Why Businesses Need Confined Space Training
Working in a confined space in any industry can be very dangerous indeed so it must be managed and employees must be trained on the risks. Confined spaces present all sorts of hazards, not just the restricted movement of the space itself, but its accessibility, its atmosphere, visibility and contaminants etc. The list of potential hazards is huge so being fully trained on a confined space safety course is not only a legal requirement, but one that could save lives. The types of confined spaces are as numerous as the hazards they present – tankers, silos, trenches, engine rooms, sewer systems and crawl spaces etc.
Who Is Confined Space Training For?
It’s not only the worker that enters a confined space that needs training, but training is required for those who:
- Undertake hazard or risk assessment
- Implement risk control measures
- Issue entry permits
- Workers acting as standby or communicating with workers in a confined space
- Monitor conditions while work is carried out
- Purchase equipment for working in a confined space
- Design or layout work areas that include confined spaces
In QLD alone, 92% of accidents in confined spaces were due to lack of or inadequate training, in a report by Fire and Safety Australia in 2019.
What Defines a Confined Space?
According to the govt, a confined space is one that:
- Is not designed or intended primarily to be occupied by a person
- Is, or is designed or intended to be, at normal atmospheric pressure while a person is in the space
- Has a limited means of entry and exit
- Is or is likely to be a risk because of the atmosphere, contaminants or engulfment, or an unsafe level of oxygen
The specific WHS legislation laid out in 2011 can be found here.
What does a “Confined Space Training” Course Teach You?
The course is designed to give students the necessary skills and knowledge to safely and competently work in confined spaces. The course covers (but is not restricted to) the following:
- Applicable Legislations and company confined space procedures
- Definitions and types of confined spaces
- Hazard identification and risk management procedures
- Hazardous atmospheres including gas monitoring techniques
- Isolation, purging, ventilation
- Roles and responsibilities of team including standby
- Rescue equipment and procedures
- Industry case studies
Ultimately the course teaches students to identify what is a confined space and identify risks and hazards so appropriate action can be taken.
Benefits of Confined Space Training to businesses and Employers
Your workers and employees will be competent in:
- Identifying Risks and Hazards
- How to Handle an Emergency
- Business Compliance
- Encourages Leadership
- Peace of Mind
At the end of the day, the main reason is to save lives, but courses are sometimes seen as an unnecessary expense, even though they are a legal requirement. The truth is that if saving lives weren’t enough, actually the cost to your business from an accident or a fatality is actually a lot more expensive.