Confined Space Safety Program
The hazards commonly encountered in a confined space include:
- Toxic vapors in unhealthy or fatal concentrations may result from residue of known or unknown material in a vessel, tank, or pit by gradual release from sludge or scale. The vapors may be introduced to leakage from interconnected systems, or be introduced by use of cleaning solvents, welding, cutting, etc.
- Flammable gases or dust with the potential of fire or explosion.
- Lack of oxygen causing asphyxiation may result from chemicals absorbing or replacing oxygen in the space, or from inert gases used to exclude oxygen from a specific area of work. Air in clean enclosures closed for an extended period may become deficient in oxygen because of oxidation of the metal of the tank. Improper or inadequate ventilation during work may also result in a lack of oxygen.
- Electrical shock from portable lights, tools or associated electrical equipment.
- Injury from mechanical equipment that may be defective or inadvertently or incorrectly operated.
- Injury from physical hazards such as slipping, tripping or falling from elevated work areas, platforms, scaffolding, or ladders. Falling objects such as debris created during tearout or storage of tools and equipment that are not properly stored in elevated work areas.