What are the risks involved in working in confined spaces?
- Confined spaces are often difficult to access, with tight or restrictive entrances which can pose an even greater risk for workers who need to enter and leave the area.
- Some confined spaces may also contain hazardous materials as a result of their primary purpose.
- Additionally, lack of oxygen and potential entrapment should be considered when evaluating a confined space environment.
Follow all safety protocols when entering a confined space
- Ensure that the space has been properly ventilated and that there is a safe atmosphere before proceeding.
- Instruct those around you to stay in close proximity for quick assistance if needed.
- Be alert for any environmental hazards such as heat, humidity, sparks or open flames which could surround the area you’re working.
- Additionally, take note of any obstacles such as electrical cords and machines that may be within the space so as to avoid them being damaged or becoming hazardous during work completion.
- You must also understand when rest breaks are necessary to prevent fatigue from setting in which could cause impairment of senses or judgment resulting in personal injury or mistakes aimed at the job itself.
- As always, make sure you have multiple sources of egress set up along with clearly marked boundaries allowing getaways without obstruction should the worst happen.
What safety equipment is needed to work in confined spaces?
- When entering a confined space, use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including a hard hat and adequate eye protection.
- You must wear specialised clothing such as fire-resistant outerwear and respirators to protect against slips, trips and falls.
- If you’re working near steam pipes it is also important to have the right tools on hand like tongs, gloves and goggles that are designed to withstand those specific risks.
- Additionally, have appropriate communication measures in place so all members of your team understand the hazard they may face while inside the confined space.
How to stay safe while working in a confined space
- Look out for any signs of danger and be aware of your surroundings. Things like debris on the floor, missing handrails or signs of moisture leakage could all be indications that the space may not be properly maintained and thus a potential hazard.
- If the conditions are clearly unsafe, do not enter.
- Above all else, being prepared ahead of time is key – if there is even the slightest chance of danger present, err on the side of caution and exit the confined space immediately.
Confined space work is inherently dangerous, and workers must understand the risks involved in order to protect themselves from harm. By following these tips and putting safety first, you can keep safe while working in tight spaces.
Looking for Safety Documentation To Help Manage Confined Spaces?
Check out our selection of documentation below! You can easily customise these templates for your workplace! Our Confined Spaces Documentation templates are suitable for any construction business conducting work in Queensland looking to improve its Work Health & Safety compliance!
- Working In Confined Spaces Policy
- Confined Spaces Emergency Rescue Plan (Free!)
- Confined Space Entry Permit
- Confined Space Risk Assessment
- Confined Spaces SWMS
Want to save money? Check out our Confined Spaces Bundle! Our Confined Spaces Documentation Bundle contains 5 essential documents required to conduct work in Confined Spaces and include all relevant legislative requirements for construction businesses in QLD.