SS&S experts prepare workers well for confined-space emergencies

CONFINED-SPACE EMERGENCIES demand highly qualified and specially equipped individuals to provide timely help and perform any necessary rescues. Expert and certified training in confined-space monitoring and rescues is available from the professionals at Safety Solutions & Supply.

What are confined spaces?

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration notes that many workplaces contain areas considered to be “confined spaces.” These are spaces that aren’t necessarily designed for people but 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,” OSHA states. “Confined spaces include, but are not limited to, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, etc.”

Additionally, OSHA uses the term “permit-required confined space” (permit space) to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • 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 that 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.

Construction workers often perform tasks in confined spaces. “These spaces can present physical and atmospheric hazards that can be prevented if addressed prior to entering the space to perform work,” OSHA states.

What does OSHA require with regard to confined-spaces training?

OSHA rule 29 CFR § 1910.146(g) states that an employer shall provide training so that all employees whose work is regulated by this confined-spaces section acquire the understanding, knowledge, and skills necessary for the safe performance of the duties assigned under this section. Training shall be provided to each affected employee. According to OSHA Appendix A: 29 CFR 1910.146, the permit-required confined-spaces standard 46 (g)(3), the training shall establish employee proficiency in the duties required by this section and shall introduce new or revised procedures, as necessary, for compliance with this section. Under (g)(4), OSHA mandates that the employer must certify the training.

What are the requirements for confined-space rescue training?

According to OSHA 29 CFR § 1910.146, rescue services are required by the standard to practice rescues at least once every 12 months, provided that the team or service has not successfully performed a permit space rescue within that time. As part of each practice session, the service should perform a critique of the practice rescue, or have another qualified party perform the critique, so that deficiencies in procedures, equipment, training, or number of personnel can be identified and corrected. Confined-space entry and first aid proficiency are prerequisites for this event.

Safety Solutions & Supply and confined-spaces training

Safety Solutions & Supply is the premier local training provider in developing personnel for the hazards of confined-space work and for confined-spaces rescue. Two programs are offered: Confined Space — Entrant / Attendant and Supervisor Training, and Confined Space Rescue / High Angle Training.

Confined Space — Entrant / Attendant and Supervisor Training is an eight-hour program that includes hands-on learning, practical evaluation, and a written assessment. It’s designed to qualify and recertify workers as confined-space entrants, attendants, and entry supervisors. Our trainers can come to an employer’s site or provide training at our state-of-the-art training center in Mulberry in Central Florida.

This program addresses the elements of the OSHA confined-spaces standard; atmospheric testing and control; horizontal and vertical entry methods; permit use and management; duties of entrants, attendants and supervisors; entry termination; and emergency management.

Confined Space Rescue / High Angle Training is an eight-hour refresher class and a 24-hour new responder class that adheres to the standards outlined in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.146 and other applicable OSHA standards. This program includes selection of equipment; protection vs. prevention, and inspections.

This training places students in real-world situations and has them responding to multiple technical rescue operations. The students have the opportunity to develop the fundamentals skills they will use to respond to rescue situations in realistic environments under real-life conditions. We at Safety Solutions & Supply think that this is the only way students can gain some of the essential experience they will need to handle real-life confined-space rescue situations.

Turnkey confined-space services and support

In addition, Safety Solutions & Supply provides highly trained and equipped teams to support employers’ confined-space work activities regardless of location or entry type. Our company’s confined-space rescue services are turnkey; we will come to your site with all proper equipment and resources to ensure that your workers are protected.

For employers looking to develop rescue capabilities within their organization, our team can offer guidance in obtaining the right equipment for work activities and train employees at our facility. For companies that already have a rescue team, our trainers can establish a refresher program that will be challenging and allow team members to renew their qualifications for this critical life-saving activity.

For answers to frequently asked questions about confined spaces work, rescues, and regulation, visit the OSHA Web page at https://www.osha.gov/confinedspaces/faq.html. For information about the safety services, training programs, and products offered by Safety Solutions & Supply, visit our website at http://solutionsinsafety.com/, or call toll free at 1-866-537-2262.

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