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KU-EHS April Safety Tip: Days Without a Lost Time Incident

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

1. What characteristics of a confined space make it dangerous for employees?

  • The size and/or shape of such spaces can hinder the activities of employees who must enter into, work in, or exit from them
  • Employees who work in confined spaces face increased risk of injury from hazards such as entrapment, engulfment, and hazardous atmospheres
  • Employees may have to work closer to hazards - such as machinery components - than they would otherwise do so.
  • Responding to emergencies that occur in a confined space can be difficult

2. What is the difference between a confined space and a permit-required confined space?

By definition, a confined space:

  • Is large enough for an employee to enter
  • Is not designed for continuous occupancy
  • Has a limited or restricted means of entry or exit

By definition, a permit-required confined space has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
  • Contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant
  • Has an internal configuration that could trap or asphyxiate an entrant
  • Contains another recognized serious safety or health hazard

3. What should you do before entering a non-permit required confined space?

  • Verify that it qualifies as a non-permit required space.
  • Consider the work you will be performing and whether that could change the status of the space.
  • Talk to your manager or supervisor if you have any concerns.

4. True or false? By definition, a permit-required confined space must be an enclosed space.

The answer is false.

  • A confined space does not have to be an enclosed space.
  • Many confined spaces - both permit and non-permit - are in fact “open” spaces.

Some examples of open-top confined spaces include:

  • Individual hoppers of a rail hopper car
  • Water tanks
  • Pits
  • Vaults

Use Caution

Confined space work is inherently dangerous. If your job involves entering confined spaces, always follow safe procedures - your life depends on it.

Report A Safety Concern

Report a concern to KU-EHS

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