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

What’s the difference between a hazard and a risk

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:

TRAINING@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 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


NEED A LIFT? HERCULES SLR PROVIDES WIRE ROPE SLING INSPECTIONS & REPAIRS 

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


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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

Don’t Believe Us—Just Watch: Book your 3M Fall Protection Demo

3m fall protection gear for tools

NEW! 3M Fall Protection Demo Bag 

Hercules SLR knows the value of fall prevention—That’s why we’ve put together kits with some of our favourite 3M fall protection gear to show you the difference it makes. 

3M FALL PROTECTION | WHY IS FALL PREVENTION IMPORTANT? 

In Canada, every year over 14,000 workers are injured due to falls and over 27,000 workers are injured due to dropped objects like hammers, cell phones and work-radios—These are just the recorded incidents. 

Fall protection for all kinds of workers should include the right kind of PPE for the kind of work you do, but prevention plans, rescue & retrieval plans and tool fall protection equipment, plans and risk assessment measures. 

3M FALL PROTECTION FOR TOOLS | STOP THE DROP

It can be easy to underestimate the impact of slips and falls—It can be even easier to underestimate the impact of dropped tools and equipment, so it’s important to take preventative steps to eliminate the risk of injury. 

Often, tools fall from heights due to poor risk assessment & planning, human error, poorly stored tools and fixtures & fittings on-site that have failed. Since tools are often dropped by accident, focus should be on preventing these incidents from happening at all.

Tool fall protection normally focuses on secondary protective measures, like safety nets and toe boards, but it’s rare that tool fall protection plans employ a primary system to prevent drops. These precautions are often taken after an accident or injury occurs. 

WHAT KIND OF DAMAGE DOES A DROPPED TOOL DO? 

There are two main kinds of incidents when tools fall—These are direct impact and deflection. Direct impact injuries happen when the dropped object hits you directly on the head, and deflection happens when the tool bounces off another surface and strikes you. 

Let’s imagine a scenario—You’re working at heights, 200-feet (or 6-metres) above ground on scaffolding. You stop to check something, when your foot nudges the tape measure and it slides out and falls to the ground. 200-feet below. Even though the tape measure only weighs about 1.5lbs, it hits with a force of 3,750lbs. To put that in perspective, a hippo’s average weight is 3,300-4000lbs. 

This happened to a worker in New Jersey, who was delivering sheet metal to a work site when he was killed by a falling tape measure. Falling objects pose risk to the worker who drops it too, since the knee-jerk reaction is often to reach out and try to catch it which could cause you to slip and fall. 

Fall protection protects you from falls, while tool fall protection is designed to save others. We’ve covered comfortable fall protection equipment on the blog before and that it’s important to remember a safety harness isn’t a one-size fits all solution. Tool fall protection is the same.

Many workers find tool fall protection distractive and obtrusive—This is why it’s important to select a drop prevention system that’s comfortable and reasonable for workers to use. 

WHAT SHOULD MY PLAN INCLUDE? 

Your fall prevention plan should consider and plan to account for: 

  • Tool size & fit
  • Tool form & function
  • Attachment points for each tool (great starting point for tool protection) 
  • Drop-tests with attachment points, before used on the worksite 

3M FALL PROTECTION DEMO BAG | WHAT’S INSIDE?

3M fall protection, protecta vest-style harness at hercules securing, lifting and rigging
The 3M Protecta® Vest-Style Harness has back D-rings, tongue-buckle rings and pass-thru chest connections that give maximum comfort and protection.

 

3m protecta rebel SRL
The Protecta® Rebel Self-Retracting Lifeline (SRL, web) is compact, lightweight and has a swiveling anchorage with self-locking snap-hooks and fast-acting speed-sending brake system. It also has thermoplastic housing for extra agility and protection.
 
3m fall protection shock-absorbing lanyard
The 3M Twin-Leg Shock-Absorbing Lanyard has double-leg loops for 100% tie-off with convenient snap-hook and flat, steel rebar hooks at leg ends to keep you balanced in case you fall. 
3m fall protection dbi-sala harness
The 3M DBI-SALA® Vest-Style Harness has back D-ring and tongue-buckle leg straps, quick-connect and pass-through buckles with detachable shoulder padding that give ultimate comfort. It has an industrial-strength magnet that secures your items, even when tipped upside down.
 

3M SAFE BUCKET

3m fall protection demo safe bucket

The 3M safe bucket is your best friend for preventing dropped tools. 

The 3M Safe Bucket (100lb Load Rated Drawstring Canvas) includes: 

  • Adjustable Radio Holster (1500089)
  • Hard Hat Tether (1500178) 
  • Tool Lanyard, Coil Ether, 5lb. (2.3kg) capacity—Single-leg with self-locking carabiner with hooks at both ends. (1500063)
  • Python Canvas pouch (1500119) 

3M FALL PROTECTION DEMO BAG | BOOK YOUR DEMO NOW 

What’s a Fall Protection Demo, you ask? Book a fall protection demo with your local Hercules SLR branch and a representative will: 

  • Share the features & benefits of the 3M Fall Protection Demo Bag Products 
  • Show you how to use the tool fall protection attachment points 
  • Discuss your unique PPE needs based on your employees and type of work 

BOOK YOUR FALL PROTECTION DEMO NOW

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

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM 1-877-461-4877


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


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.

Fall Protection Safety: What’s your IQ?

fall protection safety quiz

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.

Warehouse Wow: How our Distribution Centre Leads the Industry

hercules distribution centre warehouse

WAREHOUSE WORSHIP: HOW OUR CENTRAL DISTRIBUTION CENTRE IS LEADING THE INDUSTRY

HERCULES CENTRAL DISTRIBUTION CENTRE: WHAT WE DO

You’re probably reading this on a computer or mobile phone that at one point, was probably sitting somewhere in a warehouse. In 2019, warehouses are a huge part of nearly every industry but we often don’t consider where our things live before they get to us, or exactly what goes into running a smooth, successful warehouse operation. We’re here to help. 

Hercules’ Central Distribution Centre (DC) in Long-Sault, Ontario has the largest inventory of securing, lifting and rigging equipment under one roof in Canada. We’re also the only Central Distribution Centre (DC) warehouse in the securing, lifting and rigging industry that supplies products on a national-scale to our 20+ branches and ship directly to customers. The Hercules DC is in Cornwall on the 401 highway, sandwiched right between Montreal and Toronto and close to a border-crossing into the United States, as well. 

So, what exactly does it take to operate our DC? Luckily, we know just the guy. Terry Bartlett, Hercules’ Central Distribution Manager shares what he’s learned over his career, and what how he and his team run our DC like a well-oiled machine.  

hercules central distribution warehouse staffHERCULES’ WAREHOUSE: TEAM PLAYERS 

Terry Bartlett has been in distribution and material handling industries for over 20 years. Terry started as a Rig Technician at Hercules SLR in Montreal, quickly moving into a leading roles first as a Production Supervisor, then to Floor Manager. When Hercules decided to open a distribution center 3 years ago, Terry practically leaped at the opportunity to help the team establish operations. Over the past 6 years, Terry’s used his knowledge of Hercules and his distribution experience to set-up, recruit and make operations ultra efficient as our Central Distribution Manager. 

Terry can’t do it all alone—A hard-working team is essential to a well-run DC. Tim Bingley, Nick O’Brien and Jamie Plumadore have been part of the DC warehouse team for two years. They help Terry with basically all aspects of running the DC warehouse, including creating and setting policies & procedures and creating a culture that can continuously improve, keep up and grow with industry trends. 

As our business grows, so does the DC team. The DC Warehouse has doubled their team in the past year. Phillipe Gatien, Adam Bartlett, Eric Nadeau and Eric Vanderwal have joined our team to help operations.  

hercules central distribution warehouse staff

HERCULES WAREHOUSE: 5 SAFETY TIPS FROM TERRY

1. KNOW THE RISKS

Be aware of hazardous risks associated with warehouse work. These include slips and fall (which are some of the most common injuries on any jobsite, even offices) but warehouses present even more issues. Racking accidents, musculoskeletal injuries from improper lifting methods and temperature fluctuations are all risk factors for hazards.

You can’t prevent accidents or expect warehouse personnel to avoid hazards if they aren’t aware of them. 

2. PREVENT FALLS, MAKE HOUSEKEEPING A PRIORITY

Like we mention above, slips and falls are some of the most common warehouse injuries, and can be particularly dangerous when lifting equipment is being used. In Ontario, nearly 20% of lost-time injury claims were due to falls. To prevent falls and trips, be sure to have guards installed in areas where there are large spaces between floors that personnel could fall through. Mop and clean up spills, slippery materials like sawdust, and be sure to store boxes properly – not on the warehouse floor where someone may trip over them.

Train and make personnel aware of any abnormalities that might cause them to trip, like cracks in the floor, uneven stairs or plugged-in cords; and also human error that easily contributes to falls, like tools or equipment placed on the floor for just a moment.   

3. KEEPING TRAINING CURRENT

Yes, maybe employees who have been hired years ago have been trained, but as new standards come out, personnel should be familiar with them. Be sure to give thorough training on any new technologies you bring in, like connective radios or tracking systems, hand signals & important communicative phrases, and make sure safety and equipment training is up-to-date – to do this, give personnel ‘refresher’ courses regularly and hold safety meetings with warehouse personnel. 

4. USE EQUIPMENT PROPERLY

Again, “Isn’t this common-sense?” you probably think. However, one of the top citations OSHA gives out each year are for equipment violations. Ever see this scene from ‘The Office’? Some people shouldn’t use the forklift.

Make sure personnel has the proper training and licenses to operate machinery like forklifts, aerial lift trucks and even fall protection. Safety harnesses can be used improperly, which can lead to accidents. For example, a Hercules SLR inspector was once called into a warehouse operation whose safety equipment was often breaking. When he entered the warehouse, he saw a worker swinging from side-to-side on various platforms with a safety harness and lanyard which were only supposed to be used vertically. This was improper use, which explained why their safety equipment was failing so frequently.

In 2018, three of OSHA’s most frequent citations in warehouses were for Fall Protection training & general requirements and industrial truck violations – invest in training for warehouse personnel, especially when fall protection is being used.

5. HAZARD COMMUNICATION 

Another citation OSHA often gives out is for hazard communication. Hazardous chemicals can cause corrosion, respiratory issues or become flammable, and should be labelled. Hazard communication includes proper labelling, education for employees about the risks involved and plans to control spills and proper disposal. 


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WAREHOUSE WORK,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

WAREHOUSE SAFETY: 8 STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A RACKING ACCIDENT

WOMEN IN INDUSTRY: MEET KIM REYNOLDS, WAREHOUSE ASSOCIATE

WAREHOUSE SAFETY: IS YOUR FORKLIFT HOLIDAY SEASON READY?


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Have questions about our  rigging equipment or our Central Distribution Centre? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

E-mail us at info@herculesslr.com to learn more about Hercules SLR’s rigging equipment.

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.

CM’s Tips: Crane & Hoisting Equipment in Hazardous Areas

cm hoisting equipment at hercules slr

COLUMBUS MCKINNON GUEST BLOG: How to Use Hoists & Cranes in Hazardous Areas

This guest blog is reprinted with permission from the experts at Columbus McKinnon. Their specialists give you an overview of safe practices to follow to operate crane and hoisting equipment in hazardous environments. 

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: THE NEED FOR SPARK RESISTANCE 

Among many industries that range from upstream oil and gas, refineries to agriculture and wood working, many potentially flammable atmospheres exist. These areas can present unique challenges for material handling equipment and can pose a serious threat to materials, equipment and most importantly, personnel.

In Canada, hazardous areas are defined and managed by a few different regulatory bodies, including the Canada Labour Code, the Canadian Standards Association and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, to name a few. 

FACTORS

It’s generally understood that friction between certain materials can cause sparks sufficient enough to ignite flammable gas or dust. A cigarette lighter or an antique flintlock musket are common examples of this. Obviously the type and concentration/dilution of gases in an area is one element that affects potential ignition from a mechanically generated source, but other key factors could include:

  • The type materials making contact
  • The speed/pressure with which the materials come into contact
  • Corrosion on one or more of the contacting surfaces
  • Lubrication

To address this potential risk, Columbus McKinnon uses materials such as copper, bronze, and austenitic stainless steel, which are generally considered non-sparking. These are used for coatings, or as material substitutions for enhanced spark resistance. Not only are these materials spark resistant, but they can also protect against corrosion. Since surface corrosion can increase friction between mating components, corrosion prevention is also important when using material handling products in hazardous environments.

CM crane and hoisting in hazardous areas, Hercules SLR

Columbus McKinnon engineers a variety of specialty products with spark-resistant components and finishes, including:

  • Solid bronze hooks, bottom blocks and trolley wheels
  • Bronze plated components
  • Stainless steel load and hand chain
  • Multi-coat epoxy finishes
  • Zinc-aluminum corrosion-resistant finish

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: THE NEED FOR CORROSION RESISTANCE

hoisting equipment in hazardous areas by hercules slr
Offshore refinery, example of a hazardous environment. Photo courtesy of CM.

As we mentioned earlier, lifting equipment used in classified hazardous locations must be compliant with applicable standards. 

It’s important to make sure critical mechanical components are resistant to sparks – it’s equally important to make sure these parts are protected from corrosion. These parts include: 

  • Load blocks
  • Trolley wheels
  • Load brake
  • Lifting mediums
  • Chain
  • Wire rope

Many classified hazardous areas exist outdoors that expose lifting equipment to direct, and often harsh weather. These include offshore oil platforms, natural gas processing plants and refineries – to name a few. Specifically in offshore facilities, equipment may be exposed to splash zones, salt spray and the condensation of salt-laden air. In addition to harsh and corrosive weather conditions, sulfur, mineral acids and other corrosive agents are often present in the crude oil and natural gas that is being produced, processed and transported in these facilities, working to further corrode lifting equipment used in these environments.

CORROSION = $$$ cm hoisting equpment from hercules slr

The cost of corrosion can be tremendous, and can add up to billions of dollars each year in the oil and gas industries alone. In these industries, the cost to repair and replace corroded lifting equipment combined with unscheduled maintenance, downtime and lost production have a major impact on profitability. Corroded load blocks, hooks, chains and cables can result in catastrophic equipment failure. Not only can this cause costly damage to the equipment and the facility, but most importantly, can cause injury or be fatal to operators and other personnel in the facility. 

So – how do you protect lifting equipment from corrosion? It’s critical to use corrosion-resistant materials for load blocks, hooks, chains, cables and other components. Since surface corrosion can increase the friction between mating components, corrosion prevention is important to maintain mechanical spark resistance when using these products in a classified, hazardous environment. 

 

cm hoisting equpment from hercules slr
A corroded pipe in an offshore environment.

Columbus McKinnon offers a variety of solutions for these challenges, in the form of a wide range lifting products with spark and corrosion resistant materials and coatings. They also offer application engineering assistance to help determine the right solution for your application. Choose from specially engineered products with:

  • Solid bronze hooks, bottom blocks and trolley wheels
  • Lightweight aluminum housings
  • Stainless steel load and hand chain
  • Multi-coat epoxy finishes
  • Zinc-aluminum corrosion-resistant finish 
damaged hoisting equipment hercules slr
Corroded chain. Photo via CM.

In addition to corrosion-resistant materials and finishes, we also suggest proper hoist lubrication to prevent sparking. These measures, combined with a robust inspection and preventative maintenance program that includes pre-lift inspections, play a critical role to make sure equipment is dependable and safe in these harsh environments. 

Regardless of where you do business, CM has hoisting equipment and cranes to keep your people, materials and equipment safe in hazardous areas. 

 

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: SPACE CONSTRAINT CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS

Earlier in this article, CM discussed the need for mechanical spark resistance and corrosion-resistant measures, especially in hazardous environments. This section outlines challenges faced working with space constraints, how they can be increased in hazardous environments and solutions to potential problems.

SPACE CONSTRAINT CHALLENGES  

hoisting equipment in space constraints at hercules slr
Examples of a constrained space. Photo courtesy of CM.

 

 

 

 

 

Another example of a constrained space. Photo courtesy of CM.

Classified hazardous areas frequently exist within confined spaces, especially in the mining and oil & gas industries. In mining, tunnels often have low overhead clearance in areas where coal or other flammable dust may be present. In the oil and gas industry, designers of offshore facilities typically look to minimize the overall size of the structure, which can lead to low headroom between deck levels and tight clearances for monorails and crane runways.

In all of these situations, there is a need for overhead lifting equipment that is compact in design, including low headroom and short side clearances, as well as a short “end approach” to maximize the deck coverage area served by the monorail hoist or crane.

This need for compact hoists, trolleys and cranes is often complicated by the possibility that flammable gases or dust may be present in the areas where the equipment is used. Therefore, explosion-proof and spark-resistant features may be needed, each posing their own challenges given the space constraints. For example, explosion-proof electric motors and control enclosures are typically larger and heavier than those for non-hazardous areas. Spark-resistant bronze load blocks and hooks tend to be larger than carbon or alloy steel hooks and blocks with the same safe working load. Also, the use of spark-resistant stainless steel load chain or wire rope often requires the equipment capacity to be de-rated due to lower tensile strength of stainless versus alloy steel. This de-rating can sometimes result in larger, heavier and more costly hoists and cranes.

SOLUTIONS 

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when specifying or purchasing lifting equipment for hazardous locations with space limitations. When dimensional constraints within facilities and working environments compete with the need to comply with hazardous area requirements, the safety of personnel, equipment and facilities themselves must always take precedence in our decision making.

Fortunately, there are a variety of hoisting equipment options available, featuring spark- and corrosion-resistant materials and explosion-proof components, that can be used in confined areas. Low-headroom hoists are offered in both wire rope and chain varieties, including manual, electric and pneumatic models.

Wire rope hoists can typically provide higher capacities and faster lifting speeds, while chain hoists can offer smaller overall dimensional envelopes to optimize end approach and clearance. Solid bronze and stainless steel components can provide lasting protection against sparking and corrosion, but, in some applications, copper or nickel plating can be substituted to provide lower headroom dimensions and reduce the need for de-rating of safe working loads.

CM has solutions to many of these problems. Products that work in many different restricted areas for this purpose are: 

  • Ultra-low headroom hoist models 
  • Low-profile hoists 
  • Wire rope hoists/crane rope 

Hercules SLR carries Columbus McKinnon products, hoisting equipment and solutions to use cranes and hoists in hazardous areas—e-mail info@herculesslr.com to find out how we can support your next crane or hoisting operation with safety training, inspections or repairs.  


VISIT CM WORKS FOR MORE: 

PART 1: The Need for Spark Resistance
PART 2: The Need for Corrosion Resistance
PART 3: Space Constraint Challenges & Solutions 

FOR MORE COLUMBUS MCKINNON,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CRANE & HOISTING SYSTEMS: THE DANGERS OF SIDE PULLING

CM GUEST BLOG: 3 SAFETY TIPS TO INSTALL YOUR CM TROLLEY

 CHAIN SLING WEAR AND STRETCH: ARE THEY THE SAME THING?


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Where’s your CM hoisting equipment? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

Click here to learn more about CM crane and hoist equipment 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.  

NEWS: planning is essential in confined spaces

confined space training by hercules slr

Confined spaces—we’ve discussed the dangers of working in confined spaces, confined space training and the importance of choosing the right fall protection equipment on our blog before.

On Tuesday, November 20, in Uruguay, two shoreshide dock workers died and two were hospitalized after being exposed to a fumigant. Currently, the Uruguayan Navy is unsure which chemical caused the fatalities and injuries—however, it’s believed to be caused by the treatment phosphine, a fumigation gas used to control pests in agricultural and wood product cargoes. Phosphine is denser than air and can settle into low-lying pockets, reports the Maritime Executive.

Investigators say two dock workers from an independent company entered a freighter from Panama when they lost consciousness and collapsed—a crewmember say the dock workers struggle and entered the space wearing a face mask, but removed it while trying to rescue the workers. He also collapsed and is in the hospital in an induced coma. A third member of the company is also in hospital with injuries, reports the Maritime Executive.

According to the president of the Uruguayan Transport Union, Cesar Bernal, dock workers were not aware half of the ship’s cargo was treated with a fumigant. They followed their normal procedure for entering the space in the freighter, and were affected immediately by the fumes.

The industrial trades will benefit from improved communication regarding hazardous fumes, and more effective training regarding fall arrest and confined space entry and exit training. Something like an SRL (self-retracting lifeline) may help in a situation like this, where a worker can easily lift himself from a dangerous space. The National Institute for Occupational Health & Safety reports that 60% of confined space fatalities in coastal accidents are rescuers.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) recommends that employers develop a confined space hazard assessment and control program—especially since most workers in the industrial trades will work in a confined space at least once during their career. This program should be specific to the work being done, and employers may need to implement more than one program.

confined-space-training
A technician working offshore.

CCOHS recommends your plan include the following:

  • Description of roles and responsibilities of each person or party (e.g., employer, supervisor, workers, attendants, and emergency response team);
  • Advice on how to identify confined spaces;
  • Identification and assessment of all potential hazards that may exist at the beginning of the work as well as those that may develop because of the work activities;
  • A plan to eliminate or control all identified hazards;
  • Written work procedures;
  • Confined Space training program for all the workers that will enter confined spaces;
  • An entry permit system for each entry into a confined space;
  • Development of an emergency plan complete with training and equipment in case an unforeseen situation occurs;
  • An emergency response system;
  • Reporting and investigating incidents related to work in confined spaces;
  • Record and documentation control;
  • Program review whenever there is a change in circumstances or at least annually, to identify program weaknesses and make any necessary changes to the program.

Confined Space Training

Unfortunately, many injuries and fatalities are easy to prevent if the proper safety measures and plans are put into place. Give you and your employees the knowledge and skills they need to be safe in confined spaces. Browse information on our Confined Space Entry & Attendant, and more safety courses here.

 

References here: 
- https://maritime-executive.com/article/two-uruguayan-dockers-dead-in-confined-space-accident
- https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/confinedspace_program.html

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

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

Confined Spaces: Hercules’ Safety Tips

confined spaces safety training from hercules slr

What is a Confined Space?

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

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

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

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

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

What is a Permit-Required Confined Space?

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

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

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

Confined Space Training

 

What Makes Confined Spaces Dangerous, Anyway?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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