PPE for prevention to work in confined spaces

PPE for prevention to work in confined spaces

For certain sectors, especially for industries whose workers are dedicated to carrying out work under special conditions, Job Safety Analysis is essential.

Therefore, companies must comply with adequate preventive measures, including the use of PPEs among their workers. Those workers are exposed to greater dangers, when accessing confined spaces, while carrying out their tasks during the working day. But how are these jobs? and what JSA is applied to them?

Confined jobs

confined space is characterized by little or poor ventilation, even though there are obviously an entry and an exit for the worker. Toxic or flammable pollutants tend to accumulate, increasing the risks of suffocation, anoxia, poisoning and even explosion. Depending on how the place is, they can affect other problems (poor visibility, extreme heat, postural discomfort, etc).

Workers dealing with the treatment of run-off and waste water in areas such as sewers, underground manholes, wells, etc., work under these conditions. Other activities may be related to the chemical, nuclear, naval industry…

JSA in these places

Preventive measures include ensuring the safety and protection of workers through the corresponding authorization to access the premises. Then, two fundamental points are both communication and continuous surveillance from the outside by the operators entering to the confined space. Marking the place properly to avoid mishaps or accidents in which third parties may be involved is necessary too before starting work inside.

At the same time, there are those elements specially designed to meet some work need. Good examples are descent and ascent devices or safety harnesses against falls. Ultimately, the Personal Protective Equipment or PPEs that workers must wear to protect their integrity and health are essential. Several components are mentioned here below.

First, for the head, there are industrial helmets together with their accessories (neck cover, front light support, reflective strips …). Then, there are universal goggles, full-face glasses, and even eye scopes. Ear muffs, screens and masks protect the rest of the facial areas, although a respirator with a full mask, pressure regulators, alarm, harness, cylinder and pressure gauge are also usually necessary.

The body, in general, is protected with padded and strong suits made of optimal fabrics to repel pollutants. By the same token, other parts of the body are protected by gloves or finally footwear. This must have special characteristics as a protective toe-cap, which maximise protection against impacts, and slippery resistant designs.

In conclusion, PPEs and the other measures mentioned above are part of the JSA for confined jobs.