Many workplaces contain areas that are considered “confined spaces” because while they are not necessarily designed for people, they are large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs. A confined space also has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy.
According to the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA), confined space work is one of the leading causes for occupational fatalities in the U.S. – about 90 deaths involving confined spaces occur every year. A big part of that comes from workers not being trained of the potential hazards that can be lurking within a space.
Confined spaces can maim and kill. Injury or death can come from lack of oxygen, presence of toxic gases, fire, explosions, entrapment, electrical shock, falls, and falling objects. Confined spaces include storage tanks, pipelines, manholes, tunnels, utility vaults, and digesters. They also include open top spaces great than 4 ft. deep, such as excavations, clarifiers, and sedimentation basins.
Establishing a program to protect the safety of workers who must enter such spaces is vitally important. In order to help our employees and those around our jobsites injury free, Wachs Water Services is committed to doing confined space entry training for all of our field team members. It is imperative to ensure that our employees have acquired the understanding, knowledge, and skills necessary to safely perform their duties. In addition to this training, team members are also required to have training in CPR and first aid.
The photos here are from a recent certification for Confined Space Entry for our operations group in Columbia, MD. Thanks to our fantastic instructor Ricky Baeze from Universal Safety Concepts! For more information on OSHA’s standards for Confined Spaces visit their website at: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/confinedspaces/standards.html