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.

Suspension Trauma: 3 Must-Know Myths

suspension trauma

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. 

  • 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


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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.

Safety at Stake: New MSA V-SERIES™ Fall Protection

msa v-series

A BIG DAY FOR HARNESS WEARERS 

The MSA V-SERIES harness line is now available!  Introducing the V-FLEX™, V-FIT™, and V-FORM™—each designed for your comfort and safety needs.

Focus on your work instead of your harness. Why V-SERIES? We have three reasons:

1. Exclusive racing-style buckle eliminates the need for chest straps, creating a closer, more comfortable harness 

2. Athletic cut contours the harness to the body for increased upper torso mobility

3. Pull-down adjustment allows wearer to easily and quickly make adjustments to get the right fit

The safest fall protection harness is the one you’ll actually want to wear. Each V-Series harness delivers exceptional comfort – so you can focus on your work, not your harness.

SUPERIOR COMFORT

Exclusive racing-style buckle allows for a close, comfortable-fitting harness—Eliminating the need for bulky chest straps or cumbersome buckles.

 
INCREASED FLEXIBILITY

Racing-style buckle creates an athletic cut, contouring the harness to the body for improved upper torso movement on the job. 

 
ADJUSTABILITY

Pull-down adjustment allows you to quickly get the right fit that lasts throughout the work day.

 

 

 

So, what’s included in the MSA V-Series™? msa v-form series

MSA V-SERIES V-FORM™ SETTING THE STANDARD

Features: 

Racing-style buckle

Athletic cut

Pull-down adjustment

Easy-to-inspect stitch patterns 

msa v-series

MSA V-SERIES V-FIT™ RAISING EXPECTATIONS

Has all the benefits of V-Form™, plus:

Body-conforming shoulder pad 

Coated webbing

Horizontal leg straps

Dedicated attachment point for Personal Fall Limiters 

msa v-series

 

MSA V-SERIES V-FLEX™ RAISING EXPECTATIONS

Has all the benefits of the V-Fit™, plus: 

Thermoform shoulder pad designed for cooling

Leg padding

Swiveling hip juncture for mobility 

Integrated suspension 

 

MSA Safety Fall Protection Systems


WANT MORE MSA SAFETY?

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG:

MSA SAFETY: NEW V-SERIES ENERGY ABSORBING LANYARD

MSA PRESS RELEAS: NEW JET-STYLE FIREFIGHTER HELMET

NEW FROM MSA: SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS


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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.

PPE Fall Protection in North America

Abseiling

PPE Fall Protection: the early lanyard

PPE Fall Protection devices were used in the early 20th Century by many professionals, although they used rope lanyards made of natural fibers, such as manila hemp, and simple body belts with no shock-absorbing properties. Clarence W. Rose–who early in his career was a window washer–became a pioneer in fall protection when he started the Rose Mfg. Co. in 1934 and began producing safety belts and lanyards for window washers. On Nov. 24, 1959, Rose was awarded a patent for an easy-to-use cable connector for safety belts that also had some shock-absorbing properties (U.S. Patent 2,914,139). Listed in the patent was a statement that the connector could, among other things, “be adapted to slip somewhat responsive to a sudden jerk as when the safety rope checks the fall of a wearer and thereby eases the shock to the wearer incurred by checking the fall.”

PPE Fall Protection
Madison Avenue Window Cleaner

PPE Fall Protection: shock-absorption major leap forward

Joseph Feldstein, manager of Technical Services at MSA, which purchased the Rose Mfg. Co. in 1996, said the idea of a shock absorber was a major step forward in protecting against the large braking forces generated in arresting falls, especially during Rose’s time.

“If you can imagine, workers with a simple belt and lanyard arrangement that was common up until that point would be exposed to a fall that could not only damage them internally because of the forces exerted to the soft tissues of the abdomen around the belt, but also you could generate such forces that you could separate the lanyard,” he said.

Rose continued to develop his shock-absorbing concept and was awarded several patents for newer and better shock absorbers. Ultimately, his designs influenced the creation of the modern-day shock absorber. Rose also received many other patents related in some way to preventing or protecting workers from falls. An example is the patent for an early “Ladder Climber” harness system (U.S. Patent 2,886,227) that contains two hook lanyards that are both attached to a harness. While ascending or descending, a worker grasps one hook in each hand and secures them over alternating ladder rungs.

Decades later, the industry would see the emergence of locking snap hook connectors and full-body harnesses, both gaining much more acceptance in the 1980s. In 1990, OSHA enacted regulation 1910.66. Craig Firl, product marketing manager in Hardgoods for Capital Safety-USA, said appendix C in this regulation was the key to getting several areas of fall protection technology up to date.

“Even though that particular standard at that time allowed for non-locking-type hooks to be used in a fall protection-type system, they recommended the locking type to be used because they were safer hooks and more compatible,” Firl said.

PPE Fall Protection: more hardware than ever

Feldstein agreed, adding that the acceptance of the locking snap hook led to the creation of a whole new series of connecting anchorage systems: straps, D-rings, and more. “And that’s continued to evolve to its current state, where we now have personalized anchorage connectors for almost every application, whether it’s building construction or general industry,” he said. Even though body belts were still allowed, Feldstein said appendix C acknowledged that OSHA recognized full-body harnesses as a major innovation in fall arrest. “Belts are still permissible in positioning, but in a fall, you definitely want to be protected by a full-body harness. It distributes the load across your chest and the bony mass of your hip, where your body is most capable of absorbing a blow, and it protects the soft tissue of the abdomen,” Feldstein said.

Two years after 1910.66 arrived, the ANSI committee released standard Z359.1, the key fall protection standard in use today. Most notably, it required the use of full-body harnesses and self-locking snap hooks. Firl said this voluntary compliance standard put pressure on OSHA to recognize that its existing standard needed updating and encouraged the completion of another fall protection standard for the construction industry, Subpart M, in 1995. According to this standard, as of Jan. 1, 1998, the use of body belts and non-locking snap hooks was prohibited.

During the ’80s, Self-Retracting Lanyards (SRLs) gained in development and use. They had been developed in the 1950s for offshore oil production in the North Sea but quickly became a common component in fall protection systems worldwide. Feldstein said SRLs became so valuable because they allowed workers to be protected along a much greater length of travel, increasing productivity without sacrificing safety. He described a scenario for rail car workers:

“Workers could be protected from the ground level and all the way up to the top of the rail car while they were working along the train’s length because the SRL could be mounted mobilely overhead. So that afforded a new type of protection for all types of workers in transportation, everything from rail cars, truck load-outs, and air craft maintenance.”

Regarding fall protection’s future, Firl and Feldstein said they believe comfort will continue to advance. Firl also foresees advances into niche markets with specialized materials and components, similar to the vacuum anchors’ progression into the airline industry for maintenance work on aircraft, whose surfaces can’t be penetrated with traditional-type anchors.
“In the past, a harness was a harness. It didn’t really matter if it was for construction, or utility work, or warehousing, it was a harness,” he said. “Now, you’re starting to see more specialized gear. . .  As an example, in the utility segment, you would see extensively the use of flame-resistant materials . . . because they’re concerned about heat resistance; they’re concerned about being able to resist arc flash and so forth.”

At Hercules SLR we stock MSA, 3M and Honeywell Miller PPE and fall protection products, to provide you with an extensive, high quality range of PPE Fall Protection products. Our in-house experts will advise you on what equipment best suits your project. When it comes time for your yearly inspections and service, our technicians can inspect, repair and certify your gear. For more information on our Fall Protection products and Services, please call: 1-877-461-4876.

References
https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2007/01/01/PPEvolution.aspx?Page=4

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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.

Hercules’ Tips: Is your Safety Harness Comfortable?

safety harness from 3m at hercules slr

A safety harness is a necessary evil for many workers, working across many different industrial trades. We understand—nobody likes to be uncomfortable during their work day.

However, proper equipment, like safety harnesses are key to getting the job one, reducing costs, injuries, and most importantly—getting home safely. Although necessary, heavy equipment can leave you sore, tired and less productive by the day’s end.

Lighter harnesses have been produced to reduce discomfort and give more mobility, however this hasn’t solved issues like injuries from fatigue, strain or repetitious movement. Workers must still carry heavy equipment, typically for 10+ hours a day—issues improper safety harnesses can exacerbate.

Check out this infographic to find out the real cost of injuries, wearing improper equipment (or wearing it improperly) and some of the biggest complaints surrounding safety harnesses. It also includes how to choose a safety harness that provides support and comfort, so you can remain productive and safe during your work day.

Find all your safety harness needs at Hercules SLR—including custom-fitted harnesses, fall protection training and more.

Are you Wearing a Comfortable Safety Harness?

safety-harness-fall-protection-ppe

Original article here: http://www.capitalsafety.com/caadmin/Pages/Rethinking-Productivity-and-Safety.aspx

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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.

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.