As a worker who is often in enclosed spaces, you’ve gotten used to recognizing escape routes, making plans to do your job and getting in and out quickly. You’ve had a good career so far, and though you’ve had a near-miss with an accident in the past, your employer was quick to make changes to prevent accidents in the future.
If you will be working in confined spaces, it’s important for you to know the risks. It is also essential that your employer has obtained a permit to work in any permit-required confined space. These spaces aren’t intended for people, even though they are big enough for you to squeeze inside and do your work.
Confined spaces have limited means for entry or exit, which is one of the main problems they present. If you go into a space and see that the bottom exit is blocked, how will you exit? Is it possible to return in the same way you entered? How can you clear a pathway in an emergency? These are all important questions to ask.
No two spaces are going to be the same, whether you’re entering a mine shaft, going down into a sewer or are working in a pipeline. Your employer’s duty is to make sure they’ve planned for ways to keep you safe, including providing you with the correct personal protective equipment for the job.
If you are hurt while working in a confined space, you may be in a position to file a workers’ compensation claim. This can help you get the medical coverage and financial support you need as you recover.