Personal safety precautions are vital in any sort of construction and maintenance setting, but even more so when the work requires entry into confined spaces, which often contain hazards that can be fatal. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of 50 workers die every year due to hazards in permit-required confined spaces, and hundreds more are seriously injured. Many of these casualties can be prevented by following established confined-space entry protocols.
There are three main types of confined-space hazard: atmospheric, engulfment or trapping. A hazardous atmosphere can be one that’s depleted of oxygen, one with toxic gases like hydrogen sulfide, or one with flammable gases like methane. Engulfment is when a substance like water or sand can inundate workers, suffocating or crushing them. Trapping occurs when the configuration in a confined space allows for workers to be stuck within the space. All these hazards can be controlled and avoided through proper procedure and personal protection equipment.
Following a confined-space safety program keeps employees protected from hazards. To help sewer inspection crews recognize the extreme risks of confined-space entry, and to acquaint them with all the prerequisites for safe and legal confined space entry, Envirosight is offering a free Confined-Space Safety Poster.