The fatal danger associated with enclosed spaces is a major safety concern for hazardous industries such as shipping, oil and gas, chemicals etc. These industries are struggling to eliminate incidents despite the various new regulations introduced and control measures in place. Based on the USA market, from 2011 to 2018, 1,030 workers died from occupational injuries involving a confined space. The annual figures range from a low of 88 in 2012 to a high of 166 in 2017. This data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). From this, we can estimate the number of deaths resulting from occupational injuries would be even more on a global scale.
What are some of the regulations at a glance?
- The Singapore Ministry of Manpower has created the Worksite Safety and Health (Confined Spaces) Regulations 2009, and this has come into operation on 1 November 2009. This includes training of workers and supervisors, implementation, and evaluation of confined space entry permit etc.
- With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the US Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards. Many of OSHA standards require employers to provide personal protective equipment, ensure that workers safely enter confined spaces, and provide training for certain dangerous jobs.
- The International Safety Management (ISM) Code requires companies to ensure that proper risk assessment and procedures are in place to prevent such incidents.
- UK’s Maritime and Coastguard agency released MGN 659 (M+F) 2022, a regulation governing the entry in enclosed spaces.