Need help establishing your business' confined space program? Confined Space: A Program Roadmap is a new, free download that outlines the steps to walk you through the process. Key sections cover how to comply with confined space rules, and more importantly how to safely conduct a confined space entry.
"Confined spaces are one of those situations where the raw risk can be very high," says Specialized Services Lead Chad Kavanaugh. "If you don't get it right in terms of controlling the hazards, the consequences can be significant."
Produced in partnership between WSPS and the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA), the roadmap outlines in clear language
- what a confined space is
- the provincial legislation and standards that regulate confined spaces
- components of a confined space program
- hazards to watch out for
- training requirements
- what to include in confined space work plans and confined space entry permits
"There's a common misconception that what needs to be done is really onerous, really complicated, but that's not always the case," says Chad. "This document fills a basic knowledge gap, in terms of what a confined space is and what you need to do about it. It's a good starting point for any confined space undertaking."
Ontario's confined spaces regulation (O.Reg. 632.05) defines a "confined space" as a fully or partially enclosed space that is not designed and constructed for continuous human occupancy, and in which atmospheric hazards may occur because of its construction, location or contents, or because of work that is done in it. The space may be above ground or below ground.
Confined spaces exist in every industry sector, and in workplaces of every size. Here are just a few examples: vats, utility vaults, tanks, water supply towers, sewers, pipes, access shafts, truck or rail tank cars, aircraft wings, boilers, manholes, pump stations, digesters, and storage bins.
"Regardless of the industry you're in," says Chad, "if your workplace has a confined space on site, there's a prescribed approach to entering and working in it. The most important requirement in the confined space regulation is for a 'competent' person to develop and implement a written plan, including procedures for controlling all hazards identified in a hazard assessment," says Chad.
To be considered 'competent,' this person must have the knowledge, skills, and experience to perform work, knowledge of the legislation that relates to that topic, and an understanding of the kinds of risks posed to workers, so that they can implement 'adequate' controls.
How WSPS can help
For workplaces that don't have a 'competent' person on staff, WSPS consultants like Chad Kavanaugh can help you fulfil your legal obligations, such as conducting and providing a written hazard assessment, entry procedure and rescue procedure for any confined space. "You must have all these things in place before anyone enters your confined space," explains Chad. Find out more by emailing or speaking with our on-duty consultant.
To learn more about confined spaces, download the free Confined Spaces - A Program Roadmap.
Confined Spaces Training:
Visit the Confined Spaces Training overview page to find online courses, manager specific training and more. Or select from the courses below:
- Confined Space Awareness Training: The Basics (3-hour eCourse) - This three-part course will educate you on confined spaces, the identification and control of hazards that can be encountered, and key steps to working safely.
- Confined Space Management (1.5-hour eCourse) - This course will assist those who have responsibility for confined spaces on their worksites. Building on the concepts introduced in "Confined Spaces - The Basics", this course describes the essential components required to establish and manage a confined space program in the workplace.
- Confined Space Entry (1-day classroom or on-site training, delivered by IHSA)
The information in this article is accurate as of its publication date.