Confined space environments often have dangerous gases that can build up and unless there is proper mechanical ventilation, they remain in the atmosphere, posing danger to anyone who enters the space. Since many deadly gases do not have an odor or visible presentation, OSHA compliant gas monitoring should not be overlooked. In some cases, damage can occur to your workers in mere seconds, which is why having the proper gas monitoring is imperative.
OSHA Compliant Gas Monitoring Allows for Quick Decisions
Monitoring the air in confined spaces is critical to ensuring your workers are sufficiently protected and are using the correct safety equipment for the conditions. Unlike atmospheric sampling, which involves analysis in a specialized laboratory, the instruments used for gas monitoring provide real-time information on the types of gases present and measures how much of each is present. This protects your workers from exposures that can lead to permanent damage, injury or even death.
The Evaluation Phase for Confined Space Atmospheric Testing
Before work can commence in a confined space, OSHA compliant gas monitoring mandates that monitoring equipment that measures well below acceptable gas levels must be used and the results verified by a technical professional. This process creates a baseline for regular monitoring since the process identifies the types of gases or chemicals that workers have the potential to be exposed to so when they carry out regular testing before entering the work space, they know what to expect. This also allows employers to make provisions such as mechanical ventilation, to ensure the atmosphere is safe for your workers.
Ongoing Testing Requirements
Using information gathered during the evaluation phase, a safety plan needs to be enacted that outlines the testing that needs to be done on an ongoing basis to remain compliant with OSHA gas monitoring legislation. The plan should outline the type of monitoring equipment that should be used and the frequency of testing if it is other than upon re-entry only.
OSHA compliant gas monitoring saves lives. Skipping any steps or not using the appropriate equipment may save a few moments of time, but the risk involved is human life. For more information on meeting OSHA compliance for gas monitoring in your confined space work environment, contact us at Innovative Ventilation Systems.