Why confined space training?

why confined space training is important in sewers

Why confined space training? 

Why confined space training? Taking training courses before you enter, exit or work around a confined space has many benefits—The main benefit is having the knowledge to keep yourself and others safe.

Why is training to enter a confined space so important? What’s so deadly about a confined space that’s different from other types of dangerous, hazardous workplaces?

A lot, actually. 

We’ve talked about the dangers of confined spaces on the Hercules SLR blog before—But why should you train for them? You’re about to find out. 

In this blog, we’ll cover: 

  • What is confined space training? 
  • Why is confined space training important?
  • What are the OSHA/CCOHS standards for confined space training? 
  • How often is confined space training required?
  • What are the four main dangers of a confined space?  
  • Who can enter a confined space? 
  • Confined spaces & restricted spaces—What’s the difference?

WHAT IS CONFINED SPACE TRAINING?

Confined space training involves teaching workers who work in or around confined spaces the hazards, risks and dangers involved with them. It’s important that even people who aren’t planning to enter the space are trained on proper confined space entry and exit, since nearly 60% of confined space deaths happen to people who try to rescue others

Why confined space training? Read on. 

WHY IS CONFINED SPACE TRAINING IMPORTANT?

Why confined space training? Confined space training is important because it helps workers and nearby personnel manage risk associated with work in confined spaces, which in-turn, helps reduce injuries & fatalities. How can you know what to do, look for and how to rescue yourself and others if no one tells you? 

This is where confined space training comes in. 

Like we mention in the paragraph above, almost 60% of confined space deaths happen to people who try to rescue those who are trapped or in danger—But there are other reasons why training to work in or around a confined space is absolutely necessary. 

Many hazards found in confined spaces are found in other, open work spaces, but become more dangerous, or even deadly when you encounter them in confined spaces. 

This is because there’s little room for error for work in a confined space. Physical hazards are more dangerous in a confined space, materials & chemicals can interact unpredictably and of course, they’re harder to get in and out of. 

Some of these include: 

  • Low air quality: Low, or poor air quality might happen from a toxic substance in the air (see ‘Aspyxiant hazards’ below) or from a lack of oxygen, and/or natural ventilation. 
  • Asphyxiant hazards: These are gases that become concentrated in a confined space and displace oxygen in the air, which leads to nausea, convulsion, coma, and eventually, this atmosphere becomes fatal. Asphyxiants are gases like argon, nitrogen and/or carbon monoxide. 
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals.
  • Fire hazards, like chemicals that could ignite if a spark is used in the space.
  • Physical hazards like noise, extreme heat or cold, radiation, vehicle & pedestrian traffic and even poor visibility. 

All of these hazards are amplified when you work in a confined space. We can’t stress the speed at which these hazards become fatal. Picture this:

You’re working on a water waste lift station (which controls waste water/sewage travel). Your co-worker has descended into a confined space to diagnose an issue, but the diagnosis should have been complete long ago—As in 45 minutes ago. « I’m gonna go check on him, » your co-worker shouts to you. Before you can tell him to stop, he enters the confined space. You call 911—Neither can be revived. Your co-worker who simply went to check on someone died instantly. You will never underestimate just how fast a confined space can take a life again. 

We don’t mean to be obscene, but this is a reality than unfortunately, happens more than it should, even with all  the knowledge available on confined space entry & exit. Hazards found in typical workplaces become much more hazardous when they’re confined, which is just one reason why confined space training is so important. 

WHAT ARE THE REGULATIONS FOR CONFINED SPACE TRAINING?

In Canada, provincial standards regarding confined space differ. Your organization may have also have requirements for confined space work specific to them, so take these as a general guideline.

There is some legislation that involves training and confined spaces in Canada—The Canadian Occupational Health & Safety Standard 11.5 on emergency procedures says:

  1. Where conditions in a confined space or the nature of the work to be performed in a confined space is such that the specifications set out in paragraph 1.4(1)(a) cannot be compiled with during all times that a person is in the confined space, the employer shall 

a) In consultation with the work place committee or the health and safety representative, establish emergency procedures to be followed in the event of an accident or other emergency in or near the confined space, which procedures shall specify the date on which they are established and provide for the immediate evacuation of the confined space when

i) an alarm is activated, or

ii) there is any significant change in a concentration or percentage referred to in paragraph 11.4(1)(a) that would adversely affect the health or safety of a person in the confined space.

b) provide the protection equipment referred to in paragraphs 11.3(b), (c) and (d) for each person who is about to enter the confined space;

c) Ensure that a qualified person trained in the entry and emergency procedures established pursuant to paragraph 11.3(a) and paragraph (a) is 

i) in attendance outside the confined space, and 

ii) in communication with the person inside the confined space; 

d) Provide the qualified person referred to in paragraph (c) with a suitable alarm device for summoning assistance; and 

e) Ensure that two or more persons are in the immediate vicinity of the confined space to assist in the event of an accident or other emergency. 

2. One of the persons referred to in paragraph (1)(e) shall 

a) Is attached to a secure anchor outside the confined space,

b) be the holder of a basic first aid certificate; and 

c) be provided with the protection equipment and emergency equipment referred to in paragraph 11.3(d). 

3. The employer shall ensure that every person entering, exiting, or occupying a confined space referred to in subsection (1) wears an appropriate safety harness that is securely attached to a lifeline that

a) is attached to a secure anchor outside the confined space;

b) is controlled by the qualified person referred to in paragraph (1)(c);

c) protects the person from the hazard for which it is provided and does not itself create a hazard; and 

d) is, where reasonably practicable, equipped with a mechanical lifting device. 

HOW OFTEN IS CONFINED SPACE TRAINING NEEDED?

Anyone who is about to work in or around confined spaces should receive training—It’s often beneficial to train new employees on specific confined space entry, exit and rescue procedures for your organization even if they have training from previous work, since practices may be different. 

Confined space training should also be held when policies or regulations change. Training should also be held if policies and procedures are ignored. As we know, this can be deadly. 

The Canadian Occupational Health & Safety Standard 11.11 states: 

  1. The employer shall provide every employee who is likely to enter a confined space with instruction and training in,

a) the procedures established pursuant to paragraphs 11.3(a) and 11.5(1)(a); and

b) The use of the protection equipment referred to in paragraphs 11.3(b), (c) and (d).

2. The employer shall ensure that no person enters a confined space unless the person is instructed in,

a) the procedures to be followed in accordance with paragraphs 11.3(a) and 11.5(1)(a); and

b) The use of the protection equipment referred to in paragraphs 11.3(b), (c) and (d).

WHAT ARE THE 4 MAIN DANGERS OF WORK IN A CONFINED SPACE?

We’ve covered some of the main hazards to look for in a confined space, but as we know, they are magnified in a confined space—So it’s worth going over again.  

The four main dangers of work in a confined space are: 4 main confined space hazards

WHAT ARE SOME TYPES OF CONFINED SPACES? 

It’s easy to think of confined spaces as work spaces that you descend (go down) to, but confined spaces can be nearly anywhere, above or below ground.

So, why confined space training? Because it’s likely many workers in industrial jobs will work in one of these spaces at least once. 

By definition, a confined space:

  • Is not meant to be occupied by humans (Especially long-term)
  • Has limited entries and/or exits, or a layout that could hinder emergency responders, or movement from humans or machines. 
  • Represents a risk to health & safety because of:
    • The design, construction, location or atmosphere of the space
    • Materials or substances found/used in the space
    • Any other conditions that contribute to safety risk or hazards. 

Types of confined spaces include: 

  • Sub-cellars
  • Tanks
  • Culverts
  • Silos
  • Vaults
  • Open Ditch  

why confined space training is important

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FOR RELATED READING, CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

TIPS FOR TAGLINES | TRAINING TUESDAY

STUCK IN A TIGHT SPOT? WHAT TO KNOW IN A CONFINED SPACE

CONFINED SPACES: CHOOSE THE BEST FALL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT


STAY SAFE IN & AROUND CONFINED SPACES.

GIVE US A CALL, DROP US A LINE OR COME ON IN TO LEARN ABOUT UPCOMING CONFINED SPACE TRAINING COURSES AT THE HERCULES TRAINING ACADEMY:

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

 


Hercules SLR is part of Hercules Group of Companies, with locations and unique businesses coast-to-coast. We provide securing, lifting and rigging services for sectors in Canada and Internationally. Hercules SLR serves 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

Confined Space Hazards | Training Tuesday

man entering confined space

4 CONFINED SPACE HAZARDS | TRAINING TUESDAY

Welcome to Training Tuesday! This week, the focus is on confined space hazards and the top 5 hazards you should know about before you enter, exit, or just work around them.  

This article will cover

  • How to define a confined space 
  • 4 specific confined space hazards 
  • What needs to happen before you enter a confined space 

We’ve covered what a confined space is on the blog before—But what specific hazards should you be on the lookout for?

Confined spaces pose hazards by their very definition—The Canadian Occupational Safety and Health Regulations define a confined space as ‘a partially or enclosed space, that may become hazardous to an employee who enters it due to’: 

  • Its design, construction, location or atmosphere 
  • The materials or substances in it, or
  • Any other conditions relating to it. 

4 CONFINED SPACE HAZARDS

When investigating accidents that occur in confined spaces, reports show they occur because worker’s aren’t well-trained or informed on the potential hazards when they enter confined spaces.

Oxygen deficiency causes about 50% of confined space deaths, and often, no testing is done before these accidents. Over 50% of confined space deaths are from rescue attempts by other workers. 

Four specific hazards workers face in confined spaces are: 

  1. Oxygen deficiency and oxygen enrichment
  2. Fire and/or explosion
  3. Toxicity
  4. Drowning in liquids and/or entrapment in free-flowing solids. 

Why are these things so hazardous in confined spaces? Read on to find out. 

CONFINED SPACE HAZARDS | OXYGEN DEFICIENCY—AND THE OPPOSITE

Lack of oxygen is the first hazard facing workers who must enter a confined space. Before entry (and if your risk assessment calls for it) you must test the space for oxygen with an oxygen monitor. You may also need to test the air while you work in the space.

Oxygen deficiency is caused by:

  1. Gases like nitrogen that displace flammable gases   
  2. Oxygen is taken by: 
  • Combustion of flammable substances, like in-welding and other ‘hot work’ 
  • Explosions or fires (Oxygen levels can be dangerously low after a fire is out, since oxygen replaces the products of combustion) 
  • Chemical reactions like metal rust
  • People who work in the space and use available oxygen as they breathe 

Normal air has 21% oxygen by volume—These are the effects of reduced oxygen levels: 

  • 16% Oxygen: Judgement and breathing become impaired—You become quickly exhausted
  • 12% Oxygen: Worker becomes unconscious, and will die unless taken to fresh air
  • 6% Oxygen: Breathing difficulty—This level of oxygen is fatal immediately 

OXYGEN ENRICHMENT—THE OPPOSITE

Too much oxygen is just as bad as not enough oxygen. An oxygen-enriched atmosphere has more than 23% oxygen by volume. 

What’s the risk of too much oxygen? Flammable materials like clothing and hair will burn immediately. Do not use pure oxygen to ventilate a confined space—This is a fire and explosion hazard.  

CONFINED SPACE HAZARDS FIRE AND EXPLOSION

Combustible gases have an explosive range with a lower explosive limit (LEL), and an upper explosive limit (UEL). If the fuel and air mixture is below the LEL or over the UEL, ignition won’t take place—Gas is combustible between its LEL or UEL. 

What else contributes to explosions or fires?

  • Chemicals
  • Poor ventilation 
  • Static electricity 
  • Machinery 

WHAT’S HOT WORK? 

Hot work is considered work that can produce an ignition. It’s important to 

Hot work can be:

  • Welding
  • Cutting
  • Grinding
  • Work with non-explosion proof electrical equipment 

Before you perform hot work in a confined space, you should:

  • Purge/ventilate the area to reduce combustible concentration of airborne dust or mist to a safe level 
  • If ventilation or purging can’t reduce combustible dust, the space must be made inert—This is done by adding an inert gas to alter oxygen levels. The space must be monitored continuously to make sure the atmosphere stays inert. 
  • Wear proper respiratory personal protective equipment, and have the right gear on-hand to rescue or let nearby personnel enter (Like we mention, over 50% of confined space deaths happen to people who try to rescue others, so this is very important). 
  • Make sure the space is purged and consistently ventilated to maintain an atmosphere of less than 5% the LEL
  • Make sure the space is purged and consistently ventilated to maintain an oxygen concentration under 23% 
  • Continuously monitor atmosphere levels in the space
  • Have an entry permit that includes provisions for hot work and includes the appropriate measures to take. 

CONFINED SPACE HAZARDS | TOXICITY

There are two huge risks posed by toxic gas in confined spaces. 

  • Chemical asphyxiation 
  • Irritation to respiratory system, skin or eyes 

Especially harmful toxic gases include: 

  • Hydrogen sulphide (H2S): Hydrogen sulphide is a by-product of sewage treatment, petroleum and other industrial processes. Hydrogen sulphide is particularly dangerous as it has a noticeable smell in small concentrations, but hydrogen sulphide gas takes away your sense of smell too, which can make a worker think they’re safe or the smell has dissipated, when in reality, it still lurks. It’s important to note that hydrogen sulphide collects in low areas since it’s heavier than air. 
  • Methane (CH4): Highly explosive. Methane is a by-product of sewage that leaks from gas lines, and can be found in coal mines. Methane displaces oxygen, which can smother workers.  
  • Sulphur dioxide (SO2): Colourless with a strong smell, sulphur dioxide is poisonous in small amounts. 
  • Carbon monoxide (CO): Colourless, odourless, tasteless and fatal in very small concentrations. It comes from incomplete combustion. Being overexposed to carbon monoxide can cause ears to ring, nausea, headache and sleepiness. 

TEST CAREFULLY FOR TOXICITY BEFORE PERSONNEL ENTERS A CONFINED SPACE.

CONFINED SPACE HAZARDS | DROWNING IN LIQUIDS AND/OR ENTRAPMENT IN FREE-FLOWING SOLIDS 

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but in confined spaces where liquids or flowing solids are present (and they often are) there’s always risk of these substances drowning, suffocation, burns or other injuries.

Some of these substances include: 

  • Water (in a tank, for example) 
  • Grain (in a silo) 
  • Materials, like soil, that fall into an excavation or trench 

AVOID CONFINED SPACE HAZARDS—DO THIS BEFORE YOU ENTER: 

Before a worker enters a confined space, these steps must be followed: 

1) Identify the confined space 
2) A plan for entry and work is in place
3) Training is given to all employees who work in or near the space
4) Entrant training
5) Attendant training
6) Training in the use of Personal Protective Equipment
7) Provide the PPE
8) Air Monitoring Protocols, which include possible purging or inerting of the space and then ventilation

HERE ARE SOME MORE TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU ENTER OR WORK IN A CONFINED SPACE:

worker descends into confined space

GOOD RULE TO FOLLOW: IF YOU CAN’T TEST, IF YOU CAN’T VENTILATE, IF YOU DON’T HAVE BREATHING

GOOD RULE TO FOLLOW: IF YOU CAN’T TEST, IF YOU CAN’T VENTILATE, IF YOU DON’T HAVE BREATHING APPARATUS, IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN ENTRY PROCEDURE DON’T GO IN. 


VISIT OUR BLOG FOR RELATED READING:

CONFINED SPACES: HERCULES’ SAFETY TIPS

STUCK IN A TIGHT SPOT? WHAT TO KNOW IN A CONFINED SPACE

CONFINED SPACE: RESCUE & RETRIEVAL—3M GUEST BLOG


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Hercules SLR is part of Hercules Group of Companies, with locations and unique businesses coast-to-coast. We provide securing, lifting and rigging services for sectors in Canada and Internationally. Hercules SLR serves 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

IMPORTANT | Inspection Notice – 3M™ DBI-SALA® ExoFit NEX™ Harnesses

3m dbi-sala and exofit logo

3M Fall Protection Logo

 

 

3M INSPECTION NOTICE

Read on for an important 3M Fall Protection inspection notice – 3M Fall Protection has learned of the possibility of a manufacturing defect in a dorsal d-ring of ExoFit NEX™ harnesses manufactured between January 2016 and December 2018. Although there have been no reported incidents involving this condition, a dorsal d-ring with this defect will not support the load in a fall arrest event which could result in serious injury or death. Harnesses manufactured only within this date range require immediate inspection for lot number 09P1 stamped into a dorsal d-ring. We believe that only one harness was manufactured with a defective D-ring, but we urge inspection of all potentially affected harnesses out of an abundance of caution in the interests of worker safety.

End Users: Upon receipt of this inspection Notice, immediately inspect your harness following the steps below:

3M INSPECTION NOTICE STEP 1: Locate the label pack on the harness to identify the manufacturing date. If the harness has a manufacturing date of 16/01 (2016, January) through the end of 18/12 (2018, December), continue to step 2. If the harness is not in this range, the unit is not impacted by this notice. If the harness is within this date range, continue to step 2.

3M INSPECTION NOTICE STEP 2: Locate the D-ring on the back of the harness to inspect for a stamped lot date of 09P1. If you find a D-ring with code 09P1 and the harness has a manufactured date within the affected date range, take the harness out of service immediately. If the D-ring is not stamped with code 09P1, you may continue using your harness.

Please note that both the manufactured date range (2016, January through 2018, December) on the harness label AND the lot number code 09P1 stamped on the D-ring must be present on the same harness for the harness to be considered suspect and removed from service. All other harness/d-ring combinations are acceptable for use.

End-users: If you find an affected harness, take the unit out of service immediately. You can contact us at 3M Customer Service at 1833-998-2243 or at 3MCAFPServiceAction@mmm.com to return your harness and a replacement harness will be provided free of charge.

Distributors: Please contact our Customer Service department at 1-833-998-2243 or email at 3MCAFPServiceAction@mmm.com to obtain a listing of harnesses sold to you with the affected manufacturing date range. If after inspection you discover you have an affected product in stock, please return the harnesses to 3M Fall Protection immediately for replacement. Please immediately forward this Inspection Notice to any of your customers who have purchased ExoFit NEX product within the affected manufacturing date range from you and provide any assistance requested by your customers to complete the process.

3M remains committed to providing quality products and services to our customers. We apologize for any inconvenience that this situation may cause you or your customers. We appreciate your continued support of 3M Fall Protection products and services.


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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

3M Guest Blog | How-to Prepare for Confined Space Access

confined space access hercules slr

Accessing a confined space takes planning to ensure that everyone who enters, exits and works in the space can do so safely. Read on for tips from 3M on how-to prepare for confined space access. 

By the time you are accessing the confined space, a hazard assessment has been completed, but if not, one needs to be conducted to ensure all hazards have been identified. This thorough review will help you identify the right equipment to access the confined space properly. It also is essential to have proper training that will allow you to understand and identify the risks associated with this specific kind of work and then mitigate these risks and hazards effectively. Finally, before any work can begin, air quality should be tested to make sure the conditions are suitable for entry.

As you can see, there is a lot of planning and steps that must be conducted before accessing a confined space on your job site. This includes making sure that you have identified a primary point of contact and resource for issues pertaining to confined space entry. Often this may be the HSE management as well as the supervisor. Let’s explore some of the steps to take before accessing any confined space on your job site.

Confined Space Access | Hazard Assessment

Every single time a confined space is going to be accessed, you need to review the risk assessment for that space and validate that there aren’t new risks or hazards because of the work being done or events happening around the space. This reassessment ensures the workers entering the space will be protected properly based on these current conditions. The conditions often change and, therefore, this assessment should be constantly updated. This may include a variety of issues, such as unsafe levels of gas requiring respiratory protection, the presence of flammable substances, loud noises requiring hearing protection, and control of all energy sources (lock-out/tag-out).

This part of planning should also include a pre-work (or pre-access) briefing. During this part of the preparation, all the work, the time it will take, and emergency protocols that may be needed should be reviewed so everyone is on the same page.

Confined Space Access | Air Monitoring

Prior to any confined space entry, you are required to carry out air testing when it is known (e.g. from information on a previous hazard assessment or chemicals used in a previous activity in the space) that the atmosphere in the confined space might be contaminated or to any extent unsafe to breathe. Gas detection instruments should be checked to make sure they are working properly per product user instructions.

Most confined space air monitoring is accomplished using a four-gas analyzer. This checks the atmosphere for oxygen concentration and to determine the presence of various hazardous fumes, gases, vapors and particulates. Based on your hazard assessment, there may be a need for gas-specific monitors to determine lower-level concentrations that may be present.

Confined Space Access | Equipment Needed for Access

Without the proper equipment and training, safety and efficiency may be compromised and rescuing someone may be delayed if a problem does arise. 

Think about it this way: confined space access, hercules slr, securing, lifting and rigging

 

 

 

 

 

The key people involved in entries into confined spaces are the entrant, attendant, supervisor and rescue teams. All these participants require thorough training on the right equipment to minimize the risk of injury. Rescue plans that outline each step regarding how to work in the space and how to react if a problem occurs must be in place and be well-known by all parties in order to minimize the time required in case the need to rescue, remove or retrieve is needed.

Now think about it this way – this is how you can be prepared if you think it through:

confined space access, hercules securing, lifting and rigging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The various types of confined spaces may all have different access points, involving vertical or horizontal entry and these will require different access equipment. Examples include a tripod, davit, pole hoist, side entry system, winch, and SRL retrieval. Having the right equipment in good working order and proper training on how to use these solutions for entrants can help prevent risk and in some instances, prevent the need for anyone else to enter if a rescue does become necessary.

The equipment used for access can be your initial rescue equipment. However, for certain entries, rescue teams may want specialized equipment, which should be available nearby during access work and be in good working order. Inspecting this equipment and making sure the rescue team is trained on rescue procedures and how to use this equipment is vital. They also should be trained in resuscitation procedures in the case that becomes necessary. Reviewing a rescue plan before anyone accesses the space should also be a part of your plan.

Confined Space Access | Additional Tips for Accessing a Confined Space

Besides conducting a thorough hazard assessment, air monitoring and making sure the right equipment is being used correctly, here are some additional steps you should keep in mind when conducting confined space work:

  • All entrants for permit and non-permit work, as a best practice, should wear a full body harness. The harness should be designed for the intended use in the space.
  • Authorized entrants who enter a permit space must wear a chest or full body harness with a retrieval line attached to the center of their backs near shoulder level or above their heads connected to a fixed point outside the permit space. The best practice is that the other end of the retrieval line is attached to a mechanical advantage device.
  • Permit spaces greater than five feet deep require a pre-rigged retrieval system with mechanical advantage. It is very important that users be trained on the use of the retrieval system. However, always consider a mechanical advantage regardless of the depth of the confined space.
  • All individuals have the authority to stop work for any confined space entry where they observe that the requirements of the safety program that the job site has put in place are not being followed correctly. This includes the attendant, entrant and supervisor.
  • The confined space attendant who will be present outside the space the whole time while workers access and work inside should be able to maintain some sort of communication with the workers inside the space. Because the people inside the space may not be visible, other means of communication (such as an electronic voice communication system) should be considered.

Once the work is completed, everyone should review what worked well, inspect all the equipment used to see what needs repairs or should be replaced. You should also update the risk assessment with your findings for future workers who may need to access the space.

There is a lot to consider when accessing confined spaces. If you’re not sure where to start, call your local Hercules SLR and book your fall protection demo now. We’ll show you the 3M fall protection equipment we’re loving right now for confined space access, how to use it and the right equipment for you. 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE VIA 3M HERE


BOOK YOUR FALL PROTECTION DEMO NOW

SHOW & TELL ISN’T JUST FOR KIDS—HERCULES SLR WILL SHOW YOU HOW 3M EQUIPMENT  WORKS AND KEPPS YOU SAFE

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FOR RELATED ARTICLES

VISIT OUR BLOG:

DON’T SLIP UP: FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY

HERCULES’ TIPS: IS YOUR SAFETY HARNESS COMFORTABLE?

CONFINED SPACES: CHOOSE THE BEST FALL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT


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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 and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

 

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


STAY IN THE LOOP—FOLLOW US

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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.

Suspension Trauma: 3 Must-Know Myths

suspension trauma myths to know

Suspension trauma has a few different names—Harness hang, harness-induced pathology and orthostatic intolerance (the medical term). Consequences can be fatal, and it’s important to be aware of symptoms and ways to prevent its onset.

Suspension trauma has its fair share of misconceptions—One of the biggest is that it’s a myth. 

In this article, we discuss three myths that surround suspension trauma you must know. 

MYTH #1: SUSPENSION TRAUMA ISN’T REAL

It is! Suspension trauma happens when a worker’s movement is vertically suspended, restricted and upright for an extended period of time and lose consciousness.

But why does this happen? Blood pools in the legs and makes them swell, while blood pressure drops. Typically, when orthostatic intolerance sets in the victim faints so blood will re-circulate through the body—A worker in restrictive fall arresting equipment can’t do this. 

It can be minor, too—A common example is people who are still for long periods of time and faint, or feel dizzy when they get up. 

Now, imagine you’ve arrested a fall, don’t have a rescue plan and first responders are still on the way. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and now 25 minutes pass. You know that suspension trauma can set in after just 30 minutes. Time is ticking. You’re covered in sweat, you feel dizzy and terribly nauseous.

Finally, you’re cut down and pass out, unconscious. You’re in the hospital—There’s paperwork, lost-time and incident investigations to happen. Who knew a little slip could cause so much trouble?

Yes, you’re alive, but next time, you’ll definitely have a rescue plan. And suspension trauma is real.

MYTH #2: SAFETY HARNESSES MAKE SUSPENSION TRAUMA EXTINCT

Suspension trauma is still a reality. Yes, education, training and equipment reduce injuries and fatalities in industrial workplaces, but prevention is still a priority. Look at it this way—Vaccines exist for illness like the measles, but people still contract it when they don’t use preventative measures. 

Individual factors increase a worker’s risk to develop the trauma, and its effects are not easy to predict person-to-person. 

These factors include: 

  • Individual’s ability to manage anxiety/stress
  • Harness selection & fit
  • Poor training
  • Previous injury or illness 

This is why training is vital. It’s important to teach employees not only what happens when you use the wrong PPE, but psychological coping mechanisms to help a worker deal with a potential fall. Proper training will also emphasize the importance to continuously move your legs in specific ways to maintain circulation—It’s important The right safety harness and leg straps will allow the worker to move 

MYTH #3:  WHEN THE HARNESS IS OFF, IT’S OVER 

Okay, so when I take the safety harness off I’m fine, right? Wrong.  

Workers in vertical positions must receive medical attention immediately after release. In past suspension trauma cases, victims have died after the harness comes off—This is known as ‘rescue death’.

Some doctors think it’s caused when blood tries to circulate through the body at its normal pace, and can’t. Did you know leg muscles are one of your body’s auxiliary pumps? When legs hang, motionless and upright, it pinches the arteries and blood can’t flow to crucial parts of the body, like the heart and brain. Key areas affected are:

  • Leg circulation
  • Heart circulation
  • Brain circulation 

Fortunately, like we mention above, industrial environments benefit with the right personal protective equipment (PPE) and training to prevent suspension trauma. Recorded injuries from suspension trauma are somewhat rare—But training and proper PPE are key to this.

A body harness that doesn’t fit properly, is fit with the wrong accessories or is uncomfortable, does more harm than good. Remember—Suspension trauma does exist, the right safety harness help prevent it and negative effects of suspension trauma can linger after the harness is off. It’s important to train yourself and workers (even those who may not be working at heights) of the risk and procedures to take before, during and after a fall.


START BEING SAFETY SMART

STAY SAFE AT WORK AND LEARN THE SKILLS TO GET THERE AT THE HERCULES TRAINING ACADEMY.

TRAINING@HERCULESSLR.COM 902-468-6827


FOR RELATED ARTICLES

VISIT OUR BLOG:

HERCULES TIPS: IS YOUR SAFETY HARNESS COMFORTABLE

SAFETY INSPECTION: MAKE YOUR HARNESS A HABIT

DON’T SLIP UP: FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY


STAY IN THE LOOP—FOLLOW US

FACEBOOK  LINKEDIN  TWITTER  INSTAGRAM YOUTUBE


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 and LinkedIn 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.

Les Grappins à Corde : 6 Conseils de Protection Contre les Chutes de l’Hercules SLR

Travailler en hauteur ? Vous avez plusieurs possibilités en ce qui concerne les connecteurs qui facilitent l’arrêt et la prévention des chutes.

Les grappins à corde sont une option populaire car ils sont souvent plus rentables que les SRL (lignes de vie auto-rétractables), ils permettent la mobilité dans les situations de retenue, leur longueur de ligne de vie est plus longue et ils peuvent être utilisés au-delà de la longueur des SRL les plus longs.

Les bloqueurs de corde sont essentiels à de nombreux plans de protection contre les chutes. Lisez la suite pour découvrir les six conseils les plus importants que vous devez connaître lorsque vous utilisez un bloqueur de corde.

Les Grappins à Corde : Les 6 Principaux Conseils

  1. 30” connectors are integral

CSA Z259.2.5-17 is a new CSA Standard that relates to rope grabs and certification for use. Users are required to use a 30” connector which is now integral to the unit. The new Standard tests for  maximum arresting force (MAF) which is included in the scope of testing  and most units will incorporate an energy absorber into the connector to meet that need.

  1. Les connecteurs 30″ sont intégrés

La convention a dicté l’utilisation de longes de 1,80 m dans les systèmes d’arrêt des chutes, mais en réalité, cela n’est pas très sûr en cas de chute sur un coulisseau de corde.

Lorsqu’une longe de 1,80 m est utilisée, la chute libre potentielle sur un coulisseau (automatique) peut être de 3,50 m, ce qui est considéré comme une chute de facteur 2. En utilisant un absorbeur d’énergie ordinaire, l’utilisateur qui tombe tomberait à travers l’absorbeur d’énergie et continuerait sa chute dans la longe de secours, créant ainsi une seconde chute libre. Dans certains cas où la ligne de vie n’est pas adaptée au coulisseau, le risque d’endommager la ligne de vie existe également. Cela serait considéré comme une défaillance catastrophique qui pourrait entraîner des blessures ou la mort.

C’est pourquoi il est de la plus haute importance de suivre les instructions du fabricant pour les cordages. Les fabricants indiqueront la limite de longueur appropriée du connecteur, qui est de 30 pouces au Canada et peut différer ailleurs.

  1. Les grappins à corde doivent toujours être associés à une ligne de vie – et testés !

We cannot overemphasize the importance of matching a rope grab with a proper lifeline and then testing it to ensure it will do its job in the event of a fall.

Le processus de test nous aide à vérifier quelques éléments importants :

  • La mobilité du grappin à corde sur la ligne de vie. Cela permet de s’assurer que la mobilité n’est pas compromise par le type, la rigidité ou la flexibilité de la ligne de vie, ce qui pourrait empêcher le grappin à corde s’accrocher et d’être tiré pendant l’ascension de l’utilisateur, provoquant une chute libre plus longue.
  • Que la ligne de vie survivra à l’impact d’une chute et permettra à l’utilisateur d’être secouru. Lorsqu’une ligne de vie est rompue lors d’une chute, les chances que l’utilisateur survive à la chute sont faibles.
    Le grappin à corde est compatible avec la ligne de vie. Même si une ligne de vie peut ressembler à celle d’un autre fabricant, le contenu du fil dans la corde de la ligne de vie peut ne pas être le même. Par conséquent, les propriétés de mobilité, de résistance à la traction et d’usure peuvent ne pas être les mêmes et le coulisseau peut ne pas fonctionner correctement sur la ligne de vie.
  • Que la ligne de vie est conçue pour être utilisée comme ligne de vie. Le polypropylène, ou les cordes jaunes achetées en magasin ne fonctionnent pas bien en tant que ligne de vie. Elles ne sont pas protégées contre les UV et ont tendance à se détériorer rapidement. De plus, elles « s’emmêlent » et durcissent à un rythme accéléré par rapport aux lignes de vie approuvées.
rope-grab-fall-protection
3M™ Grappin à corde auto-tractable
  1. La différence entre l’utilisation d’un grappin à corde pour la retenue des chutes et l’arrêt des chutes

En général, il est préférable d’utiliser un grappin à corde manuel pour la retenue des chutes. En effet, le réglage manuel permet de fixer une ligne de vie à une longueur spécifique avec un recul approprié par rapport aux risques de chute. Les grappins à corde traînante, ou grappins à corde automatiques, peuvent souvent s’ouvrir/déverrouiller (même lorsqu’ils sont dans le parc) et permettre à l’utilisateur de dépasser la zone de recul et d’entrer dans une zone à risque de chute. Il n’est pas possible de faire un nœud dans une ligne de vie pour aider à localiser un grappin à corde traînante. Cela peut réduire la force de la corde de 50 % et la perte de force est permanente. Défaire le nœud ne rétablit pas la force de la ligne de vie.

L’utilisation d’un grappin à corde pour l’arrêt des chutes peut être servie par une unité manuelle ou automatique, selon que la mobilité verticale est requise ou non. Si la mobilité verticale est requise, un grappin traînant ou automatique est idéal, tandis qu’un grappin à corde manuel est mieux adapté lorsque la mobilité horizontale est requise en retenue.

  1. Il faut prévoir un déplacement sûr d’une ligne de vie à l’autre

Dans certaines applications de retenue antichute, il est important de comprendre le processus de passage d’une ligne de vie à une autre.  Si nécessaire, tenez compte des points suivants :

  • Planifier la zone de travail de manière à ce que les utilisateurs comprennent où se trouvent les points de transfert et le processus à suivre pour procéder au transfert.
  • Le point de transfert doit être situé bien en arrière de tout risque de chute et doit fournir un ancrage intermédiaire permettant d’effectuer le changement. Parfois, l’utilisateur devra porter un deuxième coulisseau dans sa boîte à outils pour effectuer le transfert d’une ligne de vie à une autre.
  • Parmi les autres options de transfert, on peut citer : l’ancrage à l’aide d’une longe afin de faciliter le transfert d’une ligne de vie à une autre. Cette longe peut ensuite être enlevée et l’utilisateur peut retourner au travail.
  1. Un entretien et un stockage adéquats sont essentiels, puis l’utilisateur peut reprendre son travail.

Like any tool, proper storage and maintenance of a rope grab is important to ensure the efficacy of the rope grab and the lifeline.

Rope grabs should be stored in a cool, dry place out of the sun and be kept away from dirt, grime, chemical contaminants and moisture.

When a rope grab is exposed to a dirty work environment, it is important to wipe it down with soapy water and leave it to air dry. This helps ensure that contaminants do not affect the operation of the rope grab and contaminate the rope channel.

Tout comme les grappins à corde, les lignes de vie doivent être maintenues propres et sèches et stockées dans un environnement similaire. L’encrassement et la saleté dans le fil d’une ligne de vie peuvent provoquer la rupture, l’affaiblissement ou le durcissement des fibres, l’allongement et la perte de résistance. Les contaminants chimiques ou les débris rendront la ligne de vie inutilisable, et elle doit être mise hors service et remplacée car cela représente une défaillance pendant le processus d’inspection..

Article original : https://safetytownsquare.3mcanada.ca/articles/rope-grabs-user-tips-that-matter

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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 

Protection Contre les Chutes d’Outils : Plus Important Que Vous ne le Pensez

Protection contre les chutes d’outils : la confiance en hauteur

Durant l’été 2018, à Providence, des monteurs de Rhode Island ont attaché leur protection contre les chutes – y compris des outils de protection contre les chutes – pour commencer à travailler sur un projet majeur.

« Ce type est fou », s’exclame Steven Strychasz, un civil de la région qui regarde les monteurs de charpentes métalliques travailler sur le squelette en acier du nouvel hôtel Residence Inn Providence.

Les gars qui sont « fous » ? C’est Kyle Coulombe, 31 ans, un monteur de charpentes métalliques qui grimpe à 50 pieds, avec une poutre de 800 livres suspendue au-dessus de sa tête pendant qu’il travaille sur l’hôtel.

Protection contre les chutes : essentielle pour le travail en

tool-fall-protection-safety-harness
A secured worker at height.

hauteur

Le grutier Steve Bérubé fait des pouces sur son palan pour que Coulumbe puisse aligner un trou de boulon à l’extrémité d’une couleur afin que les deux se rejoignent. Puis, il marche le long de la poutre pour relier l’autre couleur pendant que la grue reste stable. Coulumbe attache sa ligne de sécurité à l’aile supérieure de la poutre. Il est maintenant suspendu au crochet de la grue par un câble. Il réinitialise sa ligne de câble et continue à travailler.

Cela étonne la foule – sa capacité à naviguer et à grimper sans encombre autour des énormes colonnes et poutres en fer.

Qu’est-ce qui permet à Coulumbe de faire cela avec facilité ? Ses compétences, ses nerfs, mais surtout la protection contre les chutes attachée à son harnais de sécurité. Son système de protection contre les chutes protège non seulement son corps, mais aussi ses outils. Coulumbe transporte chaque jour dans son harnais environ 60 livres d’outils, dont des écrous, des boulons et un marteau de 9 livres.

Protection contre les chutes : c’est aussi pour vos outils

La protection contre les chutes d’outils est également essentielle pour les travaux en hauteur. Beaucoup de gens ne tiennent pas compte des dommages ou de la douleur causés, par exemple, par un marteau de neuf livres qui leur tombe sur la tête. Cependant, selon le Canadian Occupational Safety (COS), en 2013, près de 9000 blessures ont été causées par des chutes d’outils. 23 de ces blessures ont été fatales.

Protection contre les chutes d’outils : faites le calcul

Pour mettre cela en perspective, le COS suggère de calculer avec la physique – ils utilisent une clé à molette commune de huit livres comme exemple. Si cette clé était lâchée de 200 pieds au-dessus, elle frapperait avec une force de 2 833 livres par pouce carré, soit l’équivalent d’un cheval de Clydesdale frappant une surface d’un pouce carré. C’est pourquoi la protection contre les chutes d’outils est tout aussi importante que la protection de votre corps.

Selon le COS, la forme d’un outil ou d’un équipement peut avoir un effet tout aussi désastreux. Par exemple, un marteau de deux livres pourrait tomber d’une hauteur de trois mètres sur un casque de protection, et l’impact serait minime – mais une barre de sleever de deux livres tombée de cette hauteur passerait directement à travers le casque de protection, et perforerait le crâne.

Les accidents ne sont pas seulement dus à la chute d’outils. Souvent, un travailleur tente d’attraper son outil et peut perdre l’équilibre, ou bien laisse tomber l’outil qui devient alors un risque de trébuchement pour les travailleurs qui ne se méfient pas de ce qui se passe en dessous.

La prochaine fois que vous travaillerez en hauteur, protégez-vous, ainsi que les autres et vos outils, avec une protection contre les chutes adaptée.

Lisez notre blog sur l’importance de choisir un harnais de sécurité confortable pour que votre protection contre les chutes soit bien ajustée.

Références ici : https://www.wireropenews.com/news-201808-When-Lives-are-on-the-Line.html
http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180721/iron-men-love-their-jobs-bolting-together-future-in-providence
https://www.cos-mag.com/personal-process-safety/31597-objects-falling-from-heights-on-construction-sites-lead-to-injuries/

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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