Entry into Confined Spaces

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Why do we need to control entry into confined spaces so carefully?
What is a confined space?
What accidents can happen in a confined space?
What is done to allow safe entry into a confined space?
Working safely in confined spaces
What can go wrong?
Discussion/Validation

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Entry into Confined Spaces

  1. 1. Entry Into Confined Spaces Awareness Training GBHE Technical Services By: Gerard B. Hawkins Managing Director, CEO
  2. 2. Information contained in this publication or as otherwise supplied to Users is believed to be accurate and correct at time of going to press, and is given in good faith, but it is for the User to satisfy itself of the suitability of the Product for its own particular purpose. GBHE gives no warranty as to the fitness of the Product for any particular purpose and any implied warranty or condition (statutory or otherwise) is excluded except to the extent that exclusion is prevented by law. GBHE accepts no liability for loss or damage resulting from reliance on this information. Freedom under Patent, Copyright and Designs cannot be assumed. Process Information Disclaimer
  3. 3. Contents  Why do we need to control entry into confined spaces so carefully?  What is a confined space?  What accidents can happen in a confined space?  What is done to allow safe entry into a confined space?  Working safely in confined spaces  What can go wrong?  Discussion/Validation
  4. 4. Why do we need to control entry into confined spaces so carefully?  HSE – Serious accidents have occurred and continue to occur whilst work is being done inside confined spaces. A significant number of such accidents are fatal and multiple fatalities are not uncommon.  About 15 fatalities per annum arise from work in confined spaces.  About 100 other reportable events occur which could have resulted in fatalities.  Entry into confined spaces is a very high risk activity.
  5. 5. Why do we need to control entry into confined spaces so carefully?
  6. 6. What constitutes and entry into a confined space?  No hard definition of a confined space – you need to think!  Key features • Enclosed space • Limited openings to enter and exit • Potential to have a dangerous atmosphere present or created • Difficulty in escaping  What can create a dangerous atmosphere? • The nature of the space or its contents • The nature of any sludge or material within the space • The work being undertaken in or adjacent to the space
  7. 7. What constitutes and entry into a confined space?  Some examples of Confines Spaces are obvious • Tanks • Vessels • Drains and Sewers • Boilers • Towers • Pipes • Pits  But what about these • Welding tent • Excavations • Culverts • Your office/workshop • A vessel in a workshop
  8. 8. What constitutes and entry into a confined space?  Entering a Confined Space may not always be obvious either – when does the entry take place? • When you put your hands in? • When you put your legs in? • When you put your head in? • When your whole body is inside?
  9. 9. What accidents can happen in a confined space?  In summary the general types of accidents which are common in confined spaces are: • Engulfment  Being buried under free-flowing solids • Drowning  Especially in drains or sewers • Being caught in a fire or explosion  Due to hot work, high oxygen levels • Heat Exhaustion/Heat Stroke  Due to high temperatures • Contact with Physical Hazards  Moving machinery, noise, internal structure, residual chemicals
  10. 10. What accidents can happen in a confined space?  Most common and important: • Being overcome by the presence of a Dangerous Atmosphere  Gas, fume, vapour, lack or excess of oxygen  Being buried under free-flowing solids • Caused by:  Residual process materials  Gas or vapour from outside the confined space  Disturbance of sludge or deposit within the confined space  Fumes produced by work being done in the confined space  Products of combustion of fuels  Leaks from equipment being used  Residual purging materials  Rust or scale
  11. 11. What is done to allow safe entry into a confined space?  A risk assessment covering the following points must always be carried out prior to any entry: • A review of the work to see whether it can be done without an entry • Isolation of the confined space from sources of dangerous gas or fume and other potential hazards • Cleaning and purging of the confined space to remove any residual flammable or toxic gases, fumes or other deposits. • Prevention of unauthorised entry • Atmosphere sampling and testing • Assessment of appropriate precautions for all residual hazards • Definition of emergency arrangements
  12. 12. What is done to allow safe entry into a confined space?  Before entry all the defined arrangements must be put in place including: • All items specified for safety including provision of suitable access, lightning, ventilation and emergency equipment (BA, harnesses etc). • The emergency arrangements – rescue plan, standby person, means of escape, hoists, lifelines, harnesses etc. • The issue of an Entry Permit detailing all the arrangements and precautions.  But this is only effective is all personnel involved in the work understands the requirements and use them!
  13. 13. Working safely in confined spaces  What must you do to allow safe working in a confined space? • You must always have a valid Entry Permit, have read it and clearly understood it and all of the specified precautions for the entry and the work you will be doing • Always ensure that all the arrangements to allow safe entry are in place • Always use the safety precautions provided • Always be alert to the possible hazards and leave a confined space if you feel unwell or see or smell anything unusual. • Always obey any instructions from the standby person.
  14. 14. Working safely in confined spaces  What must you do to allow safe working in a confined space? • Never put your head and shoulders inside a confined space • Never make an unauthorised entry into a confined space • Never take any unauthorised chemicals into a confined space • Never take ay unauthorised tools or equipment into a confined space • Never eat, drink ort smoke inside a confined space • Never take short cuts or abuse any of the safety precautions provided
  15. 15. What can go wrong?  Olefins • Unauthorised Entry, Inadequate Purging  Acrylics • Inadequate Ventilation, Inadequate Atmosphere Sampling  Welsh Sewer • Inadequate Isolation, No Rescue Facilities  Ammonia Plant • Insecure Isolations  Solvent Cleaning Operation • Inadequate Risk Assessment  Biscuit Factory • Inadequate Isolation of Moving Machinery

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