Introduction to Confined Spaces and Confined Space Equipment

A confined space refers to a fully or partially enclosed space that is not intended for continuous human occupancy. Confined spaces can pose significant dangers to the health and safety of those operating in them due to a number of potential hazards. Before operating in this environment, it’s essential that adequate confined space training is carried out and the correct confined space equipment is utilised. Appropriate equipment can aid in a number of vitally important processes such as entry, retrieval, exit, fall prevention, escape and more.

What is a Confined Space?

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Generally, a confined space is one that has limited or restricted entry or exits, or is configured in such a way that first aid, rescue, evacuation, or other emergency response activities are restricted. Some examples of a confined space include:

  • Silos
  • Utility vaults
  • Tanks
  • Water supply towers
  • Ducts
  • Chimneys
  • Containers
  • Sewers
  • Pits
  • Pipes
  • Manholes
  • Trenches
  • Tunnels

Confined Space Hazards

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Working in confined spaces is dangerous, especially when workers aren’t aware of the scope and magnitude of the dangers being faced. It’s essential that risk assessment is immediately carried out when preparing to work in any confined space. The most common hazards faced when operating in this environment include:

1. Air Quality

Poor air quality due to insufficient oxygen or poisonous substances can pose an immediate threat to the worker. Natural ventilation can’t always be relied upon to maintain health and safety regulations, so measures must be taken to ensure the worker is protected from chemicals and can obtain sufficient oxygen.

2. Fire Hazards

Fire can have a disastrous effect in a confined space due to the limited means of escape, and significant exposure to heat and smoke. Fire safety must always be carefully considered and means to mitigate risk should be implemented.

3. Crushing or Trapping Hazards

When working in a confined space that is underground, the slightest shift in the ground can be devastating. Risk mitigation should always occur and workers must always be equipped with the appropriate personal protective equipment.

4. High Noise Levels

Noise can be incredibly damaging in confined spaces and result in serious hearing damage or hearing loss if workers are not adequately protected with ear plugs or ear muffs.

For more information on hazards in a confined space, see the Model Code of Practice: Confined Spaces.

Confined Space Equipment

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Along with a variety of essential personal protective equipment such as hard hats, protective gloves, safety goggles, and dusk masks, it’s important to always use the correct confined space rescue equipment. Safety assured equipment facilitates work in confined spaces, minimises the risk of serious injury and also provides means of rescue.

  • Recovery Winch Tripod. This confined space tripod and winch is used for lifting personnel and assisting with access into confined spaces. It features a 15m cable and a safe working load of 250kg.
  • Electric Winch. This 1.7-tonne cable puller twin capstan electric winch is designed to tackle the toughest jobs in confined spaces. It features fail-safe brake and foot controls for hands-free operation.
  • Confined Space & Rescue Harness. This equipment is essential to prevent risk of falling while ascending out or descending into a confined space.
  • Fall Arrester. This is designed to safety stop a worker falling from height.
  • Davit Arm and Tripod Bracket. This provides a fixed anchorage point for work winches or rescue systems. The swivel functionalist provides easy access to many confined situations.
  • Spreader Bar. This assists with entry and exit, rescue and retrieval applications in confined spaces.

 

Check Out Our Range of Winches for Man Riding

 

Contact Winch Hire Australia for All Your Confined Space Equipment Needs

At Winch Hire Australia, we offer a great range of confined space items and products for hire. We also provide a number of confined space accessories that are designed to help create a safer environment for confined space operations.

Having provided confined space equipment and accessories for a diverse range of projects, we can help provide you with the right tools to get the job done securely and reliably. Contact Winch Hire Australia for more information, and to hire only the safest, most reliable products.