Learning about the environment

Workplace Safety Training: Critical Courses on Confined Spaces

by Marsha Hudson

There are numerous workplaces which are considered confined spaces, particularly in the construction and industrial sectors. A confined space generally refers to a small area in buildings and even equipment which is critical for the function or performance of the pertinent structure. This type of 'room' is not designed for occupancy by human beings, but it is large enough to allow workers to get inside and perform various tasks.

The most common examples of these important workplaces include silos, ducts, manholes, equipment housing and vaults. Confined spaces are hazardous as workplaces because they are highly restricted. Therefore, if you will be in contact with these areas in your job, you should ensure that you have received sufficient training. Here is a short description of the common courses related to confined space training.

Entry and Work Course

The confined space entry course is designed for workers who are required to enter and work in the applicable restricted areas. The training program will cover the safety regulations which are critical in limiting workplace hazards in confined spaces. You will also learn how to conduct a complete hazard analysis of the space and perform various tasks according to an issued permit. This is the most basic course in its category, so you will have to get higher training if you want to perform advanced tasks.

Gas Test and Permit Issuing Training

When an individual receives this category of training, they will be able to issue work permits and perform gas tests as well as enter and work in confined spaces. Essentially, the course adds more skills and knowledge to the units of competency covered in the entry and work course. With this education, you will be able test the gas in confined spaces and issue work permits to new workers. You can also perform CPR in an emergency, and you will also be required to demonstrate how to use some critical fire fighting equipment.

Confined Space Rescue Training

The confined space rescue training is the most advanced course that you can undertake. It includes all the units of competence which are required for all the other courses such as issuing permits and working in confined space. In addition to these, you can act as an observer or a stand-by expert when other employees are working in confined spaced. Also, you can operate various breathing equipment and perform general rescue where necessary.

When choosing the right course on confined spaces, you should compare your potential tasks with the units included.