Did you Know?
Every year around 15 people are killed in confined spaces. Tragically, these are often multiple fatalities when ill-equipped rescuers also lose their lives. If work in confined spaces cannot be avoided, it must be closely controlled to ensure safety.
What is a confined space?
A confined space can be any enclosed area where there could be a risk of death or serious injury or ill health from a hazardous substance or lack of oxygen. Many hazardous substances are heavier or lighter than air, so they may gather in low or high points of a space.
Some confined spaces are obvious, such as tanks (above ground and below), process vessels and sewers. Others are less easy to spot but may be equally dangerous, like open-topped chambers, vats, furnaces, ducts and even unventilated rooms. Sometimes work may create a confined space, such as during construction of a plant or building.
What makes confined spaces dangerous?
There may be a lack of oxygen, even in spaces which have been cleaned or have not held hazardous substances. This could be caused by reactions between some soils and the atmosphere, the formation of rust in steel tanks or by the reaction between a cargo and oxygen in the air in ships' holds, Lorries or any kind off holding tank or vessel.
Oxygen might be displaced by inert gases, such nitrogen from a purging system or argon from leaking welding equipment brought into the space. In other circumstances, even though there may be enough oxygen in the space, there may be risks from hazardous liquids, gasses or dusts left in the space, or which leak into it.
Depending on the substance, the risk may be from poisoning, asphyxiation, fire, explosion or drowning.
How can Industrial Abseiling Access help?
Industrial Abseiling is trained in confined space problems and has its own unique state of the art confined space access systems, which provide rope access (abseiling) engineers with an efficient working environment. State of the art uninterrupted communication is maintained through audio and visual media and all escape and rescue procedures are rehearsed again and again until Industrial Abseiling’s rope access (abseiling) safety managers are happy.