Many workplaces contain areas that fit the definition of a confined space. A confined space is any enclosed area that meets three criteria: it’s big enough for someone to enter, has limited means of entry and exit, and is not designed for continuous occupation.
Working in these spaces presents certain dangers, so proper training is necessary. But if you have to perform work in these hazardous areas frequently, hiring a team of experts can be cost-efficient and save your company money.
Much of a company’s management team’s time and effort goes into keeping business operations running smoothly and profitably. This can divert resources from tasks requiring safety attention, such as confined space entry services. Rather than investing time and money in creating an in-house team to handle confined space entry, hiring a contracting firm that provides these services is often cost-effective. This allows your staff to be trained on safely navigating confined spaces while removing the need to dedicate additional on-site safety personnel. This reduces payroll costs and may also save on insurance premiums.
As a business owner, you may wonder whether you should outsource your confined space watch duties. It’s a serious responsibility, and your in-house staff will likely be busy with daily operations and maintenance. When a contracting firm takes over, it can focus its time on the job at hand without the distraction of other daily tasks. This can create a more productive work environment and help ensure that entrants are monitored properly for safety.
When it comes to confined space entry & rescue services, many employers outsource rather than handle them internally. This allows your employees to focus on the work they’re trained to do and also gives you the flexibility to work with an outside service provider to meet your plant’s needs.
Companies with confined space entry employees should have a written Confined Space Entry Program. This overall plan identifies the procedures for entering its permit spaces and assigns roles for entrants, attendants, and entry supervisors.
A confined space is any enclosed area that meets the following three criteria: It is big enough for a person to enter and not made for continuous human occupation. Examples include maintenance holes, silos, hoppers, tanks, railroad cars, and pits. It is also important to have an effective plan for rescues and emergencies when working in a confined space. This includes identifying a standby person, testing and monitoring the atmosphere, putting up clear signage and barricading the area.
A confined space entry team can be on-site during a planned confined space entry or on standby and ready to respond promptly to any emergency during an unplanned admission. They can provide the rescue services, supply air units, and personal protective equipment required for a potential rescue in hazardous IDHL atmospheres from a boiler, sewer, tunnel, chemical tank, or process vessel.
A key member of the confined space team is the attendant, who is responsible for all safety aspects of the entrant’s work in the permitted space. This person is accountable for the safety of the entire entry operation, verifying safe entry conditions and approving or overseeing entries once they are underway.
This specific role only requires the attendant to be on hand to respond to any problems the entrant encounters. Still, this individual’s responsibilities are far more complex and crucial than many realize. They have to be able to recognize and communicate any deteriorating entrant conditions, evaluate if the site is safe to evacuate, and be prepared to act immediately.