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Confined space


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

Confined , on the other hand, is an adjective that refers to those who are condemned to live in a mandatory residence or who are held in a certain place.

It is known as confined space , therefore, to the area that has limited or restricted entry or exit and is not appropriate for the man occupy it permanently or continuously.

The concept is common in the labor universe to refer to those workplaces with few comforts and particular limitations for the worker. In general, access to a confined space is carried out for cleaning, repair, inspection, painting or construction purposes, or for rescue to people or animals that, for various reasons, do not have the means to go out by themselves.

A space confined with permission required it is the one that contains a dangerous atmosphere and that, due to its configuration, supposes a risk for people who enter it since they can get trapped or suffer different health problems.

It is known that a high number of accidents they occur because of not knowing in depth the risks of the confined space in which they are working. During a rescue, for example, about 60% of deaths occur due to not assessing 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 life of rescuers. It is worth mentioning that one of the most common deaths occurs due to lack of oxygen.

The industrial Security classifies confined spaces as dangerous if they are used for the storage of certain products (especially chemicals) with risk of spills or losses, chemical reactions or oxidation and decomposition processes. A confined space can also be dangerous if, inside, mechanical operations such as welding or others are performed.

To obtain it Authorization of Special Works, necessary to perform work in a confined space it is necessary to comply with a series of well-defined prevention measures; the approval must be granted by the Occupational Risk Prevention Unit, or a Occupational Health and Safety Supervisor, and must be required by the person in charge of the facilities in which they wish to work.

The confined space can be on the land, or be underground. It is important to keep in mind that it is not necessarily a small site; This becomes very evident if a silo, a sewer, a tunnel or a security vault is observed, among other types of large confined spaces.

Before working in a confined space, it is recommended to verify:

* that the aforementioned authorization is available;
* that you have the tools necessary;
* that the workspace is clean and tidy;
* that within the confined space you can breathe correctly.

Similarly, it should:

* use a system of forced air renewal to ventilate the confined space if substances that represent a danger to the health of the workers have been stored there;
* use a portable meter of concentrations of O2, CO2, CH4, H2S and CO, which allows immediate reading;
* isolate space from any untimely energy supply;
* signal the area so that anyone who approaches knows that potentially dangerous activities are being carried out there.