Safety Talks

Confined space HVAC safety talk

Confined space HVAC safety talk

Identifying whether there is a confined space in the workplace can sometimes be tricky. This can especially be true in HVAC due to working in a different home or building each day. Each comes with a new area to assess and work in. Confined spaces for this industry vary widely including attics, crawl spaces, small closets etc.

Is it a confined space?

An area is a confined space if the answer is yes to these three questions:

  • Is it large enough for a person to enter?
  • Is the entry/exit restricted?
  • Is the area designed for occupancy?

Is a permit required?

A permit-required confined space exists if one of these conditions are present:

Yes, to one = permit required

  • Is the atmosphere hazardous?
  • Engulfing hazard present?
  • Does it slope or have walls?
  • Other hazards present?

Simplifying the process of determining if a confined space exists will ensure employees are properly protected in areas that have a potential threat to life and health. There are no room for shortcuts. The result could have deadly consequences.

What to do when encountering a confined space:

  • Employees should not enter a confined space unless they have been through confined space training within the last 3 years
  • Determine if the space is permit required
  • Follow the company’s confined space written program
  • Remove any hazards that can be removed before entering
  • Ensure there is adequate safety equipment before entering such as ventilation equipment, air monitors and an emergency plan in place
  • An attendant should be present just outside of the area anytime someone is working inside

If there is question of whether an area is considered a confined space, a manager should be contacted.

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