Confined spaces (such as storage tanks, ship compartments, pits, silos, wells, sewers, boilers, tunnels and pipelines) can be dangerous places. According to OSHA, accidents in confined areas kill an average of 70 American workers a year and injure hundreds, primarily due to atmospheres that were flammable, toxic, or corrosive.
To make sure that your employees know what they should do – and, just as important, not do – in case they need to deal with confined space emergency – safety experts recommend that they follow these guidelines.
What workers should do:
First, report the situation immediately to your supervisor, who will notify an emergency rescue team. If the people inside can rescue themselves safely, keep in contact with them throughout the procedure, and help them in any way possible without entering the space. If a rescue by an outside party is needed – and you’re trained, equipped, and authorized to do this – go ahead. If the emergency calls for a rescue team, let those inside the space know that help is on the way, keep in touch with them, and wait for the team to arrive.
What workers should not do:
Never let other workers attempt a rescue unless they have the training, equipment, and authorization to do so. Don’t allow anyone except the designated rescue team to enter a confined space in an emergency. Don’t leave the entry point to the confined space until the rescue team arrives.
We’d be happy to work with you on training your workers to deal with a confined space emergency – just give us a call at Scurich Insurance Services!