What is confined space?

What Does confined space Mean

Space , from the Latin spatium , is a term with multiple uses and meanings: it is the extension that the existing matter contains, the capacity of a land or the part that a sensitive object occupies, among other definitions.

Confined , meanwhile, is an adjective that refers to someone who is condemned to live in a compulsory residence or who is confined in a certain place.
It is known as confined space , therefore, the area that has limited or restricted entry or exit and that is not appropriate for man to occupy it permanently or continuously.
The concept is common in the labor universe to refer to those workplaces with few particular comforts and limitations for the worker. Generally, access to a confined space is for cleaning, repair, inspection, painting or construction purposes, or to rescue people or animals who, for various reasons, do not have the means to get out on their own.

A permit-required confined space is one that contains a dangerous atmosphere and, due to its configuration, poses a risk to people who enter it as they can become trapped or suffer from various health problems.
It is known that a high number of accidents occur due to not knowing in depth the risks of the confined space in which one is working. During a rescue, for example, around 60% of deaths occur due to not evaluating the terrain and the potential consequences of the chosen tactic before proceeding; This lack of foresight not only increases the number of victims among those who are imprisoned, but also threatens the lives of rescuers. It is worth mentioning that one of the most common deaths occurs due to lack of oxygen.
The industrial safety qualifies as hazardous confined spaces if intended for the storage of certain products (especially chemical) with risk of spills or losses, chemical processes or oxidation and decomposition. A confined space can also be dangerous if, inside, mechanical operations such as welding or others are carried out.
To obtain the Authorization of Special Works , necessary to carry out work in a confined space, it is necessary to comply with a series of well-defined prevention measures; Approval must be granted by the Occupational Risk Prevention Unit, or by an Occupational Health and Safety Supervisor, and must be required by the person in charge of the facilities in which you wish to work.

The confined space can be above ground or underground. It is important to bear in mind that it is not necessarily a small site; This becomes very evident when looking at a silo, a culvert, a tunnel or a security vault, among other types of large confined spaces.
Before working in a confined space, it is recommended to verify:
* that you have the aforementioned authorization;

* that you have the necessary tools ;

* that the workspace is clean and orderly;

* that within the confined space you can breathe properly.
Similarly, it must:
* use a forced air renewal system to ventilate the confined space if substances that represent a danger to workers' health have been stored in it;

* use a portable O2, CO2, CH4, H2S and CO concentration meter that allows immediate reading;

* isolate the space from any untimely power supply;

* mark the area so that anyone who approaches knows that potentially risky activities are being carried out there.

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