CONFINED SPACE SAFETY
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Quick Tips: Confined Space Safety (PDF: 144KB/2 pages)
Confined space danger
Floods may create dangerous conditions in buildings called confined spaces. For example, water damaged and hazardous materials left behind may make the air in a basement or enclosed room hazardous. Also building damage may block entry and exits or expose other dangers.A confined space is anywhere that:
- Has few openings in or out;
- Has poor air flow so contaminants may build up; or
- Could collapse or trap someone inside.
Examples of confined spaces include: storage tanks, pits, ducts, sewers, tunnels, underground utility vaults, pipelines and others.
Use care in any confined spaceDo these things if you have to enter any confined space:
- Make sure the building is safe from collapse;
- Make sure utilities (electricity, gas, and water) are shut off;
- Make sure outdoor air is flowing into the space;
- Have a way to signal for help; and
- Exit immediately if any unsafe conditions develop.
- You cannot trust your senses to identify all hazards in a confined space.
- You may not be able to see or smell many contaminants in the air.
- You cannot tell if there is enough oxygen for you to breathe.
- If dangerous conditions (airborne contaminants or low oxygen) could be present, special equipment is needed to determine if the air is safe.
If in doubt, do not enter
Never enter a confined space unless you are sure it is safe.
Do not enter a confined space to rescue others unless you are trained for emergency rescue and have the tools and equipment for the job. Otherwise, you could become the next victim!