Construction workers are subjected to many hazardous situations. In fact, the construction industry is one of the most dangerous in the country. As in any industry, it is essential that workers understand how to protect themselves by wearing the proper protective equipment as well as navigate around a worksite in a safe way to avoid injury or even death. One of the dangers that construction workers face is confined spaces. Small work areas, such as manholes, tanks and crawl spaces, are not designed for human occupancy and have limited access to an exit. However, construction workers may be required to fit into these small spaces for a period of time in order to get the job done.
There are several dangers that come with working in a confined space. First, these spaces come with atmospheric concerns. The small area may make it difficult for the worker to gain access to sufficient amounts of oxygen, which could cause asphyxiation. This is especially dangerous if there are toxins present. Second, workers may face a greater risk of getting electrocuted in small spaces. It is essential that employers fully evaluate the confined space and ensure the area is safe before sending workers in. Finally, explosions may occur that could cause the exit of the small space to cave in, trapping the worker within.
Employers are ultimately responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for their employees. Workers should always wear the right safety gear and should understand what to do if a hazardous situation occurs