BITCO Insurance Companies
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Confined spaces are present in many workplaces and include tanks, pits, vaults, pipelines, sewers, silos, and storage bins. These spaces may pose physical safety hazards, such as engulfment or entrapment or have the potential to contain hazardous atmospheres. According to data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program, fatal injuries in confined spaces fluctuated from a low of 81 in 1998 to a high of 100 in 2000 during the five-year period, averaging 92 fatalities per year.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides requirements to protect workers from confined space hazards in general industry and construction in 29 CFR 1910.146 and 29 CFR 1926 Subpart AA, respectively. Recently, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) published a guide, NFPA 350: Guide for Safe Confined Space Entry and Work, 2016 Edition, for working in and around these spaces. According to the NFPA, the OSHA “regulations tell you 'what' to do, not 'how' to identify, evaluate, and control confined space hazards or conduct rescue response.” NFPA 350 is written to fill that gap and supplement the OSHA requirements.
To support the efforts to reduce confined space injuries and deaths, NFPA has released a short (five-minute) online training program to help worksites properly identify confined spaces. The program walks the learner through the evaluation process with a focus on rapidly identifying hazards.
The online program can be accessed from the NFPA website at http://www.nfpa.org/assets/gallery/marketing/confinedspaces/story_html5.html.
The information contained in this publication was obtained from sources believed to be reliable. ISO Services, Inc., its companies and employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with either the information herein contained or the safety suggestions herein made. Moreover, it cannot be assumed that every acceptable safety procedure is contained herein or that abnormal or unusual circumstances may not warrant or require further or additional procedure.