Important Confined Space Entry Statistics

Important Confined Space Entry Statistics

Confined Space Statistics

According to the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), about 2.1 million workers enter permit-required confined spaces annually and about 60% of the confined space deaths are unauthorized rescuers. 29% of the unauthorized rescuers were supervisors.

Lack of Proper Equipment/Preparation

Training for safe confined space entry is lacking for many companies. Often times, a third party contractor is brought in to provide a safety seminar or short training. This is simply not an adequate amount of training to properly prepare workers for rescue procedures and confined space entry.

Confined space deaths are the leading causes of multiple-fatalities in the workplace. The reason for this is typically a lack of information about the confined space, and then when things go wrong, the would-be rescuers are woefully unprepared for the rescue. Not only is their equipment either lacking or ill-maintained, but there is typically little training in the way of rescue procedures and safely using such equipment. One of the most important aspects of preparation is having a set contingency plan should something go wrong. Time is of the essence in these situations and in many situations, the person in need of rescue is temporarily immobilized or unconscious.

Most Common Causes of Death in Confined Spaces

One of the most common and dangerous confined space hazards is a toxic atmosphere. A toxic atmosphere is any area in which there is a significant danger to the person entering without protective gear of supplemental clean air. These airborn hazards can cause confusion and loss of consciousness. One example is loss of consciousness due to lack of oxygen—which is a hazard that is not immediately obvious, thus more dangerous. This could be avoided by being able to quickly access permit data online.

A toxic atmosphere typically refers to poisonous gasses or hazardous substances that have been left behind or have made their way there through seepage. A particularly dangerous atmosphere is one that has been enriched with oxygen, thus making the atmosphere highly flammable should any combustible objects or substances be lying around. Of all of the atmosphere related deaths, the vast majority of them were attributed to hydrogen sulfide or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Lastly, a simple but overlooked hazard is merely heat. If the space is not well ventilated and temperatures are exceedingly high then the loss of consciousness by fainting or heat-stroke can occur, especially when you consider how most gear is not particularly good at regulating temperatures.

Safety Sense Management System

Statistics such as these deeply influenced the creation and maintenance of our product, the Safety Sense Management System. With Safety Sense, workers can quickly gain access to permit-required confined space information. Information such as what type of atmosphere is present in the space, if there are any hazards and what hazards are present. Arming yourself with information is key to preventing any workplace injury or fatalities. For example, knowing a permit-required confined space has no ventilation and high temperatures will allow workers to plan their trips better. What gear to take, how long they are allowed to stay there before exiting as well as establish a rescue protocol or contingency plan in case things go wrong.

Even more importantly, Safety Sense will aid you in being OSHA compliant and filling out all the necessary paperwork electronically. Not only will this tool make information dissemination among your team faster and safer, but it also can help save the lives of other crews who can access this information online should you find any new developments in a confined space.

For more information on Safety Sense, submit a form on our contact page or give us a call at (888)-610-7767!

What is a Confined Space Entry Program?

What is a Confined Space Entry Program?

A confined space entry program (CSEP) is a program that is intended to control a confined space by moderating employee entrance into these spaces which require a permit. This is necessary not only to remain compliant with OSHA but also to protect employees on a day to day basis. There are a couple of components to a proper confined space entry program, let’s take a look at them.

What Does an Entry Supervisor Do?

Every confined space entry program requires an entry supervisor to function properly. The entry supervisor is the person who must decide is the present entry conditions are acceptable enough for an employee to go inside. Because the entry supervisor is ultimately judging whether a confined space is safe or not, it stands to reason that this employee must be well versed in the basics of confined spaces. They must have a good grasp on the general requirements of what constitutes a confined space, the permit system as well as what permit vs non-permit requires spaces are and much more. It is a position with a lot of responsibility, therefore this individual must be highly experienced and diligent with checking available permit data for any confined spaces in the work area. If proper safety conditions are not met, the entry supervisor has the power to terminate access to the space.

What is a Confined Space Attendant?

The entry supervisor has a lot to consider and macro-manage in regards to looking over permits and determining what hazards a space may present. They have to look at the big picture for a space and what challenges are present for employees as well as how work may be impeded. This person may have to overlook several spaces at a work site and so for each individual confined space, a confined space attendant becomes necessary to take some of the monitoring duties from the supervisor.

While the supervisor CAN and sometimes will perform these duties; the attendant takes on the responsibilities of the supervisor and is tasked with monitoring entry into spaces. It is their duty to relay any information from the entry supervisor to the entrants. Attendants serve a critical function to the team for these reasons, they come into contact with the entrants the most and also are in communications with the entry supervisor. So their function is the glue which keeps the team together. Should any accidents or injuries occur on site in a space, it is their job to call in rescue personnel.

The Confined Space Entrant

The last and arguably most important part of the CSEP is the entrants themselves! Without these daring individuals, the work would not get done. Before entering a permit-required confined space, the entrant must gain authorization from the attendant or directly from the supervisor. As per OSHA Confined Space standards, the entrant must understand the hazards associated with entry as well as any hazards particular to that space. They must be well versed in the usage of any equipment required for entry. The most important ability an attendant must have is knowing the proper procedures and manner by which they should communicate with the attendant. All confined space entrants should understand or have some idea by which they can exit the space should contact be cut off and they are on their own. While rescue personnel can be called in, having a self-rescue contingency is important as well.

Safety Sense Management System

Safety Sense management system

Each of these valuable team members has many more duties than what we’ve discussed. There are numerous safety regulations that must be complied with to maintain the safest work protocols as possible. In order to assist in that aim, we created the SafetySense Management System. SafetySense is a cloud-based software that can deliver lightning quick access to permit data and any related information regarding a confined space. It also provides additional tracking data such as building information, descriptions and even photos of the spaces if they are available. With our software, your CSEP will be a lot quicker and safer in dealing with confined spaces on the work site.

Our tool is fully OSHA compliant and your entry attendant will be able to complete the attendant worksheet electronically to save time but also download/upload any documents necessary for the confined space entry procedure. To learn more about this life saving tool, visit our contact page here.