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Recurring Accidents

Confined Spaces

Tony Fishwick Geoff Gill

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces


Some types of accidents reccur with depressing regularity Series of articles aimed at revisiting safety lessons and offering practical guidance Confined Space accidents prime example Statistics are shocking-every year workers continue to die in confined space accidents

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces-stastistics


US-350 workers killed by collapsing trenches 2000-2009+50 other CF fatalities in some years. Malaysia-1,396 accidents in confined quarters Australia-8 fatalities 2003-2011 UK-29 fatalities 2003-2011

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces


Two examples of Confined Space accidents

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces-dangers


Lack of oxygen Presence of poisonous gases Use of machinery Items falling from above or trench walls collapsing Restricted escape routes Inadequate isolations

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces-legal requirements Suitable and sufficient assessment of risks Key elements are: - if possible avoid entry - if entry necessary, Safe System of Work needed - adequate emergency arrangements needed Each of these dealt with in more detail

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces-legal requirements Consider if work could be done differently to avoid entry, for example: modifying the workspace clearing blockages by use of vibrators or purges sampling inspecting using remote cameras cleaning from outside

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces-legal requirements If entry necessary-Safe System of Work needed, essential elements of which are: Adequate supervision Workers trained, experienced and suitable Workspace electrically and mechanically isolated Check for other physical isolation from gases, liquids and powders Equipment cleaned and purged Adequate means of access and egress and recsue plan

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces-legal requirements Safe System of Work-continued Ventilation and/or breathing air provided for work and emergencies Atmosphere tested Suitability of tools Rescue harnesses available Adequate means of communication Permit to Work prepared

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces-legal requirements Emergency Arrangements-common requirements: Adequate means of communication with persons inside confined space Local standby person in contact with workers inside Confined Space Adequately trained rescuers Means of summoning emergency services Appropriate drilling and testing of emergency arrangements

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces


Why do they recur?

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces


Some thoughts on why accidents recur-T Kletz Organisations fail to learn Loss of knowledge and experience Greater use of contractors for non-routine work Hazards not reassessed Supervisor overload Inadequate assessement of effect of design changes Unrecognised hazard Short cuts Impulsive rescue attempts

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces


Avoiding repetition-ways and means

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces


Some helpful techniques to avoid recurrence Communicate accident details widely Effectiveness review of accident recommendations Absolute clarity on reason for changing procedures Learn from other organisations who carry out similar work Never forget the fundamental need for suitable and sufficient risk assessment Use Human Performance tools as further safeguard

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces


Putting all this into practice

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces


Ways of putting all this into practice could be: Safety Information Notes Event learning workshops On and off the job training courses Formal apprenticeships E-learning modules Tool box talks - back these up with workspace visits to identify potential Confined Spaces

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces


Examples of Safety Information Notes

Operational Experience Feedback


OEF 24/07
SUMMARY Do you think you could create a dangerous confined space by pulling the black plastic sheet over the open pipe end in the picture? YES, this can create a dangerous confined space! Two workers used the black plastic sheet to block sunlight so they could use a black light to inspect the open pipe. Unfortunately, approximately 150 feet away, and several floors below this work location, there was an open nitrogen line connected to the piping. The nitrogen flowed through the pipe and out of the open pipe end shown.

HAZARDS OF TEMPORARY CONFINED SPACES

The black sheet used to cover the open pipe end provided sufficient confinement to trap nitrogen under the sheet in the work area and create a hazardous oxygen deficient atmosphere. One worker under the sheet was killed by nitrogen asphyxiation, and another was severely injured. There were a number of other people working in the immediate area, but the low oxygen atmosphere incapacitated the workers under the sheet so quickly that they passed out before they realized that they were in danger, and they never cried for help. They were only discovered when a somebody nearby saw a hand sticking out from under the sheet and got no response when he called to the worker.

Operational Experience Feedback


OEF 24/07
CAUSES

HAZARDS OF TEMPORARY CONFINED SPACES

A hazardous confined space can be created by anything that can restrict air flow and ventilation required to maintain a safe atmosphere for breathing. The hazardous atmosphere can result from toxic vapours, or from reduction of the oxygen content of the atmosphere in the confined space by inert gases such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide. Any open process vessel or pipe is a potential source for vapours which can create a hazardous atmosphere. Hazardous vapours can travel long distances through connected piping and vessels, and can be released through an open pipe or vessel far away from the source of the vapour.

KEY POINTS FOR CONSIDERATION

Recognize potentially hazardous confined spaces and follow your facilitys procedures for safely working in confined spaces. Do not go into an area with little or no ventilation, and open vessels, pipes, or other open process equipment, without proper work permits and monitoring of the atmosphere to ensure that it is safe. Remember that you may have to follow open pipes for many hundreds of feet to ensure that all sources of potentially hazardous contaminants are properly disconnected, blinded, or otherwise If you change the conditions in a work area (for example, working under the plastic covering the pipe end), make sure that you have qualified people do a field hazard evaluation to identify hazards and provide appropriate controls.

Safety Information Sheet


SIS 19/11
SUMMARY

Electrical Equipment in Confined Spaces

External to Springfields there have been several instances where operatives have suffered electrically related injuries
/ fatalities from in-appropriate electrical equipment utilised in confined spaces.

SSI510 - Confined Spaces has been reviewed and updated with the electrical requirements for conducting and nonconducting confined spaces in line with the new edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations. BACKGROUND / SUPPORTING INFO / PHOTOS

Non-Conducting Confined Spaces


All handlamps shall be fed at less than 50V ac and shall be fed via an isolating transformer which is external to the confined space. This technique is called Safety Extra Low Voltage (SELV) (Section 414 of the regulations). Typically these will be 24V ac handlamps. Other portable equipment except welding equipment must be at reduced extra low voltage (110V ac) (Section 411.8 of the regulations) and shall be earthed in the normal manner.

Conducting (e.g. metallic) Confined Spaces


All handlamps shall be fed at less than 50V ac and shall be fed via an isolating transformer which is external to the confined space. This technique is called Safety Extra Low Voltage (SELV) within the regulations. Typically these will be 24V ac handlamps. Other portable equipment except welding equipment shall be fed via an individual (only 1 portable item per isolating transformer) isolating transformer which is external to the confined space and the secondary winding must be earth free. This technique is known as electrical separation (Section 413 of the regulations). These isolating transformers must preferably be a different colour or as a minimum labelled for this specific purpose only as they have no secondary earth connection and must be stored in a locked cupboard to prevent inadvertent use.

SELV Handlamp

Portable Isolating transformer for Electrical Separation.

Safety Information Sheet


SIS 19/11 Electrical Equipment in Confined Spaces
GENERAL POINTS / KEY POINTS FOR LEARNING For any further details and any welding issues please refer to section 706 of the current edition of the IEE Wirin Regulations. To ensure that the correct electrical configuration is utilised and that appropriate portable electrical equipment i used please consult directly with your local Area Electrical Engineer.

If you have any questions regarding this SIS please contact your local Area Electrical Engineer.

Recurring Accidents Confined spaces-conclusion


Despite all case histories Confined Space accidents still occur Shortage of O, extreme temperature, toxic atmospheres are often killers Accidents are often exacerbated by instinctive rescue attempts Key to avoiding such accidents - strong safety leadership - suitable and sufficient risk assessment - adequate supervision and trained workers - Safety system of work - questioning or Stop Think Act Review culture - Learning culture