Why confined space training can help you prevent a tragedy

It’s been over a week and I can’t stop thinking about the tragic events that happened on a New South Wales farm in February this year.

Three members of the same family were found deceased in a water tank on the family’s property. When I write this article it is feared that they have been succumbed by a gas produced by the petrol driven, high pressure water pump being used to clean a water tank on the property. I speculate that members of the initial person’s family have gone to his aid and perished. To me this makes the situation all that more tragic.

If faced with similar circumstances I too would rush to the aid of a family member without considering the danger I am placing myself in. Drawn to the articles on the subject, I am terribly sorry for the loss of these hard working, pillars of their community.

I wonder what I can do to warn people of the dangers of working in a confined space. Yes, I know it’s defined in law and illegal to work in a confined space without being competent. That doesn’t help if you just don’t know. Working in the Vocational Training Industry (VET) I thought, at the very least, I could post the competencies of one of the confined space units we train in, RIIWHS202D – Enter and work in confined spaces. This is so that people could at least have a basis to consider what a confined space is and what has to be done to try and prevent things like this happening again.

Of course I want to encourage as many people as possible who are exposed to confined spaces to get this training.  On the upside even without training, a simple four step process, if followed, could save lives.

Nothing will replace the delivery of accredited training from a good Registered Training Organisation and their trainer. Because, as you can see below there is some background knowledge that is required to be able to recognise a confined space in the first place, not to mention understanding of supporting safe work regulations and precautionary things like rescue equipment.

  1. Plan and prepare for working in confined space

    1. Access, interpret and apply procedures for confined space entry and the environmental management plan and ensure the work activity is compliant
    2. Obtain, confirm, clarify and apply work instructions and agreed procedure
    3. Obtain, confirm, clarify and apply safety requirements
    4. Obtain and confirm authorisation (entry permit) meets regulatory requirements
    5. Confirm the emergency response procedure is with the stand-by person and understood
    6. Identify, obtain and implement signage and barrier requirements
    7. Select tools and equipment for the tasks, check for serviceability and rectify or report any faults
    8. Identify, confirm and apply the environmental protection requirements
    9. Position rescue equipment by the entry permit
  2. Work in confined space

    1. Gain access to confined space
    2. Ensure that the atmosphere is tested and monitored for harmful elements
    3. Correctly apply tagging and lock-out procedures
    4. Enter the confined space correctly
    5. Maintain ongoing communication with the stand-by person
    6. Comply with entry permit requirements
    7. Monitor and adhere to allocated entry time
  3. Exit confined space

    1. Exit confined space correctly
    2. Recover tools, equipment and materials
    3. Conduct inspection of the confined space
    4. Secure access to the confined space
    5. Remove tagging and lock-out
    6. Accurately complete confined space entry permit
  4. Clean up

    1. Clear work area and dispose of or recycle materials
    2. Clean, check, maintain and store tools and equipment
    3. Remove, clean and store barriers and signs

This guest post was contributed by Trevor Don

  • Completing this test & tag course will create more opportunities and make me more valuable.

    September 2016
  • My Boss sent me to this rigging course which has widened my knowledge.

    December 2016
  • After completing this dogging course I feel a lot safer and more aware when hooking up loads and a lot more competent about my job now.

    June 2017
  • My boss wanted to me to complete this forklift course. I am now able to use the forklift at work and not rely on others.

    July 2017
  • My boss organised this C6 crane training for me and I now feel I can operate a crane safely.

    November 2016
  • I attended this test and tag training because my boss wanted me to. It is the first course ever, where I haven't fallen asleep.

    March 2017
  • My Boss sent me on this C6 crane course and I believe it will change my career.

    November 2016
  • The forklift course that I completed is good training to get me started with a new and ongoing career.

    March 2017
  • This forklift training will help me get a decent job.

    March 2017
  • I've completed this forklift training and believe training gives the individual the confidence to do the job with less stress and pressure.

    March 2017
  • I believe after completing this C6 crane course I will be able to change my career path.

    November 2016
  • I believe after completing this confined space course great opportunities in work will open before me.

    April 2017
  • I requested training due to my current work scope. This dogging training has shown how limited my knowledge is and where I need to focus on future training.

    June 2017
  • I believe this confined space training will lead to my career enhancement.

    March 2017
  • Completing this EWP training has given me skills that will help me to do my job with better knowledge and understanding.

    September 2016
  • After completing this rigging training I now have more job skills.

    December 2016
  • I enrolled in this dogging course because I want to change my career path. Finally I get to go out in the field on jobs with the fitters and can assist.

    February 2018
  • Moving from New Zealand and resitting this forklift training has improved my knowledge of Australian standards and raised my skill level.

    March 2017
  • I believe completing this scaffolding course will provide me with better job opportunities.

    November 2016
  • My boss wanted me to enrol in this forklift course. I believe it has equipped me with skills that can be improved in a lifetime and has opened many opportunities.

    May 2017
  • My boss organised this confined space training for me which should now maintain my work in the mining industry.

    January 2017
  • I want to change my career path and now that I've completed this confined space course I believe it has opened my options to different careers.

    April 2017
  • I enrolled in the EWP training to get a new job. I found it a helpful and informative course to give me the confidence to go out into the workforce.

    May 2017
  • I attended this confined space training to get a new job. I am now more aware of how to work safely.

    April 2017
  • After completing this EWP and working at heights training I will be able to conduct more work in my industry and this can help with future endeavours.

    January 2017
  • Being brought up to date with current policies and procedures can only be a good thing.

    January 2018
  • Great organisation, really good to deal with. Clearly explained training programs, very accommodating and knowledgeable. Would highly recommend.

    September 2017
  • I believe that job prospects, skill level and recognised industry qualifications can all be improved by completing this forklift training course.

    March 2017
  • Completing this confined space training permits me to carry out work not many other people are qualified to do.

    January 2017
  • I completed this working at heights course to get a new job. I found it quick and easy.

    April 2017
  • The trainer was so friendly and easy to understand. Training materials in great condition. Highly Recommended.

    April 2017
  • My boss sent me to do this dogging course and I now believe it will help in my future career.

    April 2017
  • I chose to return to Nara for more training and completed the EWP course to make getting a new job easier.

    October 2016
  • My boss organised this scaffolding training for me which has now allowed me to pursue a bright future.

    January 2017
  • Now that I've completed this scaffolding course it has given me the skills to become one of the greats in scaffolding .

    January 2017
  • I completed the working at heights & confined spaces training to change my career path. The training had a good mix of theory and practical which helped keep it interesting.

    May 2017
  • The Nara Perth Training Centre is a good, well organised training facility.

    May 2017
  • Completing this EWP training will further my potential and help when applying for better positions

    September 2016
  • I enrolled in the C6 Crane course to get a new job. I felt it was great training because it was easy to learn.

    July 2017
  • This basic rigging training will help greatly to get my desired job. Great trainer, easy to follow.

    June 2017
  • Download a free course guide

    Complete your details to receive a free course guide and to be contacted by an Nara Training Course Advisor.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.