Confine space poses lots of hazards which should be managed to prevent accidents. The confined space hazards should be properly managed before the commencement of any job inside the confine space.
In this article, we will highlight main confined space hazards.
- Toxic Atmosphere
Toxic atmosphere occurs due to the presence of hazardous substances in the surrounding air. It may cause various acute effects, including impairment of judgement, unconsciousness and death. A toxic atmosphere may occur due to the presence or ingress of hazardous substances.
2. Oxygen Deficiency
Oxygen deficiency could occur due to
– Displacement of air by another gas like carbon dioxide
– Various biological processes or chemical reactions (such as rotting of organic matter, rusting of metals, burning, etc)
– Absorption of air onto steel surfaces, especially where these are damp.
3. Oxygen Enrichment
An excess of oxygen, in the presence of combustible materials, results in an increased risk of fire and explosion. Some materials, which do not burn in air, may burn vigorously or even spontaneously in an enriched oxygen atmosphere.
4. Flammable Atmospheres
A flammable atmosphere presents a risk of fire or explosion the same way as oxygen enrichment. Such an atmosphere can arise from the presence in the confined space of flammable liquids or gases or of a suspension of combustible dust in air.
5. Flowing Liquid or Free Flowing Solids
Liquids or solids can flow into the confined space causing drowning, suffocation, burns and other injuries. Solids in powder form may also be disturbed in a confined space resulting in an asphyxiating atmosphere.
6. Excessive Heat
The enclosed nature of a confined space can increase the risk of heat stroke or collapse from heat stress, if conditions are excessively hot. The risk may be exacerbated by the wearing of personal protective equipment or by lack of ventilation
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