Confined Space Training In Ri

Written by Shirley Parker
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Working in a confined space can be moderately to extremely hazardous, and in many such cases, an employee must have received specific training from an accredited school--and the employer must have a government agency permit--before the worker can enter a confined space. Hazards are many, with lack of breathable air or toxic air at the top of the list. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, more than 60 percent of confined space fatalities happen to rescuers; usually they breath the poisoned air, or occasionally drown in the water or sewage that flooded a chamber.

It follows from these statistics that air in the confined space needs to be tested before anyone enters, and monitored by a trained attendant while the coworker is inside. An attendant may not enter the confined space unless he or she has also received authorized training, but of course, people react to an emergency with emotion and instinct to save their friend. Safety considerations can go out the window.

In addition to asphyxiation, confined space hazards include: explosion, electrocution, only one way in or out, heavy dust in the air, collapsing walls, flooding, or product movement. Every year brings reports of people dying inside grain silos, for example. Investigations of confined space accidents indicate that, often, no thought was given to the fact that a confined space could be deadly, no one tested the air first, no one was assigned to watch the worker, and no rescue equipment was on hand. By following safety regulations and ensuring that all workers, attendants, and emergency workers have received the proper training and safety techniques, many tragedies may be avoided.

U.S. Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health Standards

In some situations, state regulations can exceed those of OSHA, one example being Cal-OSHA in California. Not that every regulation is stricter than OSHA's, but employers tend to fear visits from Cal-OSHA inspectors more than federal inspectors. OSHA has many required permits and they vary by field of employment: general industry, agriculture, construction, and shipyards being some. The fact is that safety and health requirements are an absolute necessity to protect workers, whether they're employed in Rhode Island, Mississippi, or Oregon, or any point in between.

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