ISEA Experts Discuss Solutions for Confined Space Safety

Day two of the NSC Expo featured a panel discussion on confined space safety and practices.

A panel of ISEA experts held a discussion Tuesday regarding confined space safety. ISEA, an association for personal protective equipment and technologies, focused on ways to prevent accidents from occurring in confined spaces.

The experts included: Bob Vigor from Scott Safety, Paul Hatala from Draeger, and Bray May from Sellstrom Manufacturing. Vigor opened the discussion by going through different accidents that led to the death of workers and pointed out they all could have been prevented by simply recognizing some of the hazards ahead of time, specifically those related to the contents of the air in the spaces. 65 percent of deaths in confined spaces are due to atmospheric hazards, and Vigor said that most of those can be prevented by knowing what to look for and how to recognize hazardous conditions.

He also listed the three hazards within the atmosphere that are the main concern: oxygen levels, flammable gas and vapors, and toxic contaminants.

Hatala focused on the reliable use of self-contained breathing apparatuses. He admitted that there are a wide number of ways to look at respiratory protection due to the variety of industries that require different regulations. He also discussed a goal of trying to implement standards for the different sizes and shapes of the face.

Finally, May took the stage and told stories that helped illustrate his points about fall protection in confined spaces. Above all, his focus was on the common sense of the worker. “Common sense is the only thing you can’t buy,” he said.

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