Nearly 100 people die every year in areas called confined spaces--storage tanks, process vessels, hoppers, silos, sewers, boilers, pipelines, and cargo spaces--that have limited means of entry and exit as well as unfavorable ventilation.
A feature story in the latest edition of NFPA Journal outlines the potential dangers workers face in these settings, and includes examples of actual fatalities in three states. Also discussed is NFPA's longstanding response to these hazards, including a new project that will more directly address the ongoing problem of fire and life safety issues in these spaces.
Here's a snippet on the new committee from the feature: "The responsibility of NFPA's Committee on Confined Space Safe Work Practices will be to identify the basics of safe practices for entry, work, and exit, and then develop safe work practices applicable to specific workplaces or occupancies. The individual work practices can be specific to industry, space types and design, or to work activity, such as hot work repairs, tank cleaning, or coating and painting."
Make sure to register for the next NFPA Journal LIVE presentation on April 5, when NFPA's Guy Colonna, head of the Industrial and Chemical Engineering division, will present "Tight Spot: NFPA and the Issue of Confined Space." In the meantime, watch the following video of Colonna giving an overview of the new NFPA project: