Confined space training is a requirement when working in enclosed or partially enclosed areas. It gives workers the information and skills needed to safely enter and work in confined spaces.
These areas often lack proper ventilation, allowing for the development of hazardous atmospheres.
If possible, employers should try to eliminate the need for employees to enter these dangerous spots. Unfortunately, that is rarely an option.
When employers cannot eliminate the threat, they need to take reasonable steps to reduce the risks. For enclosed or partially enclosed areas, this starts with the necessary confined spaces training.
What Is Confined Space Training?
The training consists of practical demonstrations and informational presentations to help employees and supervisors understand the risks of working in dangerous, tight areas. Some of the skills and knowledge covered during the training include:
- Understanding the hazards and health risks
- The details needed for an entry permit
- The hierarchy of control measures for reducing risks
RIIWHS202E is the nationally recognised program for confined space entry. Any worker that enters or works in a confined space, monitors the conditions of workers or undertakes hazard identification or risk assessments needs to complete the program.
Site training is available face to face and requires a full day to complete. After the program is completed, attendees complete an assessment to evaluate their knowledge of the training.
How Often Is Confined Space Training in Brisbane Required?
Before an employee can enter and work in confined spaces, they need to complete a training program from an approved training organisation. After the successful completion of the course, attendees receive a statement of attainment.
The statement offers proof of the unit of competency, which does not have an expiry date. However, the code of practice recommends that employees complete refresher training every two years.
What Is the WHS Standard for Confined Space Training in Brisbane?
The OHS (WHS) standard for confined space training is AS2865-2009. It requires workers to complete the necessary training if their job duties involve work inside a confined space. These spaces are defined as enclosed or partially enclosed spaces with one or more of the following features:
- Not designed for human occupation
- Designed for normal atmospheric pressure
- Includes risks to the health and safety of workers
This does not include mine shafts or the inside of a mine. If space meets the first two requirements and poses at least one health risk, workers need to successfully complete the required training program.
OHS regulations also include a model code of practice for working in a confined space. It applies to anyone managing or controlling an enclosed or partially enclosed space.
The regulations also require air monitoring, such as gas test atmospheres, if there is any uncertainty about the concentration of gas or other airborne contaminants.
During training, participants learn the hierarchy of control measures for reducing the risks associated with enclosed spaces. The hierarchy includes the following steps:
- Engineering controls
- Administrative controls
- Personal protective equipment
The steps are listed in the order of their effectiveness. Obviously, eliminating the threat is the most effective way to reduce risk. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is considered the least effective and acts as a last line of defence.
When PCBUs cannot eliminate the need to work in a tight area, substitution and isolation are the next steps. However, these steps are less applicable when dealing with a confined space.
To help keep employees safe, the next step is the use of engineering controls. This may include air monitoring or modifications to equipment to make the work area safer.
Administrative controls include steps that help reduce exposure. For example, PCBUs may limit the amount of time that a worker can spend in an enclosed or partially enclosed spot.
The final step involves the use of PPE. If the enclosed area includes poor ventilation or airborne contaminants, workers may need proper breathing apparatus.
How Much Does a Confined Space Course in Brisbane Cost?
The cost of the program depends on the training facility. The average cost for RIIWHS202E is about $500 and is GST free.
Some training facilities offer additional courses. For example, AlertForce provides a nationally recognised program, under auspice, that includes RIIWHS202E, MSMPER200 (Work in Accordance with an Issued Permit), and MSMWHS201 (Conduct Hazard Analysis). This program lasts all day and costs about $180 per person if completing in a private workplace with a minimum amount of participants.
The refresher course is offered online and costs $60 plus GST. It is a self-paced program that meets the compliance for refresher training. However, the refresher training is only suitable for those that have completed RIIWHS202E face to face and have a valid statement of attainment as it is an awareness refresher.
Before an employee can work in a confined space, training is needed. If you are a PCBU, ensure that your employees and supervisors complete the program. If you are an employee whose work activities involve these dangerous spaces, ensure that your employer provides the required training.
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