chapter  5
12 Pages

Confined Space Hazards

ByBarry Spurlock

Toxic respiratory hazards could be present even if sufficient oxygen is available. Toxic atmospheres involve substances that even in very low concentrations can kill or injure workers. The Permit-Required Confined Spaces (PRCS) must be purged until the level of toxins present is within acceptable limits. Flammable atmospheres pose serious fire and explosion threats to PRCS entrants. Noise and vibration are environmental conditions that complicate work or rescue in a PRCS. Psychological hazards of working in a restricted space can adversely affect workers. Communication problems compound the already difficult work conditions in many PRCSs. Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) manufacturers are beginning to integrate communication systems into the confined space SCBA equipment. The training includes all elements of the PRCS entry permit system and approval process, types of hazards and dangers, countermeasures, atmospheric monitoring, authorization, and entry team member duties and responsibilities.