Every workplace exposes its workers to certain risks. Heck, even an accountant is at risk for musculoskeletal disorders from repetitive motions—using that adding machine and filling out spreadsheets!
While not every category of business requires workers to enter confined spaces, those that do must take special care to ensure worker safety. From wineries and breweries to agribusiness to contractors, many organizations do need workers to enter confined spaces in order to complete the job at hand. There, workers could potentially be exposed to low oxygen levels, or be smothered by materials inside the confined space they’re trying to enter.
Or, as in this particular case, workers could fall to their death.
It was last year when a worker lowered into a 50-foot drainage shaft fell to his death—because the general contractor and the subcontractor on the job did not follow permit-required procedures for working in confined spaces.
Permit-required confined space procedures can frustrate workers—after all, there are a number of steps to follow and precautions to take. But the fact is, these procedures help protect lives.
Does your company have written confined space policies and procedures? Have you trained your workers to follow them?
Work Procedures for Confined Spaces
When establishing (or reviewing) your company’s confined space policies and procedures, ask yourself:
- Do you have a written confined space plan, including recognizing and marking all confined spaces on site?
- Have you developed procedures to test and monitor the air inside confined spaces before and during all employee entries?
- Have you developed procedures to prevent unauthorized entries and to ensure there is an attendant outside the space at all times?
- Do you train your workers and supervisors on safe work procedures, hazard controls, and rescue procedures?
You and your entire team must understand the value—the need—for confined space policies and procedures. They could mean the difference between life and death.
For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.