The 15 Crucial Confined Space Safety Precautions

By | October 3, 2023

Confined space safety precautions must be taken to ensure the safe execution of confined space activity. In this article, the 15 crucial confined space safety precautions have been explored that must be implemented.

Confined Space Safety Precautions
Confined Space Safety Precautions

Confined Space Meaning

Generally, There are three criteria for a space to become a confined space;

  • It must have limited or restricted means of entry or exit.
  • It must be large enough for a person to enter bodily to commence his task.
  • It is not designed or configured for continuous human occupancy.

Examples of confined space:

  • Tanks, vessels, furnaces, drains, underground pipelines, pits, water tanks, fuel tanks, and sewers.
  • Excavations with more than 1.2 meters depth.
  • Large diameter pipes and air conditioning ducts.
Confined Space
Confined Space

What Is The Safe Oxygen Level In Confined Space?

Safe oxygen level in confined space is between “19.5%. to 23.5%”.

The “minimum safe level of oxygen is 19.5%”, while the “maximum safe level of oxygen is 23.5%” in a confined space. Therefore, there is a safe range of oxygen levels in a confined space, a minimum of 19.5 % & maximum of 23.5%.

Low oxygen levels & the presence of toxic gases in a confined space are the most common causes of death in a confined space. So, continuous gas monitoring is essential in a confined space.

What Is The Minimum Oxygen Level In Confined Space?

The minimum oxygen level in a confined space is 19.5%. Lower than 19.5% of oxygen can cause severe injury and even death inside confined spaces.

To ensure the safety of employees, continuous oxygen monitoring is crucial in confined spaces. If the oxygen level in a confined space is lower than 19.5%, immediately evacuate the confined spaces and report to the concerned supervisor or engineer.

Confined Space Hazards

A confined space is a hazardous place where severe injury and even death can occur if proper confined space safety precautions are not taken. The hazards associated with confined space include;

  • Oxygen deficiencies or enrichment.
  • The presence of toxic, corrosive, or hazardous materials.
  • Presence of flammable, combustible, and explosive materials.
  • Dust accumulation.
  • Poor illumination & visibility.
  • High temperature and humidity.
  • Poor ventilation or air circulation.
  • Restricted means of entry and exit.
  • Poor supervision and communication.
  • Poor housekeeping causes slipping and tripping.
  • Electric, static, or radioactive hazards.
  • Falling from height or falling objects.
  • Restricted freedom of movement inside confined spaces.
Confined Space Hazards
Confined Space Hazards

The 15 Crucial Confined Space Safety Precautions

To ensure the safety of workers while they engage in confined space activity, the following 15 crucial confined space safety precautions must be implemented:

  1. Ensure that all workers are trained in a confined space training course, & they have valid training badges.
  2. Conduct a risk assessment of confined space.
  3. Obtain a valid confined space authorization permit.
  4. The gas tests of confined space must be carried out by an authorized gas tester (AHT), and results must be recorded.
  5. A trained attendant should be assigned at the entrance of a confined space with a confined space entry attendant sheet and communication device, such as a radio, walkie-talkie, etc.
  6. Provide personal H2S gas monitors for all working crews.
  7. A multi-lock system for electrical devices in a confined space must be used.
  8. Ensure positive isolation of the pipelines or vessels through line breaking or blinding.
  9. Confined space must be free from combustible or inert gases through the purging or venting system.
  10. Ensure proper illumination inside confined spaces with explosion-proof, 24-volt maximum.
  11. Provide adequate ventilation either through natural means or with the fans.
  12. A suitable safety sign board must be displayed at the entrance of the confined space.
  13. Ensure close supervision throughout the confined space activity.
  14. Maintain good housekeeping to avoid slip & trip hazards.
  15. Wear all required personal protective equipment (PPE).

Conclusion

Working in confined spaces is dangerous because it poses significant risks to the workers who work inside confined spaces. It is essential & important to take confined space safety precautions to safeguard the concerned workers.

To ensure the worker’s safety, it is crucial to understand the meaning of confined spaces, examples of confined spaces, hazards, & confined space safety precautions. By following the confined space safety precautions outlined in this article, employers can create a safe working environment for their employees during activities inside confined spaces.

Q: What Is Confined Space?

Ans: Generally, There are three criteria for a space to become a confined space;
1. It must have limited or restricted means of entry or exit.
2. It must be large enough for a person to enter bodily to commence his task.
3. It is not designed or configured for continuous human occupancy.

Q: What Are The Examples Of Confined Spaces?

Ans: Examples of confined spaces include;
1. Tanks, vessels, furnaces, drains, underground pipelines, pits, water tanks, fuel tanks, and sewers.
2. Excavations with more than 1.2 meters depth.
3. Large-diameter pipes and air conditioning ducts.

Q: What Are The List Of Confined Space Hazards?

Ans: The hazards associated with confined space include;
1. Oxygen deficiencies or enrichment.
2. The presence of toxic, corrosive, or hazardous materials.
3. Presence of flammable, combustible, and explosive materials.
4. Dust accumulation.
5. Poor illumination & visibility.
6. High temperature and humidity.
7. Poor ventilation or air circulation.
8. Restricted means of entry and exit.
9. Poor supervision and communication.
10. Poor housekeeping causes slipping and tripping.
11. Electric, static, or radioactive hazards.
12. Falling from height or falling objects.
13. Restricted freedom of movement inside confined spaces.

Q: What Is The Minimum Oxygen Level In Confined Space?

Ans: The minimum oxygen level in a confined space is 19.5%. Lower than 19.5% of oxygen can cause severe injury and even death inside confined spaces.

Q: What Is The Safe Oxygen Level In Confined Space?

Ans: The safe oxygen level in confined space is between “19.5%. to 23.5%”.

Q: What Is Isolation In Confined Space?

Ans: Isolation in confined space refers to isolating the confined spaces from energy sources and protecting them against the release of unwanted energy or materials. Isolation of confined space can be done through blinding & implementing lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures.

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