What are confined spaces? And why should you bother about them?
Well, confined spaces are places in your workplace that are “confined” because their configurations restrict the activities of employees who must enter, work in, and exit them. A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and it is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. Think underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines and even elevator shafts.
Confined Spaces need not be necessarily “inside”. Places like excavated pits can also be classified as confined spaces.
OSHA uses the term “permit-required confined space” (permit space) to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics: contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.
Training in confined spaces is absolutely essential for all employees who are going to work in confined spaces, as well as for those who supervise them. It’s the law! And what better and cost effective training to get than e-learning? You control the pace of the course, the time it can be taken and it costs almost next to nothing, if you factor in the yearly refresher training.
As an example, here’s a Confined Space Safety Training that is delivered online.