Hazards of working in a confined space

A man goes down into the sewerWorking in a confined space is not fun. And it’s not just because there isn’t much space to move around. Working in a sewer, chimney, pipe, well, tunnel or other small area presents a number of dangers to workers that they must be prepared to deal with. One way to help get ready for these dangers is to complete confined space training in Perth. These classes are a great way to learn the ins and outs of working in a confined space. Here are some of the hazards of the job a person will learn about during these courses.

Excessive heat

Confined spaces can get unbelievably hot. This heat is extremely taxing on the human body and can cause heat stroke or heat stress. In addition to this, wearing protective equipment can make the individual working in the confined space even hotter exacerbating the already scorching conditions.

Oxygen issues

Some confined spaces can have an oxygen deficiency that can make breathing difficult. In some cases an oxygen tank and breathing mask must be worn to ensure the worker can breathe normally. Alternatively, certain spaces can have an excess of oxygen which significantly increases the risks of a fire or an explosion.

Toxic atmosphere

Repair work in the wellShould certain materials or substances be present in a confined space, a toxic atmosphere can develop over time. The causes for this are numerous and can be quite dangerous for workers who are subjected to the environment. Impairment of judgement, respiratory problems, unconsciousness and even death can occur should a person be placed into a toxic environment.

Movement of liquids or solids

While a space may be confined, some are exposed to areas where liquids or solids may pass through them. This is dangerous as these can harm the worker in the space since they will be unable to avoid the dangers. For example, water that floods a confined space can drown a person working in it.

Poor ventilation

Most confined spaces have poor ventilation that can make breathing difficult. In some instances particles and powder can permeate the air, which can make it difficult to breathe in the short term and cause long term damage to a person’s lungs if exposed to it for an extended period of time.

Mental challenges

Construction work in confined spacesAn individual working in a small space, especially for a long period of time, can become stressed, confused or develop a number of other problems that causes them to use bad judgement or lose their cool. Even a person who does not suffer from claustrophobia may become claustrophobic after being in a confined space.

Equipment errors

Because there is not a lot of room to move around, a person working in a confined space may damage their equipment without realising it. Communication systems, cables, harnesses and other equipment can easily be damaged by a simple turn in the wrong direction.

The only way to truly be prepared for the dangers of working in a confined space is by completing a confined space training course. These classes will help ensure a person is ready for the task at hand should they need to work in a small area.

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