Confined space training came about as a result of the many health and safety regulations in place in Australia. By definition, a 'confined space' is an enclosed space that is not safe for people to work in due to the lack of ventilation. This can create a dangerous environment to work in, and unfortunately, fatal accidents in confined spaces have been common. Training is of paramount importance for anyone operating in a confined space, whether they function as a supervisor, manager, or worker. Knowing what to expect during the training session will allow you to prepare.
Types of courses
Confined space training generally takes place over one or two days. A one-day course will cover the basic hazards and methods of entering confined spaces, ensuring that workers can operate safely. Two-day courses usually include gas testing and more information around regulations and permits. The longer course is appropriate for those who need more in-depth knowledge of confined spaces and experience identifying hazards which may arise, as well as a greater ability to minimize the risks.
Many of the hazards which arise in confined spaces cannot be prevented from inside the space or without a lot of preparation. Identifying these risks when they arise, to enable fast and effective evacuation, is the focus of confined space training. Although practical elements do make up parts of the course, risk identification is something that workers must prepare for without actually experiencing. Case studies and the model Code of Practice will be the focus of this part of the confined space training, as well as a few hypothetical scenarios.
Everyone has a role in a confined space, whether that space is a mine or part of a construction site. Understanding where workers fit into that picture will allow you to be the most effective when you work in a confined space. Confined space training allows you to practice scenarios and understand what your role would be if something was to go wrong in a confined space. Allocating responsibilities is a central focus of the training.
One confined space training module will usually only last around eighteen months, depending on the course. Know when your qualification expires so that you can book another course and plan accordingly. Best practices change frequently, so the requirements around refreshers are intended to keep you and your team safe in a confined space.