Raising awareness of the dangers of confined space working
12th March 2012
Analox Sensor Technology is calling for increased awareness of the potential dangers to anyone whose job requires them to work in confined spaces.
Analox Sensor Technology specialises in gas sensors, detectors and alarms. Managing Director Mark Lewis said: “It is easy for oxygen levels to fall in confined spaces, or levels of toxic gases to rise. Without detection equipment, a person cannot know before entering such a space whether it is safe or not. It is vital that all employers educate their workforce about the dangers of gas build up in confined spaces, and ensure they have suitable analysis equipment to test conditions before they enter.”
The call for better awareness of the potential dangers follows an incident in which a water meter reader suffered severe brain damage. It was reported by IMCA, the International Marine Contractors Association. The meter reader entered a chamber approximately 1.8 metres deep to carry out a routine reading. Having checked the atmosphere in the previous chamber and found it to be fine, he entered the second chamber without carrying out further checks, and was quickly overcome. A colleague, unable to help him, raised the alarm. Emergency services were able to pull the unconscious man out. However, having been in an atmosphere containing only six percent oxygen for at least 15 minutes, the man suffered brain damage.
Mark Lewis added: “This tragic incident shows the potential danger to humans once toxic gases build undetected in a confined space. Not only must employers supply staff with appropriate detecting equipment but they also need to ensure procedures are in place and always followed, so any confined space is always tested before staff enter.”