Working in confined and enclosed spaces is much riskier than most people believe. Unfortunately, working in such sectors, such as mining, also entails working in such conditions for long periods of time.
Although working in confined spaces is dangerous even with sufficient training, a major issue is that adequate confined space training is often lacking. When the individual in question is unaware that they are operating in a confined space, the problem becomes even worse. An individual cleaning the underside of a skylight, for example, may be considered to be operating in a small space if his head is fully beyond the curve of the skylight, despite the fact that few people would think to describe his job in that way. Some of the most common hazards encountered while operating in enclosed spaces are mentioned below.
The poor quality of air, which can contain inadequate oxygen or toxic substances that can have startlingly immediate effects on the worker, is one of the most visible dangers associated with working in enclosed spaces. Natural ventilation is always insufficient, and steps must be taken to ensure that the worker receives enough oxygen and is shielded from hazardous chemicals, such as the use of dusk masks or filters.
High levels of noise
High noise levels in enclosed spaces can be much more harmful than in large open spaces. Employees working in places like power plants and rail lines are particularly vulnerable to hearing loss and should be provided with hearing protection such as earplugs and earmuffs. Furthermore, all employees’ exposure to prolonged noise should be kept to a minimum.
Hazards of Crushing or trapping
The slightest move in the ground can be fatal while operating underground. Crushing and trapping risks must be eliminated to the greatest extent possible, and all personnel must wear personal protective equipment such as hard hats, protective gloves, and safety goggles.
While a fire can be devastating in any enclosed space, the risks are greatly increased in confined spaces. Staff in confined spaces are not only exposed to much greater risks from smoke and heat than they would be in an indoor setting, but they also have fewer options for escape. As a result, all aspects of fire protection must be carefully addressed in order to reduce all fire hazards as much as possible.
Working in confined spaces is hazardous work, and it’s made much riskier when employees are unaware of the extent and severity of the risks they and their coworkers face. Staff should be informed about the risks they face while operating in enclosed spaces and how to prevent them. Only by keeping all staff updated would they be able to work together to keep each other protected from the different dangers they encounter on the job every day.
Platinum Safety can offer you the option to either come and train at our safety training centre located at 2/6 Weld Street Prestons NSW 2170 or we can travel out to your location and conduct the training onsite at your workplace.
We specialize in confined space education and ensure you are safe and compliant before, during, and after employees work and enter confined spaces. Click here to learn more about our numerous training courses for confined space!