5 Common Confined Spaces Found On Construction Sites






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CONFINED SPACES IN THE WORKPLACE

There are no second chances if things go wrong in confined spaces. You can set your employees up with the skills, knowledge, and tools to perform their jobs safely through proper hazard awareness, pre-planning, communication, exposure reduction, and training.

As many as 60% of confined space fatalities are the rescuer!

What qualifies as a confined space?

A confined space is a large enough space to enter that may have an exit with limited or restricted entry and is not designed for continuous worker occupancy.

Common Confined Spaces Found on Construction Sites and the Potential Hazards

Manholes/Sewers
Risk of water inundation, animals, diseases, limited air movement, oxygen-deficient atmosphere, work activity such as welding, etc. 

Vessels
Materials contained in the vessel, oxygen-deficient atmosphere, configuration.

Tanks
Materials contained in the vessel, oxygen deficient atmosphere, configuration, noise, inability to communicate through radio or phone.

Vaults
Materials contained in the vessel, oxygen deficient atmosphere, configuration, noise, falling hazard, items in the way (ladders, shovels, etc.)

Pipelines
Materials contained in the vessel, oxygen-deficient atmosphere, configuration, noise, falling hazards, blocked or overcrowded entry point, lockout/tag out. 

Overview of Confined Space Standards

Evaluation of the Space
Before work begins, each company must ensure that a competent person identifies and evaluates each confined space. Through the evaluation, they will also identify which spaces require a permit under OSHA regulations.

Communication is Key!
The host employer of the site or the controlling contractor must disseminate any known information about the confined space the contractor or subcontractor will be entering. If very little is known, the contractor completing the work must do an appropriate hazard assessment and ensure that the correct safety equipment is available and working properly!

Worker Training

Before any worker works in a space requiring a permit, the entry employer must train authorized entrants, attendants, entry supervisors, and other employees with duties under the standard (such as persons who test and monitor the atmosphere in a permit space) to understand the hazards in the permit space and the methods used to protect against those hazards.

Employer Training Requirements

  • Any worker that may or will enter the confined space
  • All attendants 
  • All entrants
  • Rescue team members (If deemed necessary) 

Training/Retraining

  • Before the new job/project
  • Job duties change
  • Change in permit-space program
  • New hazards are present or found
  • Job performance indicates deficiencies

The employer must keep a record showing that the required worker training has been completed. The record must contain the worker’s name, the trainer’s signature or initials, and the dates of the training. 

 Lean on your partners at TBG to help with this process, get additional information about the primary requirements for working around confined spaces, or schedule a training.

RESOURCES









Minnesota Occupation Health is offering a virtual training on Drug and Alcohol Recognition Techniques for DOT Supervisors on November 3rd, 2022, from 11 AM to 1 PM CDT. Click here for more information.

MNOSHA Compliance: Construction Seminars

Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) Compliance’s FREE Construction Seminars feature a presentation about a specific construction safety or health topic – with time for questions, answers, and input – plus an update from MNOSHA Compliance about what’s currently happening regarding investigations. The Seminars are presented six times a year, beginning in September.

2022/2023 Seminar Dates and Topics:

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022; topic to be determined 
Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023; topic to be determined 
Tuesday, March 21, 2023; topic to be determined  
Tuesday, May 16, 2023; topic to be determined 

Mark your calendars now and subscribe to the Construction Seminar email list to receive notifications about the events.

Upcoming Training Opportunities
 
Please reach out to your TBG Safety Services Representative to schedule any safety training you’d like your organization to receive. You can also look at the TBG Safety Training Calendar for upcoming training opportunities.

11/3: FREE SEMINAR: Reducing & Managing Legal Risks To Minnesota Construction Companies
11/3: VIRTUAL: Reasonable Suspicion Seminar for Supervisors

As your partner for working safer and smarter to be more profitable, we at the TBG Safety Service Association are committed to bringing your organization more resources that benefit everyone.

Thanks to the new TBG Safety Service Association, we are now offering each TBG member two free seats per year and lower member pricing for our OSHA-10 training!

Members are jointly and severally liable for their proportionate share of obligations for the group and will be assessed on an individual and proportionate share basis for any deficit created by the group. Dividends are not guaranteed. 

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