In the United States there are about 92 confined space entry fatalities per year, according to a report from CDC. To help protect yourself from injury or death, it’s critical to take safety precautions before entering one. In this blog post, we’ll explain what it is, why it’s more dangerous than any other workplace, and three simple safety rules to follow.

What is a Confined Space?

Entering any work space with restricted entry or exit, large enough that can be entered, and is not designed for continuous employee occupancy is considered a confined space. Spaces include:

• Manholes
• Boilers
• Ventilation and exhaust ducts
• Sewers
• Tunnels
• Pipelines

Why Are They Dangerous?

When working in an environment that is defined as a confined space, it has the potential to put you in extreme danger if there is an emergency. Confined spaces can also limit your ability to breathe due to lack of oxygen from dust or another contaminant.

Three Safety Rules Before Entry

Check for Atmospheric Problems – Your sight and smell may not always be able to detect a hazardous atmosphere. Using instrument monitoring will help detect atmospheric problems. Use these instruments for more accurate detection: electrochemical sensors and infrared sensors.  Be sure to remove any found atmospheric hazards throughly.

Wear the Required Protective Clothing & Gear – Personal protective equipment is required in order to keep you safe on the job (fire-resistant coveralls, steel-toed boots or respirator mask). Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also requires that workers wear fall protection and retrieval gear if hazards present the need.

Make Sure an Outside Attendant is Present –Before entering a confined space environment, be sure an outside attendant is present. If something doesn’t go right, he or she is there to call for assistance and make sure the problem does not become any worse.

Confined Space Entry Training

Due to extreme safety hazards, OSHA requires workers to have a permit when entering a confined space. Occupational Safety Training Systems (OSTS) offers a unique confined space entry training program. OSTS addresses site-specific hazards in a manner to ensure applicability of information. Instructors not only cover the required elements, but use Tabletop and Practical exercises to further enhance the effectiveness of the class. Visit OSTS for more information on confined space entry training. Or call 909-468-3602.