Elements of Confined Space

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Confined Space Entry and the Products to Use

A confined space is a space located inside a structure or system where work is done. But not all internal spaces fit the definition of a confined space—the inside of an airplane hangar, for instance, would not be considered a confined space. Alberta’s OHS Code defines a confined space as:

A confined space means a restricted space which may become hazardous to a worker entering it because of

  • an atmosphere that is or may be injurious by reason of oxygen deficiency or enrichment, flammability, explosivity or toxicity,
  • a condition or changing set of circumstances within the space that presents a potential for injury or illness, or
  • the potential or inherent characteristics of an activity which can produce adverse or harmful consequences within the space.

Communicating and monitoring when working in a confined space should be constant. Environmental elements can change unexpectedly, which makes communicating with workers outside the confined space difficult. It is also essential to use products designed to maintain safety and communication in any confined space situation.

Develop the Code of Practice

It is essential when dealing with confined space entry to develop and employ a code of practice to ensure worker safety. A code of practice for confined space entry contains more than just procedures for doing the entry itself. The code of practice must also include the following:

  • Description of confined space(s) at the work site
  • Reasons for work involving entry into confined spaces
  • Identification of hazards that may be present in the confined space(s)
  • Worker training requirements
  • Entry permit system
  • Procedures for each type of confined space entry and the work inside the confined space
  • Testing the atmosphere
  • Ventilation, purging and inerting
  • Isolation of hazardous substances and energy
  • Emergency response

Product elements of successful confined space management

For over 25 years, Electrogas has been an Alberta-based safety supply company servicing several industrial, commercial, and Governmental sectors within Western Canada. As we have continued to diversify our portfolio – we continue to add products essential for safety and effective confined space entry.

1. Instrumentation – safety devices such as gas detectors and lone worker solutions are used to monitor and report on any potential hazards in an environment. These items are designed to detect potential hazards within a confined space such as depleted oxygen levels or life-threatening toxic gas levels.

View Electrogas Instrumentation Products >>

2. Ventilation – safety devices designed to ensure adequate ventilation, points of fresh air supply and exhaust must be provided. These openings for confined space entry allow for the exhaust of air and be replaced with clean or fresh air.

View Electrogas Ventilation Products >>

3. Respiratory Protection – Respiratory protection is important in locations with potentially hazardous gases, or a lack of oxygen. Respirator types include air-supplied respirators (which bring in breathable air from another source), air-purifying solutions that remove contaminants from the air, particulate respirators (that filter out dust, fumes and mists), chemical cartridge or gas mask respirators (which use replaceable cartridges or canisters that remove the contaminant) and self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA) (which provide clean air from a portable air tank).

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4. Fall Protection – Selecting fall protection equipment for confined space entry, exit, and rescue involves three main components: an anchorage (SLR, Tripods, PFL); body support (harnesses); and a connector. In rescue procedures, it is often necessary to use lifting equipment to carry an injured worker to safety. This type of equipment must be attached to a full-body harness when lifting a worker out of vertical space. Electrogas has access to MSA’s industry-leading portfolio of fall protection equipment to ensure the safety of all your workers.

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5. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) – It is important for workers in hazardous locations to understand what PPE they need to wear. A simple piece of safety gear–such as a hard hat–can save a life. The PPE you use and your access and rescue equipment can mean the difference between getting in and out safely or running into trouble.

View Electrogas Head & Face Protection Products >>

Contact your Electrogas representative today and learn about how our extensive portfolio of safety equipment can assist in the development and deployment of your Code of Practice.