OSHA Safety Manuals | confined space
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Hazardous Atmospheres In Confined Spaces Employees in many industries enter a variety of confined spaces for inspections, testing, repair or cleaning. A confined space is any area that: (a) has limited openings for entry and exit; (b) may contain or produce toxic air contaminants; (c) has a high concentration of an inert gas; (d) is not intended for continuous occupancy; and (e) may have an oxygen-deficient atmosphere. All such spaces must be analyzed and tested before entry. Workers should also be trained to understand the hazards that may be found in these spaces. A few of the potentially hazardous gases are: Freon®...

Ventilation - An Important Aspect Of Welding Safety - The fumes produced in a welding operation can be hazardous to the welder or workers in the near vicinity. Reducing the exposure to fumes through an effective local exhaust or area ventilation system is the first line of defense in preventing discomfort or illnesses from toxic welding fumes. Respirators are another means of reducing exposure. This personal protective equipment should be considered a temporary process until more appropriate measures to control the exposure are in place. However, when the level of the exposure cannot be entirely eliminated by an exhaust ventilation system, some form...

The True Danger Of Confined Spaces Just how dangerous are confined spaces? Aren't all the warnings and procedural checks simply overkill? Hardly. Think about this: According to a study performed by Safety Sciences, the following types of confined space incidents resulted in injuries and/or fatalities: Type of Event Number of Events Number of Injuries Only Number of Fatalities Atmospheric Conditions (lack of oxygen) 80 72 78 Explosion or Fire 15 49 15 Explosion or Fire at Point of Entry 23 20 32 Electric Shock 11 2 9 Trapped in Unstable Material (cave in) 16 0 16 Struck by Falling Objects 15 1 14 These numbers should tell you something: Fifty-four % of the people exposed to oxygen deficient conditions died. For every fire within a confined space, one person...

What You Need To Know About Welding & Cutting Protecting yourself when performing welding operations depends on your understanding of the hazards involved and the proper way to control them. Control of welding hazards includes avoiding eye injury, respiratory protection, ventilation of the work area, protective clothing and having safe equipment to use. Eye hazards include exposure to ultraviolet and infrared light. Welders and their helpers should wear filter glasses with shades ranging from 2 to 14, depending on the type of welding being done, to protect their eyes. Unless a welding arc is behind a screen, not only the welder, but...

Confined Space Entry Don't Be A "Dead" Hero  You are standing at the top of an open manhole acting as an attendant for a team of maintenance personnel who have entered a confined space that required an entry permit. It has been several minutes since you talked to the crew, but you can peer down into the space and see them. During your last few checks with them, everything was A-OK. This time, however, when you yell down to check on them, you don't get a response. You look inside the hole and you notice that they are slumped over or leaning up...

Engulfment In many worksite situations, workers are at risk for engulfment hazards. Engulfment results when a worker is surrounded and overcome by a granular substance such as soil, sand, gravel, sawdust, seed, grain or flour or if submerged in a liquid such as water or a chemical. Engulfment causes physical harm when the material has enough force on the body to cause injury or death by constriction, crushing, or strangulation. Respiratory hazards associated with engulfment includes suffocation from breathing in a fine substance that fills the lungs or from drowning in a liquid. Trenches or excavation pits at construction sites pose an...

Arc Welding Safety Arc welders use a powerful electric arc to make and repair plain, coated, or treated metal items. Welders can be stationary, electric powered or portable, diesel/gas powered. Install electric-powered arc welders to code. Ground equipment and place it on an independent circuit with the correct-sized fuse or circuit breaker. Overloading circuits or improper installation can lead to fire, a ground fault, or equipment failure. Mount a safety disconnect switch near the user work area. Operate diesel/gas powered arc welders in well-ventilated areas to control combustion fumes. Do not add fuel to the engine while it is running or near...

Emphasis on Confined Space Confined spaces can be deadly.  Overcome by gases, vapors, fumes, engulfed by material, or caught in moving machinery, workers may find they have nowhere to go without proper entry procedures.  Adding to this potential tragedy, most fatalities occur to ill-prepared rescuers. A confined space is large enough for an employee to enter and perform work.  It has limited openings to enter and exit.  It is not designed for continuous occupancy.  A permit-required confined space has these limitations AND added dangers such as hazardous atmospheres, material engulfment, inwardly converging or sloped walls, or other serious safety and health hazards. Confined...

The Silent Dangers of Confined Space Workers tend to put their faith in most indoor or confined atmospheres, thinking someone else has checked for safety.  Air, whether life sustaining or killing, is usually colorless, odorless, and tasteless.  The atmosphere in a confined space, for example, may seem like any other.  But that is one work place that must never be taken for granted.  Confined spaces have fooled scores of workers killed or injured every year because they thought someone had checked for safety or because they “followed their noses” and guessed the air smelled OK.  The air may look safe and...