Working in confined space is dangerous — no air circulation and lack of oxygen, accumulation of toxic and flammable gases and small entry ways. These are just some of the hazards that require the proper precautions to prevent tragedies.
What is a confined space?
Most Canadian jurisdictions define a confined space as:
- a fully or partially enclosed space:
- that is not both designed and constructed for continuous human occupancy, and
- in which atmospheric hazards may occur because of its construction, location or contents or because of work that is done in it.
Along with oxygen deficiency, presence of toxic gases, restricted entry and exit routes, and fires or explosion, workers in confined spaces are at risk of injury from:
- electrical hazards
- heat stress
- bacterial or biological concerns
- incidents caused by limited visibility, and
- coming into contact with rotating parts.
Confined space products and equipment from Levitt-Safety:
Levitt-Safety offers a wide range of products and equipment to keep your team safe while working in various types of confined spaces.
- Communication: It’s imperative that the attendant stays in constant communication with workers inside of a confined space. This is often challenging due to noise, distance and configuration. Consider hands free, intrinsically safe, and wired or wireless communication options.
- Fall Protection: With all the options for fall protection it’s important to select the appropriate equipment for the hazard. Protection should be provided for both the attendant and workers such as temporary guardrails for open hatchways and fall arrest systems for entering and exiting a space.
- Gas Detection: Consider gas detection that’s durable, easy to use, easy to maintain, capable of sample draw, has data logging and prominent audio and visual alarms. Levitt-Safety carries gas detection equipment for applications from the industry’s leading manufacturers.
- Rescue: No worker should enter a confined space unless a rescue plan is in place.
Rescue equipment should be straightforward, simple to use and have the ability to be implemented immediately in case of an emergency.
- Respiratory: Ranging from air purifying respirators to remove dust to supplied air respirators that can be used in toxic atmospheres. It’s essential that the equipment is properly maintained per the manufactures recommendations and users are properly trained on its use.
- Ventilation: If ventilation equipment is required it’s essential that it is sufficient for the size of the space. Care should be taken to ensure the equipment is setup up properly so air is not recirculated or sort circulated in the space and that it is drawn form a contaminate free zone.
Confined Space Hazard Assessment and Control Program
Your workplace should have a Confined Space Hazard Assessment and Control Program in place. Make sure your plan follows the regulations in place for your jurisdictions, as requirements vary between provinces.
Need help to create your assessment? Levitt-Safety can help! Fill out the form on this page and a member from our team will contact you.
Elements of the plan may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Recognition and identification of potential hazards associated with the spaces that will be entered.
- Evaluation and control procedures for the identified or potential hazards.
- All equipment such as ventilation equipment (blowers), harnesses and air quality monitors (e.g. oxygen/combustible meters) that will be used while in the space.
- All personal protective equipment (e.g. respirators) that the worker will be using while in the confined space.
- All procedures for entering the space.
- Procedures to follow in the event of a situation developing that could present additional risk to the worker or an emergency.
- The specific work to be done.
Confined space roles:
Any person entering a confined space must receive adequate training based on the hazards associated with confined spaces. They must also have training to be able to safely perform the assigned duties for the specific space.
Rescue personnel need training in on-site rescue procedures, first aid and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and for using specific rescue equipment.
Employer: Needs to identify and all confined spaces and prevent unwanted access. Developed and maintain a written confined space program. Appoint a competent person to perform a hazard assessment. Provide all the required equipment and training to personnel.
Worker: Knows the required written confined space procedure and emergency procedures. Needs to be able to recognize potential and existing hazards and be able to put into effect controls for these hazards. Uses all required protection equipment such as PPE, ventilation and gas detection.
Attendant: Needs to be stationed outside and near the entrance of a space and at no point enter the confined space. Remain in constant communication with workers inside the space and be able to immediately summon a rescue response if it’s required.
Rescuer: Confined space rescue personnel must be trained in first aid, all rescue methods, equipment operation and entry procedures. Rescue personnel and rescue team should have regular practice drills.
Inspection, maintenance and repair services:
Levitt-Safety can regularly inspect and maintain the equipment you use in confined spaces. Since accidents happen, we also offer repair services for a wide variety of safety products. We service the following:
Fall protection equipment services
- Harnesses and lanyards
- Safety winches
- Self-retracting lifelines (SRL)
- Tripod and davit arms
Calibration and repair services
- Fixed gas detection
- Portable gas monitors
Respiratory equipment services
- Breathing air cylinder recharging
- Compressor/fill station
- Self-contained breathing apparatus
Confined space equipment rental
We rent equipment including gas monitors, gas detectors, tripods, SRLs and more. Learn more about our rental options.
Confined space training:
Instructor-led training for confined spaces:
- Awareness, entry and standby training
- Supervisors training
- Rescue industry training (Non-IDLH)
- Rescue technician training
Learn more about our instructor-led training courses.
Online training for confined spaces:
Looking for more help?
There’s so much to consider when working in a confined space. You don’t have the same margin for error you might have when working in a regular work area. Even the slightest error in identifying or evaluating the potential hazards in these spaces could have devastating consequences. Don’t even think about entering until you know all the facts.
If you would like to discuss your particular needs, fill out the form on this page and a member of our team will contact you.