Today is National Lifeguard Day

Yes July 7th is National Lifeguard Day and you are probably wondering why it is in a confined space blog.  Well if you think about it an Attendant is very much like a lifeguard at a swimming pool. A lifeguard can look after the safety a certain number of people under specific conditions. A Confined Space Attendant also looks out for the safety of those people he is watching in a confined space.

One question I am asked on a regular bases, is how many Attendants do you need?  If you follow the Lifeguard analogy, based on Standards set by the Lifesaving Society, one Attendant could look after up to thirty workers (all of which must be in view). Exceptions to the one Attendant to 30 workers rule could be:
a. When workers are out of sight, one Attendant can look after about eight workers, but they must be within voice communication distance. Use of a CCTV and duplex communication devices that can send and receive simultaneously can extend the distance the entrants are away from the guard. However the distance away should not complicate rescue (eg. IDLH situations require a three to four minute intervention time – see point “c” below).
b. If workers are in multiple spaces, looking after up to four entrants in up to two spaces providing all are visible is probably the maximum for one Attendant. Again using CCTV and duplex communication device is required in areas that the Entrants are out of view.Confined space attendant
c. If the hazards can create an immediate life threatening injury (eg. Respiratory arrest), we limit the number of entrants to two in one space and the Attendant fulfills the Rescuer position. A relief attendant who is to take over if a rescue is needed must be no more than one minute away from the space.

Many people confuse the number of Attendants with the number of Rescuers that could be required in some circumstances.  But remember, the Attendant initiates the Rescue Plan, not does it all by themselves.

So today, visit a swimming pool, thank a lifeguard for their service, watch what he does and the training they have.  According to The LIfesaving Society you need 65 to 75 hours of training to become a Lifeguard.  This process could help you with your confined space program.  Just a thought.

Measuring Hazards in Barrie

Measuring Hazards

The other day one of our teams was attending a client going into an empty tank.  Our team wanted to take a number of precautions whereas the client did not. The team was concerned that the client was taking unnecessary risks.  The client, on the other hand, thought we were going overboard. This conflict was created because of how each party got to their point of view. The point of this blog is to explain how to measure hazards better.  Having a proper understanding of how hazards are measured prevents these misunderstandings and helps everyone working with hazards be on the same page.

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Confined Space Identification GTA

Confined Space Identification

If confined spaces have been around for so long, why is it some of us still have difficulty identifying them?

 

To figure out whether something is a confined space, we have to first determine if the area is intended for continuous human occupancy. Builders and manufacturers by law have to construct buildings and equipment in such a way as to enable people to work safely. Machines are guarded, lighting and ventilation systems ensure good air quality and egress systems are designed to evacuate people in an emergency. The main criteria needed for occupancy are:

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