How often is Confined Space Training Required
Confined space training is mandatory for all of those who work in or near confined spaces in order to ensure their safety. So how does it actually work and how often should it be conducted?
So what actually is confined space? What falls under that category and what makes something a confined space? Well, in order to understand that we need to go through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or shortly OSHA.OSHA’s General Industry and Construction regulations defines confined spaces through these three characteristics:
· The space is sufficient size and designed in a way that workers are able to physically enter inside and conduct their work.
· The space has exits and entrances that are limited or restricted.
· The space has a configuration that doesn’t allow workers to spend time in this space continually.
These are some examples of confined spaces provided by OSHA:
· Storage bins
A permit-required confined space or simply a permit space is a term often used by OSHA. The term refers to spaces that require official permits in order to be used by workers.
All of the permit-required spaces meet several of the following characteristics:
· The space is designed in a way that the floor has a downward slope that leads to an even smaller area or the walls are converging to one another. This creates the danger of possible entrant asphyxiation or entrapment;
· The space contains an atmospheric hazard;
· The space contains a substance in which an entrant can occur;
· The space has major health or safety hazards beyond the ones that were already described above.
So what are confined space trainings and why are they important? Well, confined space training is an instructional course on confined spaces that workers need to take before handling their tasks. This training ensures that all employees either working in or close to the confined spaces are safe and can avoid any health or safety hazards while working. In addition to that, this training also protects the company itself both financially and legally.
The trainings are meant to help workers learn OSHA standards and then apply them in their field of work and in appropriate situations. The key elements of OSHA confined space training lie in answering some of the following questions:
· How do you determine what qualifies as a confined space?
· What characteristics make a confined space “permit-required”?
· For what scenarios are reclassification and alternate entry procedures acceptable?
· What are the agency’s rules for permit space entry program creation but maintenance as well?
· What do you need to have in place for emergency?
· What must entry supervisors, entrants, attendants, and contractors do related to confined spaces?
· How can equipment not be used?
By addressing these points and answering these questions, you will bring attention to your workers of dangerous hazards of working in confined spaces and teach them how to protect themselves.
OSHA training program for confined spaces needs to meet some of the following parameters, per the regulations:
There has to be a training program set in place which will educate the people about the dangers of working in confined spaces. This applies both to those who work inside the confined spaces and those who work around it. This training is set in place so that everyone can learn how to effectively protect themselves at work.
· Before performing any tasks in confined spaces
· If or when it becomes clear that a worker doesn’t understand the confined space safety
· If or when an employer decides that their staff is noncompliant
· Before adjusting employee tasks
· If any hazards have not been covered in the past training
OSHA doesn’t technically state how often these trainings must occur. Most of the time, specialists working in the industry will suggest that these training programs be performed annually or biannually.
However, you do need to make sure that these two related activities take place every twelve months:
· Reassessment of the permit space program
· A practice rescue drill by those designated for rescue duties.
In conclusion, safety training for working in or near confined spaces is very important. These trainings follow the OSHA regulations and though it isn’t specifically stated how often they need to be held, doing them annually or biannually should be enough.