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


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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 Arrest System: Don’t Fool with your Tools

fall arrest system for tools at hercules slr

You likely know about a Fall Arrest System for your body–but what about your tools? Fall protection for tools is the ‘F’ of the ABCDE’s of Fall Protection. A fall arrest system for tools to prevent drops is essential for a safe worksite. Tools dropped from heights are the third cause on injury on work sites. Preventing tools from slips leads to safer, quicker more productive work. 

FALL ARREST SYSTEM: HAVE A PREVENTION PLAN IN PLACE

When a tool falls, gravity takes over. This is why it’s essential to have a plan in place to address issues that lead to injuries at heights and prevent the fall in the first place. Workers’ need to be protected when at heights 6ft or higher, which really, isn’t all that high. Many different industries perform work at this height, and many perform work much higher. 

There are three good reasons to have a fall prevention plan to reduce (and hopefully, eliminate) tools dropped on a worksite.

SAFETY 

Dropping tools leads to injuries, fatalities and can increase hazardous risks around the worksite. Tools that fall from heights are the third cause of injuries on construction sites. 

PRODUCTIVITY

When tools are dropped on a worksite, injuries often happen. This means that work must stop temporarily – and sometimes, indefinitely. When a tool is dropped or broken and especially if it injures someone, a investigation must take place to determine the exact circumstances that caused the injury.  

OPERATIONS  

Dropping tools can effect the operations of the day, and often the company at large. When a tool drops, work needs to be stopped so they can investigate the incident. Usually, this means workers’ are paid even though work has stopped while the situation is dealt with. Depending on the damage, this usually means that equipment needs repairs too, which results in maintenance costs and time that the machinery or gear will be out of use. 

WHY IS A FALL ARREST SYSTEM FOR TOOLS SO IMPORTANT? THE NUMBERS

As mentioned, tools dropped from heights are the third cause of injuries on construction sites. In Canada alone, 27,000 people every year are hit by tools on a work site—this means 80 people a day are hit and likely injured by dropped tools. 30 of these each year are fatal.

Fall from heights are the fourth cause of workplace injury. Over 14,000 injuries are caused by falls each year, and of these 14,000, 40 are fatal.    

TOOL FALL ARREST SYSTEM: THE PRICE OF DROPPED EQUIPMENT

Human life can’t be replaced. We know not using tool fall protection at heights leads to injury, but beyond being dangerous, there’s considerable financial impact, too. 

There’s other costs associated with dropped tools that go far beyond just replacing broken equipment. Consider administration time and fees to file paperwork, equipment replacement, inspection or repair, legal fees and consequences, time spent to find more employees or production-loss when there are fewer workers’ at the same job, training for new employees and insurance fees. It’s worth your time and money to invest in fall protection and arrest systems for tools. 

FALL FROM ROOFS: $119,000
FALLS FROM HEIGHTS: $66,000
FALLS FROM LADDERS: $82,000
FALLS DOWN STEPS: $48,000
 
 

WHY DO PEOPLE DROP THEIR TOOLS? 10 REASONS

  1. Inadequate risk assessment
  2. Human Error: Although normal, natural human errors have severe consequences at heights. These include operator error, poor behaviour, complacency or neglect. 
  3. Tools or equipment stored inadequately: Includes tool lanyards or tethers not being used or not containing loose items. 
  4. Inadequate risk assessment or procedures: This could be from poor planning, not managing changing hazards on various worksites. 
  5. Failed fixtures or fittings: Includes corrosion, poor design, vibration and selection or installation.
  6. Poor Housekeeping: This could be pre-existing hazards from previous work, or other debris. 
  7. Collisions and snagging: Happens often when lifting, with travelling equipment and on taglines and service loops. 
  8. Inadequate Inspection, repair and maintenance: Ignoring unsafe conditions
  9. Redundant, neglected and homemade tools and equipment (these should be eliminated)
  10. Environmental Factors: Includes wind, rain, harsh winter and heat. 

WHAT TOOLS DO PEOPLE DROP? 3 MOST COMMON TOOLS

The three most commonly-dropped things on a construction may or may not surprise you. They may seem simple, but as we discussed, the smallest tool can be deadly when it drops. The most commonly-dropped tools are:

  1. Tape Measure
  2. Hard hat
  3. Cellphone/Radio 

WHERE DO FALLEN TOOLS GO? THE ANSWER MIGHT SURPRISE YOU 

Dropped tools don’t fall straight down—this is called falling object deflection (see figure 1). When you drop a tool, it can deflect in any direction. As we mentioned, workers’ need tool fall protection when they’re working up to 6-feet high, since a tool dropped from this height can deflect up to 20-metres away. This means that an innocent person’s that not on the site could very likely be struck by a dropped object. For workers’ that are even higher (which is more common than you think), say 200-feet high, a tool can deflect up to 128-metres away.

Even small objects pick up enormous force when dropped (see figure 2). This force means that something as non-threatening as a tape measure can be deadly if dropped. 

tool fall protection deflection
Figure 1—Chart via 3M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even small objects pick up enormous force when dropped (see figure 2). This force means that something as non-threatening as a tape measure can be deadly if dropped. 

tool fall arret and impact forces via 3m
Figure 2—Impact Forces Chart via 3M

TOOL FALL ARREST: IMPORTANT INDUSTRIES 

As we mentioned, any industry that does work 6-feet or higher will benefit from a tool fall arrest system. Are you a telecom specialist, tradesperson or part of a theatre rigging crew? You should probably have a tool fall prevention plan (this include the right equipment) ready. 

In particular, the following industries benefit from a fall arrest system for tools: 

  • Construction
  • Utilities 
  • General Manufacturing 

The number of injuries from dropped tools on Canadian worksites continues to grow – this is why it’s important for workplaces to have a tool-drop prevention plan in place. This helps your construction crew manage productivity, safety concerns, asset management and the high costs associated with accidents.  


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TOOL PROTECTION,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

TOOL FALL PROTECTION: MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK 

FALL PROTECTION FOR TOOLS: STOP THE DROP

FALL PROTECTION TRAINING: DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND 


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Need to stay protected at heights? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

Click here to learn more about fall arrest systems at Hercules SLR. 

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.

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