employee into a confined space, you need to make sure that your other employees are trained on how to rescue their co-workers should they get stuck in the confined space. Your employees should be trained on how to rescue that person without entering the space. This involves learning how to use a rescue line or a retrieval system.

Before you send workers into a confined space, make sure that they are properly trained on how to work in a confined space, and make sure that you have additional workers who are trained on how to rescue someone from a confined space. Work can be safely completed in confined spaces when you have well-trained employees and follow OSHA's rules.

To learn more, contact a company like Safety Management Training Solutions.