Confined Space Safety Tips

Confined Space Safety Tips

Confined spaces can be one of the most dangerous places to be in a work environment. Confined spaces are not designed for continuous human occupancy due to the nature of their function and chemicals often used in the area. While most confined spaces are large enough for individual workers to enter and perform certain job functions, restricted means of entry and movement pose numerous safety problems to un-trained individuals.

Examples of a Confined Space

A few examples of confined spaces can include pipelines, duct work, equipment housings, access shafts, tunnels, pipes, storage bins, tanks, sewers, chimneys, fuel tanks, vessels, manure pits, vats, silos, hoppers, aircraft wings, truck and rail tank cars, and chemical plants. Due to the work being done, atmospheric hazards may be present due to the locations, contents, or construction means or materials. Continuous human occupancy is not what confined spaces are designed for; rather, regular maintenance is required but should be exercised with extreme caution. Workers can sustain serious physical and chemical injury or even death if proper precautions are not taken.

Working in a Confined Space

confined space safety tipsAvoiding all injury and possible negative outcomes should be the goal of every team and project manager that works near a confined space. All steps during this safety process should be taken with equal importance; this includes permitting, designating the confined space, atmospheric monitoring, proper safety equipment, and more. Here are a few tips for any worker that is entering a confined space:

• Maintain contact with the worker inside the confined space at all times. The worker inside the confined space should have access to immediate contact with another member of the team whenever they are performing work in the space.
• Check for atmospheric contaminants and other hazardous elements in the environment. This can include toxic gases, chemicals, and unsafe levels of dust and air contaminants. All necessary checks should be completed before anyone enters the confined space. Many toxic gases cannot be detected via smell, which is why it is important to get the proper instrumentation required to measure levels of dangerous gases.
• Make sure that the environment has proper ventilation or forced ventilation. Displacing gases and contaminants in a confined environment is an essential piece of the puzzle, so equipment like ventilation systems may be necessary.
• Personal protective equipment – which can include HAZMAT suits, protective gear, fire pants, air filters, Kevlar gloves, etc. – is highly dependent on the given situation; figure out what possible hazards may be present, then plan accordingly.
• Make sure there is a proper rescue protocol in place. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst; the right equipment and personnel are necessary in the event of an emergency situation, so your team should always be prepared for a rescue situation.
• Proper lighting in a confined space is essential, as almost all confined spaces will lack natural light. The person operating in the confined space should be able to do their job comfortably without fear of bodily injury or harm due to a lack of visibility.
• Use a management service such as Safety Sense, that allows for the storage of work place hazard information, work-related permits such as confined spaces, and confined space entry pre-plans and rescue procedures.

Common Safety Hazards in the Workplace

Common Safety Hazards in the Workplace

In the modern workplace, there are many hazards that workers are exposed to on a daily basis. This is why following safety protocols are vitally important to the success and safety of your business. Knowing the most common hazards and educating your employees can help protect them from a bad day on the job.

Electrical Hazards

When performing hot work, your workers will often be exposed to high currents and electricity. Make sure that all exposed wires and cable are out of reach, labeled, and protected. There should not be open wires with current if it is not necessary. Eliminating the risk of electrocution is a mandatory step in any safety protocol. Never overload an outlet, only use approved equipment, do not use electrical equipment or appliances near water or wet surfaces, and inspect cords and equipment regularly. You should also not run electrical cords through public/pedestrian areas unless there is proper signage. The last thing you want is a slip-and-fall lawsuit due to improper precautionary measures.

Chemical Hazards

When using dangerous solutions or chemicals, there are a few measures that employees need to take. If working with a chemical that has hazardous fumes, proper air flow and ventilation should be a priority. A standard operating procedure (SOP) should address the safe use and handling, proper disposal, and proper equipment required to perform a work function safely. SDS sheets for chemicals are also extremely important. Everything in a chemical storeroom should be properly secured and labeled to prevent spills and confusion.


With any type of hot-work or electrical work, your employees should be trained on the protocol in the event that a fire breaks out. Knowing what to do in case of a fire can be the difference between life and death. Evacuation plans, prevention, and the location of fire extinguishers should be well-known information among all of your employees.
grinder and powertools

Confined Spaces

Lock out and tag out procedures are incredibly important and can save lives. Assessing a confined space and determining the proper safety protocol is necessary. Many of these spaces are not designed for prolonged periods of human interaction and can include vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, tanks, and vessels. A confined space, as defined by OSHA, can include: contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.

Work Permit Data Solution

The SafetySense Management System is a user friendly, secure, easy-to-use cloud-based application which allows for the client and their contractors to have access to work permit data without compromising data integrity. Let SafetySense Management work for you in handling the job of training records management, data repository for: Lockout/Tagout, SDS, Rescue Pre-plans, Permit Issuance / Archiving Work related permits (CS, hot-work, LOTO), Work place hazards (atmospheric, trips & falls), Atmospheric monitoring data repository and much, much more.