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Why Proper Training is Necessary for Working in Confined Spaces

10 / 03 / 2023

Working in confined spaces can be extremely dangerous, which is why proper training is absolutely essential. There are many potential hazards that workers need to be aware of, and knowing how to safely enter and exit is crucial. 

Mintra offers a confined space entry online training course aimed at individuals required to carry out a work task in a confined space. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the risks associated with confined space work and discuss why proper training is so important.

A confined space, such as an abandoned well or large pipe, is an area that has limited or restricted entry and exit, is not intended for continuous occupation, may contain a hazardous atmosphere, and can have walls that close in. Confined spaces are found in many types of workplaces and can be either natural occurrences such as deep pits, or man-made, like tanks used to store oil. Depending on the size and the type of environment inside the containment, workers may need safety equipment such as breathing apparatus to prevent toxic substances from entering their bodies. Personnel must always be aware of the risks in order to stay safe when working in a confined space.

Working in confined spaces can be exceptionally dangerous, as the environment presents a range of unique risks that need to be taken into account. A confined space is an enclosed or partially-enclosed area with limited entry and exit points that is not intended or designed primarily for human occupancy. In many cases, ozone and carbon dioxide poisoning can occur as a result of a lack of air circulation, while flames and sparks can present a danger due to the presence of combustible materials and liquids.

Another major risk in these types of environments is inadequate structural support, which has the potential to lead to life-threatening collapses; potentially dangerous mechanical tasks like constructing pipes can also lead to physical injuries when they are carried out in unsuitable conditions. It's clear these hazards are not something to be taken lightly - workers should always take adequate precautions when operating in any kind of confined space.

To ensure full safety, it's important that all individuals are trained on the hazards associated with working in such a space, how to identify those hazards and how to protect themselves against them. Proper training also includes learning how to correctly set up and monitor a confined space, as well as how to deal with an emergency situation should one arise. Moreover, employers need to emphasize that workers are aware of their duties and responsibilities while carrying out specific operations and they must always follow established procedures. Sufficient training in place will allow the person to safely operate and maintain a secure environment for those working in confined spaces.

Before entering a confined space, there are several important steps that must be taken. Following these steps can help to avoid potential threats and ensure a safe working environment for all personnel.

Step 1

Ensure that the environment is safe to be in by testing air quality and assessing potential hazards.

Step 2

Secure the area by establishing an entry permit system; this should include issuing a permit and ensuring personnel are trained and suited with the right protective equipment such as respiratory protection.

Step 3

Carry out regular surveillance sweeps of the interior and exterior area to determine conditions that are conducive for entry.

Step 4

Finally, make sure all exit routes are clearly identifiable and accessible before anyone enters the space.

Working in confined spaces is an important, yet hazardous task, and requires the highest standards of safety for workers. Without proper training in working in these restrictive environments, it can prove to be a fatal mistake. By undergoing the appropriate training courses, workers will have an understanding of all potential dangers associated with working in confined spaces, such as the risk of fires and explosions, the risk of hazardous atmospheres suppressing oxygen levels or any other safety-related issues. This knowledge ensures that personnel are equipped with the right equipment and protective gear required to carry out any duties in a safe manner. 

Additionally, effective preparation provides individuals with the knowledge to identify when an environment is not suitable or too dangerous to enter at all. Properly trained workers also know how to estimate how long they should spend working in such enclosed environments and learn how often evacuation is required depending on environmental conditions. When it comes to ending up with a safe work environment and fewer incidents involving catastrophic outcomes or fatalities, thorough education on confined space operations outlines the importance of proper training for those who will be engaging in them.

Confined spaces can be extremely dangerous for those who are not properly trained. Workers need to take the necessary precautions before entering a confined space, such as ensuring that proper ventilation is in place and that there are noxious gases present. With the right training, workers will know how to safely enter and exit confined spaces. Proper training is essential for working in confined spaces because it can mean the difference between life and death.

Visit our health and safety training courses page for a list of our courses.