Working in a tight space, such as a sewer or tunnel, presents additional risks to workers. They may face a greater risk of exposure to harmful airborne particles or difficulty properly using their safety equipment.
To address the risks of working in small areas, workers need to complete a confined space course.
What Is Confined Space Training in Melbourne?
The best way to avoid the risk of working in confined spaces is to eliminate the need to physically enter the space. However, this is not always an option. For example, a worker performing gas testing in a tunnel or shaft may need to enter the enclosed space to complete the testing.
When workers need to enter tight areas, proper training is needed to work safely and minimise risks. The confined spaces courses cover the information and training for addressing the hazards of working in confined spaces, which are defined as an area that meets any of the following conditions:
- The area is not designed for occupation by a person
- The space does not offer safe oxygen levels
- The work area includes airborne contaminants, such as gases or dust
- The area includes a risk of engulfment
Common examples include pits, ducts, chimneys, containers, tanks, vats, and silos. Shafts, tunnels, wells, and underground sewers also qualify as confined spaces.
Working in small, enclosed areas may increase the risk of exposure to potentially harmful levels of airborne particles. This is especially common when working in the areas listed.
During the training program, participants learn how to manage the risks associated with working in dangerous areas. This includes a risk assessment of the situation. Workers learn how to identify hazards and implement control measures.
How Often Is Confined Space Training Required in Melbourne?
According to Safework Australia, training and competency assessments should be for all persons working in enclosed areas, but the regulations do not state how long the competency lasts. However, the code of practice recommends refresher training every two years. This gives workers the latest safety techniques for managing risks.
What Is the OHS Standard for the Confined Space Course in Melbourne?
See this Safe Work Australia document for details on confined spaces training. It is required for all workers when tasks involve working in a confined space. Failure to comply may result in severe penalties.
According to section 21 of the 2004 OHS Act, employers need to provide staff with adequate training and supervision to allow for safe work. This includes training for enclosed or partially enclosed areas.
RIIWHS202E – Enter and Work in Confined Spaces is the nationally-recognised training course that meets the OHS requirements. This covers both confined space entry and the recommended best practices for working in an enclosed area.
The standard also outlines the following process for safely working in tight areas:
- Plan and prepare for entry
- Working in the enclosed area
- Exiting the space
- Cleaning up after completing the task
Increasing the safety of workers involves multiple steps. The first step includes an assessment of potential hazards. Employees also need to determine the best emergency response procedures and set up any necessary rescue equipment.
The safety precautions do not stop once the worker enters the enclosed or partially enclosed area. Next, they need to ensure that the environment is safe for occupation. This involves gas testing and air testing to monitor oxygen levels and the presence of any harmful airborne contaminants.
Entry into the tunnel, shaft, or other tight spots also requires an entry permit. The entry permit only covers one space and must include the following details:
- A complete description
- The time frame for the task
- The names of all workers entering the area
- The control measures used to minimise risks
After everyone has left the work site, the person that wrote the permit must sign off and verify that all workers have safely vacated.
As part of the safety procedures, workers also need to learn how to effectively communicate while working in a small work area. Avoiding any of these safety procedures could seriously jeopardize the safety of workers.
How Much Is a Confined Space Course Melbourne?
The cost of the program varies, but the average fee for one individual is from about $250 (GST free). However, there are different types of courses. For example, AlertForce offers awareness online refresher courses.
The refresher courses cost significantly less. They are also self-paced and provide a way for workers to refresh their competency every two years. Only workers who have already completed the RIIWHS204E or RIIWHS202E and have their statement of attainment can take the refresher courses. You should also check with your place of work that this refresher strategy is acceptable.
At AlertForce, the RIIWHS202E is offered along with MSMPER200 and MSMWHS201 at a much lower rate compared to the national average. Instead of $500 per individual, you may only pay a little over a third of the average cost.
Without the necessary training, you may experience work stoppages, penalties, and an increased risk of accident or death. Do not delay enrolling in the necessary programs. Book your confined spaces training today.
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