Isolation & Communication

Add a note hereIsolating a confined space is a process that removes the space from service by:
§  Add a note hereLocking out electrical sources, preferrably at disconnect switches remote from the equipment.
§  Add a note hereBlanking and bleeding off pneumatic and hydraulic lines.
§  Add a note hereDisconnecting belt and chain drives and mechanical linkages on shaft-driven equipment where possible.
§  Add a note hereSecuring mechanical moving parts within confined spaces with latches, chains, chocks, blocks, or other devices.

Add a note hereEffective communication among entrants, attendants, and supervisors is essential and must occur continuously to be effective. It is critical to have the correct communications equipment for the space being entered. Workers inside have to be able to communicate among themselves, as well as with the attendant outside of the work space. In the event of an emergency, communications equipment allows help to be summoned quickly.
Add a note hereEffective communication can take many different forms.
§  Add a note hereVoice communication is highly effective when distance and noise levels permit. If the distance is too far or the noise level too loud, other methods must be used to maintain contact.
§  Add a note hereHand signals can be used effectively if the entrant and the attendant are able to maintain visual contact.
§  Add a note hereHard wire communication and hand radios can also be highly effective.
§  Add a note hereBecause of normal movement, rope pull signals are not recommended. Ropes can also be ineffective if the entrant becomes incapacitated and is not able to signal in the case of an accident.
Add a note hereAll workers involved in a confined space entry should be knowledgeable about the communication equipment and trained in its use. Testing needs to be done routinely prior to space entry as well as immediately after entry. All communication equipment must be intrinsically safe, especially in flammable atmospheres.

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