Vital Safety

vital | adjective | 1. critical, absolutely necessary 2. performing and essential function 3. characteristic of life

BA Record - 13.5 seconds

A new Breathing Apparatus Donning record has been set by Brendan (Fergusons) at Longford.  Brendan blitzed the previous best time, set by Daniel L. (UGL-Kaeffer), to record a time of 13.5 seconds.  Sensational!!!


Details - MSA BD96, cylinder closed, equipment in standby position, unassisted donning using correct manual handling techniques. 

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
iv.  engulfment

 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! 

Updated Standard - AS 2865-2009

At last, it has arrived!  After weeks and months and years of hard work and debate, the Confined Spaces standard has been released.

AS2865 - 2009 Confined Spaces is now available for purchase from SAI Global.  There are quite a few changes from the previous standard:

  • Confined space definition updated (which may be adopted by all state authorities??)
  • Standby Person - clarification of roles and options for "alternative means"
  • Training modules and competency requirements described
As a member of the committee that re-wrote the standard, I may be a little biased, but the new standard is a big improvement on the previous edition.

Refresher Training Intervals

I had a discussion regarding refresher training today.  Refresher training invervals is an area of confusion for many people.

Compliance Codes and Standards recommend that people trained for confined space entry are reassessed at appropriate intervals to maintain competency.  Some training organisations put a 12 month expiry on their training tickets, however it is up to the site to determine the appropriate interval based on how frequently confined space work is done.  There is the normal requirement to consult with relevant work-groups to determine the appropriate interval. The less frequent confined space personnel are using their confined space skills, the more frequent refresher training should be.

Some of our clients run annual refreshers, some 2 yearly, some run 3 yearly refreshers (with a yearly breathing apparatus update).


More Articles ...

  1. Rehearse What?
  2. Can Do??