One of the major hazards when working in confined spaces is the possibility of unsafe oxygen levels. The normal level of oxygen within the air is approx. 21%. When working in a confined space, oxygen levels must be between 19.5% – 23.5%.
Reasons for lower oxygen concentrations can be contributed by:
Displacement by other contaminates from biological processes
Oxidation from rust
Absorption from organic matter, eg. Grains, soil etc
Higher concentrations of oxygen can occur from spills or leaks from oxygen cylinders or from some chemical reactions. This can increase the chance of combustion.
To ensure a safe atmosphere at all times, atmospheric monitoring must be carried out prior and during work in confined spaces.
Platinum Safety and Training conduct MSMWHS217 – Gas test atmospheres. Contact us for more information.