What is confined space training? The course helps workers understand the risks and hazards of entering and working in confined spaces.
Confined areas are not typically designed for people to work in. Enclosed or partially enclosed areas often have inadequate ventilation. This increases the risk of hazardous atmospheres such as unsafe oxygen levels or airborne contaminants.
Here is what you should know about the training requirements in Adelaide before entering or working in a confined space.
Who Should Attend Confined Spaces Training Adelaide?
Anyone working or supervising work in a confined space should complete this training. Inspectors may also need to complete the program to ensure safe working conditions.
Those that implement control measures, buy equipment, or design the work area also need to complete the program. Anyone who issues entry permits, acts as a standby person, or communicates with workers in a confined area should complete the training.
What is a confined space? To meet the criteria, the space must include at least one of the following characteristics:
- The space is not intended for human occupation.
- It is at normal atmospheric pressure.
- It is a risk to health and safety from unsafe oxygen levels or airborne contaminants.
- It contains harmful concentrations of any airborne contaminants.
- It is at risk of engulfment.
Common examples include tanks, vats, pits, ducts, pipes, chimneys, containers, shafts, wells, and tunnels. These spaces present additional risks for workers, requiring specialised training. The mining industry is an exception as mine shafts and the workings of a mine do not qualify as confined spaces.
The best way to reduce the risk of working in a confined space is to avoid entering the space. Unfortunately, there are many work scenarios that require workers to enter these dangerous areas. The training program helps workers understand how to identify the risks and implement safety procedures such as the use of breathing apparatus.
What Is the WHS/OHS Standard for Confined Spaces Training?
RIIWHS202E Enter and Work in Confined Spaces is the current WHS/OHS standard. This unit of competency covers the basic skills and knowledge needed to safely enter and work in enclosed or partially enclosed areas. It is typically a one-day course and must be completed face to face.
The course covers a lot of material including:
- The use of proper safety equipment
- The roles and responsibilities of PCBUs and workers
- The permits for authorising access to an enclosed area
- Risk management procedures
- Hazard identification procedures
Many registered training organisations (RTOs) include MSMPER200 and MSMWHS201 during the one-day training program. MSMPER200 covers the knowledge needed to work in accordance with an issued permit. The permit provides workers with written procedures to help minimise hazards and risks.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 0% of confined space fatalities involved workers following the written procedures. However, many fatalities occur each year due to potential hazards such as:
- Harmful airborne contaminants
- Unsafe oxygen levels
- Fire and explosion
The program covers the steps needed to complete a risk assessment of the space. Under the Model WHS regulations, the risk assessment is a requirement before entering a confined space.
MSMWHS201 includes training for conducting a hazard analysis. Workers learn to identify hazards and which hazard control measures to implement. The combination of these three units provides workers with a comprehensive set of procedures for reducing the risk of injury in a confined space.
Besides the RIIWHS202E course, workers may need to enrol in training for gas test atmospheres. Gas testing allows workers to test the atmosphere of enclosed spaces before entering the area, reducing the risk of exposure to harmful gasses.
How Often Is Confined Space Training Required in Adelaide?
The industry standard requires workers to complete a refresher confined spaces course every two years. After completing the course, you obtain a statement of attainment. The statement does not have an expiry date.
While the statement of attainment does not expire, most safety groups suggest a two-year limit. Many organisations and PCBUs follow this recommendation. However, WHS laws do not require the refresher course.
The main reason for completing the training every two years is to ensure that workers continue to employ the best safety practices in the workplace. Training organisations also offer a refresher course online.
How Much Is Confined Space Training in Adelaide?
The cost of the training courses varies but the average cost in South Australia exceeds $200. At AlertForce, you can enroll in the RIIWHS202E course as low as $180 (if you are training in a group and have the right setup in workplace. This program also includes the MSMPER200 and MSMWHS201 units of competency. Currently AlertForce has an auspice agreement to deliver this training with Fresh Air (RTO ID 40599).
In the end, not everyone needs to complete confined spaces training. The program is intended for those who work in confined spaces along with supervisors and directors responsible for managing the work.
If your work tasks involve entering or working in an enclosed or partially enclosed area, ensure that you complete the necessary training.
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