FAQ: Confined space

Question:

If your rescue plan does not require entry for retrieval, do the rescuers need confined space rescue training?

Answer:

They won’t need the Confined Space level 1 or 2 training because there not entering the space. However, they would still need to be acutely trained on how to remove or extract that individual going into that confined space. If there is no standard in and out procedure, then Confined Space Rescue Level 1 is recommended. 

Question: 

If only supplier/vendor is going into a confined space (not our employees), do we need a program/rescue plan in place?

Answer: 

Yes, they need to be treated like another worker entering a confined space. They’ll need to have a rescue plan in place and need to make sure they adequately protect anybody going inside that space.  They also must make sure they are complying with any permit requirements from a legal perspective in permit requirements from an owner perspective. The owner should have some sort of a confined space regimen required before any other vendor comes on site and enters a confined space.

Question: 

Have you heard of many incidents involving workers being physically unfit for being in a confined space or even unfit to be under air with an SCBA?

Answer: 

That’s part of the medical assessment. As far as your confined space entry program, anyone that is going to be wearing SCBAs, harnesses they need to make sure they are medically able to do the work, physically able to do the work. I would reply on the medical department to assess the workers who are intended to go into work space. You will also want to take into consideration, if you get a 250 pound plus person trying to get into roughly 20 to 22 inches in diameter, there’s a fit issue right off the bat. The second part is the timing that is required to get the person back out through that hole should an emergency take place. You must take the right to work into account, but you also have to look at the workers around that person and their ability to perform a rescue if an emergency were to happen.

Question:

Is there a difference between the provincial vs. federal regulations for full body harness requirements?

Answer:

No, there is no difference. You need to have a full body harness regardless how your going in from a fall perfection perspective.

Question:

Is the trench below considered a confined space?  

Answer:

Yes, in that application it is because it’s not meant for human occupancy and there’s no standard means of access.    

Question:

Do you provide confined space rescue training to employees?

Answer:

Yes, we do. You can find more information on our confined space training and other training courses on our https://fallprogroup.com website.

Question:

How important do you find labelling concerns outside confined spaces?

Answer:

Not easy to answer with a yes or no. Certain situations require by law that you have confined space signage. Also, from a corporate perceptive if your corporate regimen requires you to identify confined spaces that require even internal permits not necessary one that are legally required, that should be signed and obvious however, not all companies are knowledgeable enough to understand where the signage is required and where the signage should be applied and if signage and should the should be applied even if there is a legal requirement  for example there’s a situation where someone can be hurt or mechanical devises that are moving around inside that environment that could cause damage or death or injury that signage should be there.    

Question:

In Ontario, does a space have to be both

       a) not designed for continuous human occupancy, and

       b) potential for atmospheric hazards?

or does a) or b) alone qualify a space as a confined space?

Answer:

Its both. It doesn’t mean there both individual not a concern, you may end up in an area that’s was designed for continuous human occupancy but may have may have very high expose to some type of chemical; as a health and safety person you still need to protect the worker against whatever those containments are. But you do need you meet both to be considered a confine space. 

Question:

If there is an 8' deep sump pit that is 3.5' wide in the basement of an office building. Would it be considered a confined space (i.e. if work was required at the bottom of the sump pit?)

Answer:

Yes, because of the two conditions that are required.

       a) it’s not designed for continuous h9iman occupancy and
       b) potential a hazardous atmosphere

Question:

Can you explain the difference between Tripod vs. Davit Arm and either one should be used?

Answer:

While both are considered anchorages for a Confined Space Entry, a Tripod is limited to an entry hole that is smaller than its footprint which is typically 5’ – 6’. A Davit Arm has the ability to expand in width to cover a larger opening such as a pumping station vault or any other opening that is rectangular in shape.

A Davit Arm also gives you the opportunity to install permanent bases at strategic entry locations which allows for a faster set up and ease of use where a Tripod will require a full assembly at each entry site.

Question:

Can you explain when a 3 Way SRL should be used vs a Winch?

Answer:

A Self Retracting Lifeline with Retrieval (3 Way) is designed to be used for fall protection while entering and exiting a confined space. The Emergency Winch option is only to be used for the extraction of a worker in an emergency situation. The Emergency Winch is not designed to be used on a regular basis as a means of entering a confined space. If access is not available and a winch is the best option, then an Advanced or Digital Winch is the correct choice.

Question:

When would a worker utilize a Y-Lanyard with spreader bar and shoulder D-Rings rather than using the back D-Ring?  

Answer:

A Y-Lanyard attached to a worker’s shoulder D-Rings are used in conjunction with a manual winch for either rescue in the case of an emergency or entry and exit from a confined space where there is no other means of access such as a built in ladder or the addition of a portable ladder. If this set up is designed for rescue, it allows the rescuer to extricate the worker in a more upright position. This is important if the entry hole is of a small dimension. We must remember that when using shoulder D-Rings and Y-Lanyards that we still require a form of fall protection attached to the dorsal D-Ring of the harness. Manual winches are not fall protection rated.

If the entry dimension is large enough to easily extricate a worker and there is a means of access available, then we can utilize a Self Retracting Lifeline with Retrieval, attached directly to the worker’s dorsal D-Ring. The Self Retracting Lifeline with Retrieval will be suitable for fall protection and the retrieval option can be used for rescue.

Question:

Can I have two workers on the same Davit Arm or Tripod?

Answer:

A Davit Arm or Tripod entry system has the capabilities of attaching two separate systems provided that you have the additional mounting brackets etc. Having said this however, the system is only designed to accommodate one worker at a time. This means that you will need to have worker A enter the space and be off the system before worker B can enter. The same would be true in the case of rescue where you would need to extract the first worker and then the second.

Question:

Does a worker need to always be attached while in the confined space?

Answer:

While it is always best to remain attached to a rescue system while in a confined space, practicality doesn’t always allow it. If a worker cannot perform the work while being attached, they can disconnect from the system however, your rescue plan may have to be amended to accommodate this.

Question:

Does the Top Side attendant need to be tied off?

Answer:

Yes. The attendant should be tied off using a fall protection system while near the entry.

Question:

Are all confined space rescues Non-Entry rescues?

Answer:

While it is certainly preferred that a confined space rescue plan be a Non-Entry rescue, it is often not feasible. Each entry must be evaluated and then determined whether a Non-Entry rescue is possible or would there need to be a more elaborate plan put into place. This evaluation needs to be done before entry in the confined space.

Looking for more answers to your confined space questions? Contact one of our experts below.

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