New Confined Space Definition
Update - August 2011*** Safe Work Australia have a new confined space definition under the Model Work Health and Safety Regulations. This definition will be adopted in most states of Australia on 1 January 2012. The definition is:
A confined space is an enclosed or partially enclosed space that:
a) is not designed or intended primarily to be occupied or entered by a person; and
b) is, or is designed or intended to be, at normal atmospheric pressure while any person is in the space; and
c) presents a risk to health and safety from:
i. an atmosphere that does not have a safe oxygen level, or
ii. contaminants, including airborne gases, vapours and dusts, that may cause injury from fire or explosion, or
iii. harmful concentrations of any airborne contaminants, or
This is slightly different to the draft definition released in December 2010. What do you think???
Prevent Falls AROUND Confined Spaces
Worker Survives 7m Fall into Water Tank (4 August 2009 - Launceston, Australia)
Incidents like this are a reminder of the importance of fall prevention around openings to tanks and pits. I often see photos in catalogues and brochures advertising the latest tripods and retrieval systems for confined space entrants, while the winch operator is leaning over an open pit without any fall prevention!
An open pit or tank also seems to draw in on-lookers. The best way to prevent on-looks and winch operators from ending up in the bottom of the pit is to install temporary edge rails. Bolt them in where possible, otherwise tie off and secure portable rails to some other fixed structure.
Maybe we could start a media watch? Send me photos of safety advertisements that also contain safety breaches!