Pourquoi une formation en espace confiné ?

Pourquoi une formation en espace confiné ?

Pourquoi une formation en espace confiné ? Suivre des cours de formation avant d’entrer, de sortir ou de travailler dans un espace confiné présente de nombreux avantages. Le principal avantage est de disposer des connaissances nécessaires pour assurer sa propre sécurité et celle des autres.

Pourquoi est-il si important de suivre une formation pour entrer dans un espace confiné ? Qu’y a-t-il de si mortel dans un espace confiné qui soit différent des autres types de lieux de travail dangereux ?

Beaucoup de choses, en fait.

Nous avons déjà parlé des dangers des espaces clos sur le blog du Hercules SLR, mais pourquoi s’y entraîner ? Vous allez bientôt le savoir.

Dans ce blog, nous allons vous couvrir :

  • Qu’est-ce que la formation en espace confiné ?
  • Pourquoi la formation en espace confiné est-elle importante ?
  • Quelles sont les normes OSHA/CCOHS pour la formation en espace confiné ?
  • À quelle fréquence la formation en espace clos est-elle requise ?
  • Quels sont les quatre principaux dangers d’un espace confiné ?
  • Qui peut entrer dans un espace clos ?
  • Espaces clos et espaces restreints – Quelle est la différence ?

QU’EST-CE QUE LA FORMATION EN ESPACE CONFINÉ ?

La formation aux espaces confinés consiste à enseigner aux travailleurs qui travaillent dans ou autour des espaces confinés les dangers, les risques et les dangers qui y sont associés. Il est important que même les personnes qui n’ont pas l’intention d’entrer dans l’espace confiné soient formées à la bonne façon d’entrer et de sortir de l’espace confiné, car près de 60 % des décès en espace confiné surviennent chez des personnes qui tentent de sauver d’autres personnes.

Pourquoi s’entraîner en espace confiné ? Lisez la suite

POURQUOI LA FORMATION AUX ESPACES CONFINÉS EST-ELLE IMPORTANTE ?

Pourquoi une formation en espace confiné ? La formation aux espaces confinés est importante car elle aide les travailleurs et le personnel à proximité à gérer les risques associés au travail dans des espaces confinés, ce qui contribue à réduire les blessures et les décès. Comment pouvez-vous savoir quoi faire, comment chercher et comment vous sauver et sauver les autres si personne ne vous le dit ?

C’est là qu’intervient la formation aux espaces confinés.

Comme nous l’avons mentionné dans le paragraphe ci-dessus, près de 60 % des décès en espace clos surviennent chez des personnes qui tentent de sauver des personnes piégées ou en danger – mais il existe d’autres raisons pour lesquelles la formation au travail dans ou autour d’un espace clos est absolument nécessaire.

De nombreux dangers présents dans les espaces confinés se retrouvent dans d’autres espaces de travail ouverts, mais deviennent plus dangereux, voire mortels, lorsqu’on les rencontre dans des espaces confinés.

En effet, il y a peu de marge d’erreur pour le travail dans un espace confiné. Les risques physiques sont plus dangereux dans un espace confiné, les matériaux et les produits chimiques peuvent interagir de manière imprévisible et, bien sûr, il est plus difficile d’y entrer et d’en sortir.

En voici quelques exemples :

  • Faible qualité de l’air : Une mauvaise qualité de l’air peut être due à la présence d’une substance toxique dans l’air (voir « Dangers liés à l’asphyxie » ci-dessous) ou à un manque d’oxygène et/ou de ventilation naturelle.
  • Dangers d’asphyxie : Il s’agit de gaz qui se concentrent dans un espace confiné et déplacent l’oxygène de l’air, ce qui entraîne des nausées, des convulsions, un coma et, finalement, la mort de cette atmosphère. Les asphyxiants sont des gaz comme l’argon, l’azote et/ou le monoxyde de carbone.
  • Exposition à des produits chimiques nocifs.
  • Les risques d’incendie, comme les produits chimiques qui pourraient s’enflammer si une étincelle est utilisée dans l’espace.
  • Les risques physiques, comme le bruit, la chaleur ou le froid extrême, les radiations, la circulation des véhicules et des piétons et même la mauvaise visibilité.

Tous ces risques sont amplifiés lorsque vous travaillez dans un espace confiné. Nous ne pouvons pas insister sur la vitesse à laquelle ces dangers deviennent mortels. Imaginez cela :

Vous travaillez sur une station de relevage des eaux usées (qui contrôle les déplacements des eaux usées). Votre collègue est descendu dans un espace confiné pour diagnostiquer un problème, mais le diagnostic aurait dû être terminé depuis longtemps – il y a 45 minutes. « Je vais aller le voir », vous crie votre collègue. Avant que vous puissiez lui dire d’arrêter, il entre dans l’espace confiné. Vous appelez le 911. Aucun des deux ne peut être réanimé. Votre collègue qui est simplement allé voir quelqu’un est mort sur le coup. Vous ne sous-estimerez jamais la vitesse à laquelle un espace clos peut reprendre une vie.

Nous ne voulons pas être obscènes, mais c’est une réalité qui, malheureusement, se produit plus qu’elle ne devrait, même avec toutes les connaissances disponibles sur les entrées et sorties d’espaces clos. Les dangers que l’on trouve dans les lieux de travail typiques deviennent beaucoup plus dangereux lorsqu’ils sont confinés, ce qui n’est qu’une des raisons pour lesquelles la formation aux espaces confinés est si importante.

QUELLES SONT LES RÉGLEMENTATIONS RELATIVES À LA FORMATION EN ESPACE CONFINÉ ?

Au Canada, les normes provinciales concernant les espaces clos diffèrent. Votre organisation peut également avoir des exigences spécifiques pour le travail en espace clos, alors prenez-les comme ligne directrice générale.

Il existe au Canada une législation qui concerne la formation et les espaces clos – selon la norme canadienne de santé et de sécurité au travail 11.5 sur les procédures d’urgence :

  1. Lorsque les conditions dans un espace clos ou la nature du travail à effectuer dans un espace clos sont telles que les spécifications énoncées à l’alinéa 1.4(1)a) ne peuvent être respectées pendant tout le temps qu’une personne se trouve dans l’espace clos, l’employeur doit

a) en consultation avec le comité local ou le représentant pour la santé et la sécurité, établir les procédures d’urgence à suivre en cas d’accident ou d’autre urgence dans l’espace clos ou à proximité, ces procédures devant préciser la date à laquelle elles sont établies et prévoir l’évacuation immédiate de l’espace clos lorsque

i) une alarme est activée, ou

ii) il y a un changement important dans une concentration ou un pourcentage visé à l’alinéa 11.4(1)a) qui aurait une incidence négative sur la santé ou la sécurité d’une personne dans l’espace clos.

b) fournir l’équipement de protection visé aux points 11.3 b), c) et d) pour chaque personne qui s’apprête à entrer dans l’espace clos ;

c) s’assurer qu’une personne qualifiée, formée aux procédures d’entrée et d’urgence établies conformément aux paragraphes 11.3(a) et (a), est

i) en présence en dehors de l’espace confiné, et

ii) en communication avec la personne à l’intérieur de l’espace confiné ;

d) fournir à la personne qualifiée visée au paragraphe c) un dispositif d’alarme approprié pour appeler à l’aide ; et

e) Veiller à ce que deux personnes ou plus se trouvent à proximité immédiate de l’espace clos afin de prêter assistance en cas d’accident ou d’autre urgence.

2. L’une des personnes visées au paragraphe 1, point e), doit

a) est fixé à un ancrage sûr à l’extérieur de l’espace confiné,

b) être titulaire d’un certificat de premiers secours de base ; et

c) être dotés des équipements de protection et de secours visés au paragraphe 11.3, point d).

3. L’employeur veille à ce que toute personne entrant, sortant ou occupant un espace clos visé au paragraphe (1) porte un harnais de sécurité approprié, solidement attaché à une ligne de vie qui

a) est fixé à un ancrage sûr à l’extérieur de l’espace confiné ;

b) est contrôlé par la personne qualifiée visée au paragraphe 1, point c) ;

c) protège la personne contre le danger pour lequel il est prévu et ne crée pas lui-même un danger ; et

d) est, lorsque cela est raisonnablement possible, équipé d’un dispositif de levage mécanique.

À QUELLE FRÉQUENCE LA FORMATION AUX ESPACES CONFINÉS EST-ELLE NÉCESSAIRE ?

Toute personne sur le point de travailler dans ou autour d’espaces confinés doit recevoir une formation. Il est souvent utile de former les nouveaux employés aux procédures spécifiques d’entrée, de sortie et de sauvetage dans les espaces confinés de votre organisation, même s’ils ont reçu une formation dans le cadre de leur travail précédent, car les pratiques peuvent être différentes.

Une formation sur les espaces confinés doit également être organisée lorsque les politiques ou les règlements changent. Une formation doit également être organisée si les politiques et les procédures sont ignorées. Comme nous le savons, cela peut être mortel.

La norme canadienne sur la santé et la sécurité au travail 11.11 stipule

  1. L’employeur doit fournir à tout employé susceptible d’entrer dans un espace confiné une instruction et une formation en

a) les procédures établies en vertu des paragraphes 11.3 a) et 11.5(1) a) ; et

b) L’utilisation des équipements de protection visés aux points 11.3 b), c) et d).

2. L’employeur doit veiller à ce que personne ne pénètre dans un espace clos sans en avoir reçu l’instruction,

a) les procédures à suivre conformément aux alinéas 11.3a) et 11.5(1)a) ; et

b) L’utilisation des équipements de protection visés aux points 11.3 b), c) et d).

QUELS SONT LES 4 PRINCIPAUX DANGERS DU TRAVAIL DANS UN ESPACE CONFINÉ ?

Nous avons couvert certains des principaux dangers à rechercher dans un espace confiné, mais comme nous le savons, ils sont amplifiés dans un espace confiné – il vaut donc la peine de revenir sur ce sujet.

Les quatre principaux dangers du travail dans un espace confiné sont les suivants :

QUELS SONT CERTAINS TYPES D’ESPACES CONFINÉS ? 

Il est facile d’imaginer les espaces confinés comme des espaces de travail où l’on descend, mais les espaces confinés peuvent se trouver presque partout, au-dessus ou en dessous du sol.

Alors, pourquoi s’entraîner dans des espaces confinés ? Parce qu’il est probable que de nombreux travailleurs de l’industrie travailleront au moins une fois dans un de ces espaces.

Par définition, un espace confiné :

  • N’est pas destiné à être occupé par des humains (surtout à long terme)
  • A des entrées et/ou sorties limitées, ou une disposition qui pourrait gêner les intervenants d’urgence, ou les mouvements des personnes ou des machines.
  • Représente un risque pour la santé et la sécurité en raison de :
    • La conception, la construction, l’emplacement ou l’atmosphère de l’espace
    • Matériaux ou substances trouvés/utilisés dans l’espace
    • Toute autre condition qui contribue à un risque ou à des dangers pour la sécurité.

Les types d’espaces confinés comprennent :

  • Sous-Caves
  • Réservoirs
  • Ponceaux
  • Silos
  • Voûtes
  • Fossé ouvert

Les types d’espaces confinés comprennent :

 


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CONSEILS POUR LES SLOGANS | FORMATION DU MARDI

COINCÉ DANS UN ENDROIT ÉTROIT ? CE QU’IL FAUT SAVOIR DANS UN ESPACE CONFINÉ

DES ESPACES CONFINÉS : CHOISIR LE MEILLEUR ÉQUIPEMENT DE PROTECTION CONTRE LES CHUTES


RESTER EN SÉCURITÉ DANS ET AUTOUR DES ESPACES CONFINÉS.

APPELEZ-NOUS, ÉCRIVEZ-NOUS OU VENEZ VOUS INFORMER DES PROCHAINS COURS DE FORMATION SUR LES ESPACES CLOS À L’ACADÉMIE DE FORMATION HERCULES :

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM  1 (877) 461-4876


Hercules SLR fait partie du groupe d’entreprises Hercules, avec des sites et des entreprises uniques d’un océan à l’autre. Nous fournissons des services d’arrimage, de levage et de gréement pour des secteurs au Canada et à l’étranger. Hercules SLR est au service des secteurs de l’énergie, du pétrole et du gaz, de la fabrication, de la construction, de l’aérospatiale, des infrastructures, des services publics, de l’exploitation minière et de la marine.

Le groupe de sociétés Hercules est composé de : Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial et Wire Rope Atlantic.

Nous avons la capacité de fournir toute solution de levage dont votre entreprise ou votre projet aura besoin. Appelez-nous dès aujourd’hui pour plus d’informations. 1-877-461-4876 ou envoyez un courriel à info@herculesslr.com 

Fall Protection Safety: What’s your IQ?

fall protection safety quiz hercules securing, lifting and rigging

Think you know how to stay safe at heights? Maybe you’ve read our fall protection glossary and think you’re an expert? Now’s your time to prove it—Take our fall protection safety quiz and find out if you have a high IQ, or if you have a little more training to do. 

Think you have what it takes? Find out below! 

FALL PROTECTION SAFETY | TAKE THE QUIZ

0%

How many injuries occur each year in Canada due to dropped objects?

Correct! Wrong!

Over 27,000 injuries occur due to falling objects each year in Canada—These are just the reported incidents.

True or false? You only need fall protection equipment if you're working at exceptional heights, like on a bridge or skyscraper.

Correct! Wrong!

Fall protection equipment, particularly fall protection for tools is required for work at heights of 3-metres or more.

The term 'arresting force' means:

Correct! Wrong!

Arresting force means the force transferred to the body when a fall is arrested—this is also known as fall arrest force. You can reduce arresting force by using energy absorbers if your lanyard could injure you.

Safety harnesses should always be tried on before purchasing

Correct! Wrong!

You should always try on your safety harness before you purchase. It should fit well, be comfortable and meet provincial regulations.

A safety harness is still safe to use if the webbing is torn a little bit, as long as it's not around the D-ring.

Correct! Wrong!

Webbing varies from harness to harness, however, make sure to choose a harness with sturdily-constructed webbing—If the harness has any burns, tears, holes or frayed webbing. The material should slide through hardware without catching/snagging. If it does, take your harness out of service. Safety harnesses are meant to be used in

How should padding on your safety harness fit?

Correct! Wrong!

Like you probably learned from earlier questions, comfort is important when it comes to fall protection equipment. Padding on a safety harness should be easy to handle, pliable and easily adjustable. Padding must also be able to withstand harsh weather and corrosive conditions, so it's important to select padding that's both breathable and durable.

ALL safety harnesses should come with instructions for best-use.

Correct! Wrong!

Thought it might sound common-sense, all safety harnesses should include tips for applications, instructions and guidelines for using accessories and hardware. Be sure it meets CSA guidelines for your intended application.

How many CSA classifications are there for full-body harnesses?

Correct! Wrong!

There are 5 CSA (Canadian Standards Association) standards for full-body harnesses. These are: Class A, Class AD Suspension and Controlled Descent, Class AE Limited Access, Class AL Ladder Climbing and Class AP Work Positioning.

Items only usually fall from heights when they're unsecured.

Correct! Wrong!

Tools and other items are dropped from heights for a number of reasons—While inadequately-stored or secured tools are the third leading cause of dropped tools from heights, inadequate risk assessment and human factors (poor behaviour, complacency) are the top 2 causes.

Nobody actually dies from falling at work

Correct! Wrong!

VERY false—Over 14,000 Canadian workers are injured each year from falls, and over 40 each year are killed from falls at heights.

What's your Fall Protection Safety IQ?
50%—You've got some work to do!
You're halfway there, but you've got some work to do—Hopefully you're not planning to work at heights anytime soon!
0-10%—Yikes, please don't work at heights anytime soon.
You're not quite there—At all. If you work at heights, we recommend taking some fall protection training to learn more.
20-40%—Close, but no cigar.
You know a small bit, but your fall protection I.Q. isn't what it should be yet—Especially if you're working with or around people at heights.
60-70%—Hey, that's pretty good!
Your fall protection I.Q. is high, but it could be better. Have you ever considered taking some more training? To brush up your fall protection knowledge, check out our fall protection blogs for more info.
80-90%—You're almost a fall protection genius.
You're pretty much there. A little brushing up on your fall protection knowledge and you'll be a fall protection genius in no-time.
100%—You're fall protection I.Q. is off the charts!
You're a fall protection genius—You answered them all correctly. Where do we sign up to take your training course?

Share your Results:


FALL PROTECTION SAFETY

Fall protection is not a waste of time—It’s often seen as a burden, but safety equipment exists to help workers, not hurt them. The right fall protection PPE lets you go home safely each day.

You have the right to stay alive at work—Which is worth it, if you ask us.  

To learn more about fall protection and what you need to stay safe, book a free fall protection demo with your local Hercules SLR branch. They’ll show you how harnesses, SRL’s and tool fall prevention equipment works, how it feels and what is best for you. 

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM 1-877-461-4876


SAFETY IS NO ACCIDENT

FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR FALL PROTECTION SAFETY SERVICES & PRODUCTS 

 


FOR MORE ARTICLES ON FALL PROTECTION SAFETY

VISIT OUR BLOG:

FALL ARREST SYSTEM: DON’T FOOL WITH YOUR TOOLS

HERCULES’ TIPS: IS YOUR SAFETY HARNESS COMFORTABLE?

SAFETY INSPECTION: MAKE YOUR HARNESS A HABIT


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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies. We have a unique portfolio of businesses nationally, with locations coast-to-coast. Hercules Group of Companies provides extensive coverage of products and services that support a variety of sectors across Canada which includes the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries. 

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for more news and upcoming events.

Confined Space Rescue & Retrieval: Guest Blog from 3M

3m confined space rescue from hercules slr

Incidents that prevent workers from self-rescue can occur in confined spaces due to ill-conceived attempts to rescue and retrieve others, but planning for a rescue can help prevent tragic results.

Proper rescue and retrieval plans aren’t often created for confined spaces – over 100 deaths occur annually inside confined spaces in the United States according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics1. In almost all of these incidents, investigations reveal no rescue plans were in place. Before entry or work begins, OSHA requires you have a defined and documented rescue and retrieval plan that’s specific to your confined space – whether a tunnel, storage tank, manhole, elevator shaft, reaction vessel, ductwork or even wastewater treatment facility.

But a detailed rescue and retrieval plan is only one critical step of preparation (one of the four elements 3M talks about here). Rescue and retrieval needs to be performed by a competent person, who’s completed proper training. They must also understand how to select, wear and use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and other tools or equipment that will be needed.

HAVE A RESCUE PLAN IN PLACE BEFORE ANY ENTRY OCCURS

There are many aspects of a robust rescue plan, but at minimum the rescue plan should include:

  • The location of the confined space and the job being conducted inside;
  • Identify the rescuer, competent person to be on hand, emergency contact and methods to keep in contact with those in the confined space and anyone involved if a rescue becomes necessary;
  • Layout all pre-work tasks;
  • Catalog all the rescue equipment available for use and where they can be located – include a checklist for thorough inspection that evaluates if it’s in good working order;
  • List all the critical rescue factors, include any hazards present;
  • Record the response procedure, include how to:
    • notify the emergency contact
    • make a medical assessment of the person stuck inside
    • if possible, how to have the trapped employee perform a self-rescue, or other crucial steps if that’s not possible.

You can model your emergency response plan after the NFPA 350 best practice guide. Determine appropriate means for rescue before the start of any confined space entry activities. The procedures set up at your work or job site for emergency rescue for each specific confined space should to be suitable and sufficient.

The detailed rescue plan should be documented, reviewed and in place before anyone attempts to enter or begins work in a confined space. The rescue plan for each confined space should be reviewed by all involved in the entry each time the space is going to be entered, just like a hazard assessment should be conducted before entry into a confined space. These plans should be practiced as part of training so everyone knows what to do if a rescue/retrieval situation does arise.

No plan in place to enter a confined space? You should speak up, and not enter the confined space without a plan in place for how to react if a rescue and retrieval becomes necessary.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE PROPERLY TRAINED TO RESCUE

Before any access is granted to a confined space, you should evaluate the needs of a rescue team and what training is required for the team (or individual) to perform a rescue operation. Tailor training to specific roles required – you should include:

  • Confined space competent person who is responsible for the evaluation of confined spaces on the job site
  • Confined space supervisor who approves the work inside that’s being done
  • Confined space attendant and entrant for those who are responsible for the work inside
  • Confined space entry rescuer who may have to enter and assist in a rescue/retrieval

All confined space rescuers, per the requirements of OSHA general industry and construction regulations are required to receive annual refresher training. This must include utilizing similar spaces and techniques anticipated at the job site.

You’ll find, rescue training covers a wide range of information related to hazardous conditions and all types of rescue equipment. Rescuers will also require training to prepare for tasks involved with accessing confined spaces, such as descent control, secondary systems, patient packaging methods, dismantling techniques, proper storage of equipment, selection, and use of suitable anchors, as well as the common hazards that pertain to the system and components.

For rescues requiring entry:

  • All members of the team must be specially trained in confined space rescue work
  • The team must have at least one member certified in CPR and first aid
  • All members of the team must be trained in the techniques and equipment for specific confined spaces
  • The members who are going to assist with the rescue should be well-versed in the rescue plan for that confined space and review both the risk and hazard assessments that have been conducted for that specific space

According to current U.S. regulations and industry standards, an identified rescuer, whether in-house or an outside rescue service is used, must have the ability to respond to a permit space rescue request in a timely manner, considering the hazards identified.

TYPES OF RETRIEVAL AND RESCUE

There are different types of rescue/retrievals that can be conducted, depending on the situation you and your team are facing.

SELF-RESCUE

Self-rescue is exactly what it sounds like. This is when you can rescue yourself with your own means and you can use equipment that is suited for self-rescue that will allow you to climb out of the space safely. Self-rescue requires the entrant to stop what they are doing and safely exit the space as quickly as possible.

Self-rescue should be implemented whenever an entrant or attendant determines there is a problem within the space. This may include a potentially hazardous change in atmospheric conditions within the space or when signs or symptoms of an exposure are noted. Self-rescue may also occur if the entrant realizes that PPE is faulty, communication with the attendant is severed, or some other hazard presents itself that may put the entrant in danger.

NON-ENTRY RESCUE

If self-rescue is not an option, the next consideration should be if a non-entry rescue can be carried out. Non-entry rescue occurs when a worker outside the space does not have to enter to help a worker exit a confined space safely. This type of rescue often requires an attendant or non-entry rescue team. A non-entry retrieval option is required at all times unless the retrieval equipment would increase the risk to the worker or not contribute to the rescue.

The person or people helping the worker out of the confined space will often require the use of a retrieval system comprised of the following components:

  1. Anchor systems such as a davit, pole hoist or tripod
  2. Body harness, worn by the entrant
  3. Connection devices such as a winch or retrieval SRL

This type of rescue is only effective in simple vertical or horizontal spaces. The opening must be able to accommodate the anchor system, and the surface around the opening must support the weight of it in addition to the attached entrant. If the entrant is injured or cannot perform a self-rescue, the attendant can remove the entrant using the retrieval system. This is where a retrieval system with a mechanical advantage becomes very helpful.

If neither self-rescue or non-entry rescue is possible, an entry rescue will be required. If you have a properly trained rescue and retrieval team, they will need to be called upon to help perform getting the entrants out.

ENTRY RESCUE

An entry rescue is required when someone cannot get out on their own and requires not just a team on the outside to assist, but someone who will enter the space to assist any entrants who cannot exit the space on their own. These teams can be comprised of company personnel, including externally hired services or a local emergency response team. Because there needs to be a prompt response in these situations, OSHA specifically addresses the requirements of the entrant’s employer to fully evaluate the capabilities of these rescue teams.

POST-RESCUE REVIEW

Once a rescue is complete, it is important to review how the rescue went and what can be learned from the experience. Do changes need to be made to the rescue plan if the confined space is going to be accessed in the future? Does your PPE need to be checked and should any of it be decommissioned and different or should new PPE ordered?

PPE AND OTHER EQUIPMENT

As part of a rescue plan and the hazard assessment conducted for each confined space entry, make sure you have identified what PPE and other equipment, such as air monitoring/gas detection instruments, are needed. Also, be sure everything is available in stock on the premises, the location is known, the equipment is clean and is in good working order before commencing any access work.

When it comes to considering the equipment for a rescue start with understanding the ABC’s of confined space:

  • Anchorage systems such as davits, pole hoists, tripods
  • Body support, which means full body harnesses, and in some cases, boatswain (bosun) chairs
  • Connecting devices such as self-retracting lifelines and retrievals
  • Detection for air monitoring of gases, vapors, particulates, fumes and other hazardous substances
  • Education courses that help teach proper techniques
  • Full body coverage for employees who should be protected from head to toe based on hazards identified in the risk assessment, including hard hats, safety glasses, hearing protection, advanced communication devices, respiratory protection, clothing that protects the body against chemicals, fires and other hazards such as coveralls, as well as gloves and safety shoes that protect the hands and feet

ARE YOU READY IF A RESCUE OR RETRIEVAL BECOMES NECESSARY?

Proactively identifying a proper rescue plan, seeking out appropriate training and identifying the right equipment long before any rescue is ever attempted is crucial. You must be prepared so if you’re faced with saving someone who’s stuck, has collapsed, or has ceased to respond from inside a confined space, you are ready for the situation.

3M knows there’s a lot to consider when it comes to planning for, working in and rescuing someone from inside a confined space. Explore resources available at 3m.com/confinedspace.


ORIGINAL ARTICLE REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION VIA 3Mconfined space rescue 3m from hercules slr

Incidents that prevent workers from self-rescue can occur in confined spaces due to ill-conceived attempts to rescue and retrieve others, but planning for a rescue can help prevent tragic results.

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.


  1. https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfch0015.pdf

Stuck in a Tight Spot? what to know in a confined space

confined space, hercules slr, how to work in confined spaces

Most workers will have to work in a confined space at some point in their career – although common, many workers and employers don’t plan or account for common hazards found in them. 

Read on to discover commonly-found dangers in confined spaces and how to prepare for them. 

WHAT’S A CONFINED SPACE? 

A confined space is an area that:

  • Is large enough to enter and do work in;
  • Has limited entries and exits;
  • Isn’t meant for long-term human occupancy.
  • Examples: Silos’, tunnels, sewers, wells, underground utility vaults, an empty tanker trailer

WHAT’S A PERMIT-REQUIRED CONFINED SPACE (PRCS)?

Yes, it’s a confined space that you need a permit to enter – but a permit-required confined space also:

  • Contains or has the potential to contain serious safety or health hazards like:
    • Engulfment
    • Toxic Atmosphere
    • Puzzling Configuration
    • Heat or Cold Stress
    • Slipping Hazards
    • Flammable Atmosphere
    • Oxygen Deficiency

CONFINED SPACE HAZARD: 2 FACTORS THAT CREATE HAZARDS

  1.  Failure to see and control hazards associated with the confined space
    • Atmospheric hazards
    • Physical hazards
  2. Poor Emergency response time or plan
    • Many injuries or fatalities in confined spaces occur when other workers attempt to save coworkers injured in a confined space
    • Nearly 60% of worker fatalities occur when trying to save someone else from a confined space hazard 

Nearly 60% of deaths in confined spaces happen to the would-be rescuer

CONFINED SPACE: KNOW THE HAZARDS

Hazard #1: Oxygen Deficiency

Normal air has an oxygen content of 20.8-.9% – when there’s less than 19.5% available, you’re in a oxygen-deficient space. When this level decreases, even by 1-2% the effects are felt immediately. When working in a space with this level, remember to wear a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). 

What leads to oxygen deficiency? Inadequate ventilation, poor air quality, oxygen consumed from welding, decomposition, rust are some of the factors that cause oxygen levels to drop.

Oxygen Deficiency Levels

  • Minimum for safe entry: 19.5%
  • Impaired judgement and breathing, accelerated heartbeat: 16%
  • Faulty judgement and rapid fatigue: 14%
  • Nausea, vomiting, inability to perform simple tasks, unconsciousness: 6-10%
  • Rapid loss of consciousness, death in minutes: Less than 6%
Hazard #2: Oxygen Displacement

Oxygen displacement occurs when there’s an inert gas (it’s worth noting inert gas is different than a noble gas – an inert gas doesn’t chemically react, and a noble gas does chemically react under certain conditions. All noble gases are inert, but not all inert gases are noble).

When enough of a inert gas is in a confined space, it displaces the oxygen which makes it difficult – well, impossible to breathe. For example, nitrogen is non-toxic, colourless and odourless – but will displace the oxygen in a room.

Hazard #3: Fire & Flammable Atmosphere

Flammable atmospheres are caused by flammable liquids, gases and combustible dusts which if lit, can cause an explosion or fire. The ignition doesn’t have to be a flame – it can be something as simple as static electricity or a small spark.

Hazard #4: Physical

You can become engulfed after being trapped or enveloped by material. Electrocution can happen when electrical equipment is activated, and mechanical energy can activate and cause physical injury. 

Other physical safety hazards, although small that can still cause injury are inadequate lighting, noise, vibration and radiation. Nearby traffic, vehicles and other heavy machinery could also be a hazard. Objects and slippery areas pose falling hazards, and hot or cold temperature extremes also pose a threat. Extremely high temperatures can cause your body to undergo heat stress. 

Heat Stress Symptoms

In a confined space (and other areas) your body might not be able to cool down which can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke to occur.

Heat exhaustion symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Pale, clammy skin

When these symptoms occur, you should move to a cool area, raise your legs, take off any heavy clothing, drink water and apply a wet cloth to your skin. 

Heat stroke symptoms include:

  • Dry, pale skin – with no sweat
  • Hot, red skin that looks sunburnt
  • Unable to think straight, seizure, unconsciousness

When this occurs:

  • Call 911
  • Move victim to a cool area
  • Loosen or remove heavy clothing
  • Place icepacks at your armpit and groin

To protect yourself:

  • Try to work or accomplish physical parts of work during the coolest parts of the day
  • Use spot ventilation
  • Use buddy system
  • Drink cold water – try to drink around every 15 minutes and take frequent breaks
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine in high temperatures, and be mindful of medication as this can increase your risk of heat  stroke.

confined space, hercules slr, srl, self-retracting lifeline, inspections, repairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFINED SPACE: PROCEDURES

Before you start work in a confined space, it’s essential to follow a procedure to control and/or minimize safety hazards and remain safe on the job. Follow this procedure before working in a confined space:

  • Conduct a pre-entry evaluation (like a discussion with everyone who will be working at the site);
  • Identify and eliminate potential hazards that can enter the space, both atmospheric and physical;
  • Use forced air ventilation and use lock out/tag out if necessary;
  • Complete an entry permit – Assign an entrant, attendant and supervisor and any other relevant competent person needed on the site.

The Authorized Entrant will:

  • Know hazards that will face workers during entry;
  • Wear proper PPE;
  • Maintain communication with the attendant;
  • Know the signs of overexposure/heat stress and stroke;
  • Evacuate the confined space when ordered to or when over-exposed to hazard(s).

The Authorized Attendant will:

  • Keep their position outside the entrance at all time;
  • Know the signs and symptoms of overexposure;
  • Prevent unauthorized people from entering the space;
  • Maintain communication with entrants;
  • Begin the emergency response/rescue plan if needed;
  • Complete an evaluation of the entrance before they start work;
  • Make sure personnel know the hazards;
  • Implement any necessary control measures, for example – ventilation;
  • Complete any permits that are necessary to enter the space;
  • Complete any tests needed to enter the confined space safely.

One of the most important parts of starting work in a confined space is to ensure you have necessary retrieval equipment for entry, exit and emergency rescue situations.

As we mentioned, almost 60% of confined space deaths happen to someone trying to rescue a coworker – It’s natural to want to save a life, but it’s important that you’re not part of the death count—This makes confined space planning essential to complete work that’s both efficient and safe. 


Choosing and having the proper PPE for the job is essential to staying safe amidst hazards in a confined space. This may include self-retracting lifelines, anchorages or body harness’ – click the link below to find out more about Hercules SLR’s fall protection services. 

Fall Protection

Check out our blogs to learn more about fall protection and staying safe at heights: 

Sources: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health - https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/confinedspace_intro.html 

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Confined Spaces: Hercules’ Safety Tips

confined spaces safety training from hercules slr

What is a Confined Space?

Confined spaces are present in nearly every industrial trade, and most workers will encounter at least one confined space during their career.

The OSHA states that nearly 90 deaths occur per year, across a range of industries involving confined spaces. Almost 2/3 of these fatalities are caused during an attempt to rescue someone in a confined space—having an efficient, established retrieval plan in place is essential to preventing death and injury.

A confined space is defined as a entirely or considerably enclosed space, where dangerous conditions are present due to lack of oxygen or hazardous substances.

What else constitutes a confined space? A space which is large enough for a person to enter or exit, has limited or restricted exits and isn’t designed for extended human occupancy. A confined space may have more than one opening, however—if a worker must climb through various obstacles to access the opening, this may be considered a confined space as well.

Confined spaces also may temporarily appear on a work site through construction, fabrication or modification. Tunnels, manholes and silos are all examples of confined spaces.

What is a Permit-Required Confined Space?

Not only are permit-required confined spaces difficult to enter, they present serious hazards like inadequate ventilation or noxious air. These include:

  • Hazardous atmosphere or potential for one;
  • Material, like grain that could engulf an individual;
  • Walls converging inwards, or floors sloping downward and tapering into a smaller area that could trap or asphyxiate an individual;
  • Any other recognized hazards, like unguarded machinery, heat stress, or a fall hazard.

These confined spaces present a great threat as they’re more likely to cause fatalities—a quick and simple exit, or rescue must be possible for workers in confined spaces. The safest rescue strategies involve no additional employees entering the space—retrieval equipment should be used unless unsafe to do so.

Confined Space Training

 

What Makes Confined Spaces Dangerous, Anyway?

Not only are confined spaces difficult to enter, exit and navigate, they present a series of other dangerous threats many workers may overlook. Dangers commonly present themselves when welding, painting, flame cutting or using chemicals in a confined space. Other risks include:

  • Lack of oxygen;
  • Poisonous gas, fume or vapour;
  • Liquids and solids suddenly filling the confined space, gas releasing in the space when disturbed;
  • Fire and explosions;
  • Residues left behind that give off gas, fume or vapour;
  • Hot working conditions;
  • Falling objects;
  • Moving parts of equipment or machinery;
  • Electrical shock resulting from defective extension cords, welding cables, etc.;
  • Poor visibility;
  • Materials travelling through piping like gases, hot substances or water.

Fall-Prevention Training is Essential for Safety in Confined Spaces confined-spaces-fall-prevention

As previously mentioned, having an established and efficient rescue plan for workers’ in confined spaces is essential. Fall protection, or prevention training is another not only important, but essential step to ensure safety.

There are five main steps to consider when safeguarding a confined space:

  1. Guard the entrance: A guardrail, barrier or another temporary cover must be in place to prevent entry (i.e. an accidental fall) into the space.
  2. Wear fall-protection gear: All workers, even those not working in the space should have proper fall-protection gear. Dangerous factors may affect nearby workers, like fumes. Equipment like Restraint Lanyards that stop an appropriate distance from the confined space should be used by other workers.
  3. Make sure vertical access is safe: Typically, a ladder or a davit arm with a winching mechanism is used to safely access the confined space.
  4. Use fall-arrest equipment: The main components of fall protection for a confined space are an anchorage, body support and a connector. Workers should have a backup for their primary entry and exit source. If using a ladder for example, the worker should also have a retractable lifeline and a winching mechanism, or may have a safety harness with a retractable winching mechanism to lower, and raise workers into the confined space. Equipment will depend on a vertical or horizontal entry.
  5. Training: If a workers is unfamiliar with fall-protection equipment, the term itself or has no recorded instances of fall-protection or prevention training, the employee must be trained to inspect and use fall-protection equipment and know general information regarding fall-protection.

Find fall-arrest equipment, and more safety solutions for working in confined spaces at Hercules SLR. Click here to read more on how to select the best fall-protection equipment for confined spaces.

Original Article: http://www.capitalsafety.com/en-us/Documents/New-OSHA-Rescue-Requirements-for-Confined-Space-Retrieval-Firl-Argudin-OHS-November-2015.pdf

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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.