Any space that is not intended for human beings is a confined space. In most cases, it contains hazardous nature. Among them are tanks, vaults and silos. A confined space can accommodate a worker; however, this is not its purpose. It has regulated entries and a mechanism of entrapping whoever enters unnecessarily.
The Occupational Safety and Health Service bases its set of fundamental and health principles on the Australian Standard AS 2865: 1995 safe working in a confined space. A standard which was set to prevent occupational illness, injuries and fatal accidents that relate to employee environment as regards confined spaces safety and hazards. It is nevertheless not restricted to the employees. In the substance of a good work environment, the employer must also carry out a risk assessment that is subject for revision whenever the risks seem renewed.
An employer ought to take certain responsibilities. These are: ensure the safety of employees at work, be aware of all hazards in the work place, eliminate the hazards or isolate employees from them. The employees must also be allowed to take part in these processes as they are more aware and likely to handle their safety most appropriately. At the end of it all, the employees ought to be informed on the hazards and trained on safety and first aid procedures.
Interestingly, less responsibility is cast upon the employee. All he/she has to do is not to do anything that will harm anyone.
The OSHA safety and health principles circumvent the spheres of respiration, permit and atmosphere, rescue operations, retrieval, communication and education and training. The work station should be such as not to expose anyone to respirators of potential health hazards or even immediate hazards. It advices the use of an appropriate respirator to handle this, a work place must have a permit to work and so must the workers. It ascertains of safety and health precautions, procedures and measurements and ensures that they have been, met before work permission is granted. Atmospheric testing is also carried out to regulate gas levels, contaminants and temperatures. There must be proper entry and exit points incase of a need of emergency exist. There also must be communication between those outside and inside the confined space. On this note, body alarms are emphasized. These form, in a short description, the OSHA safety and health principles.
They are designed general for everyone safety. The responsibilities, however, have been delegated; everyone playing a role. The principles seek to tackle accidents, health hazards, access points; the general well being of man in his work place and those who may get into contact with it even though they are not workers. Among these standards are respiratory diseases, physical tremor, fire, unfriendly temperatures, radiation, gas poisoning, waterborne diseases, and airborne disease among many.
In conclusion, man needs a safe environment. OSHA has recognized this and is making sure of it by setting the health and safety principles. It is important to note that the principles make each and every one of us responsible for our safety and that of others.