Some Questions You Might Have About Confined Space Training for Your Staff

Confined space training may be required for certain workspaces and jobsites; even if it's not legally required for certain areas in which your staff works, it can still be beneficial. Working in a confined space can be especially dangerous, and this danger is increased if there are hazardous or flammable materials in the space or that you'll be bringing into the space with you, such as welding gasses. Note a few questions you might have about confined space training and then discuss this type of training with an expert to note your options.

Who and what determines a confined space?

Note that a confined space doesn't necessarily mean a small space, such as an oversized plumbing pipe that may need repair from the inside. Instead, a confined space is one without adequate ventilation, a ready exit, and the like. The risk of free-flowing liquid or solid that could engulf a worker or the presence of airborne vapors can also designate an area as a confined space.

Note that it's not up to you to determine if a space would be considered a confined space. These things are regulated by your local government, so always check with the department that issues building codes in your area to note if a worksite would be considered a confined space. You might also consider any space a confined space if you're not sure of the risk, just to be sure your workers are safe; have them properly trained for working in a confined space in all dangerous areas, whether or not they're technically designated as a confined space by your local regulatory agency.

What is a rescue plan?

A rescue plan is typically required when working in a confined space, and this includes more than just a plan for how to remove someone from the space. The plan usually needs to include a plan for communications and especially for signaling the need for a rescue, first aid that will be readily available on the jobsite, and a plan for how local emergency services will be notified in case of a need for a rescue. This also includes the ready access to the site for those emergency services.

If you're unsure of how to put a rescue plan in place for your confined space environment, note that this is often part of a confined space training course. It's good to participate in such a course yourself, along with your workers, so you can ensure you are following up with your requirements for this plan.