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Although most confined spaces are not typically identified as having fall hazards, injuries sustained from a fall into a confined space can be as serious as a fall from a work platform above ground level. In fact, confined spaces such as holding tanks, manholes, food processing tanks, etc., have access holes that are over 20 feet deep. Therefore, using proper personal fall arrest and retrieval equipment is imperative.
OSHA's 29 CFR 1910.146, "Permit Required Confined Spaces for General Industry," defines a confined space as any area which has
Adequate size and configuration for employee entry
Limited means for access or egress,
And is not designed for continuous employee entry
The agency further defines a permit-required confined space as "a confined space that presents or has the potential for hazards related to atmospheric conditions (toxic, flammable, asphyxiating, engulfment . . . or any other hazard)." Permit-required confined spaces include boilers, storage vessels, furnaces, railroad tank cars, manholes and processing vessels.
A fall protection and retrieval system for confined space activities consists of three major elements:
A properly fitted full body harness
A fall arrest device (i.e. retractable lifeline)
A suitable anchorage connector (i.e. tripod or davit)
If a fall occurs, the full body harness distributes the impact throughout the body and keeps the worker in an upright position. This makes retrieval easier. Call us today at 417-862-2238 for more information.