Confined Space Working Procedure

Working in a confined space can be very dangerous if you are unaware of the types of potential danger that dwell in a confined space. Before we discuss on the danger, perhaps it will be very beneficial to identify what is a confined space.

A confined space is
  1. Any workspace which is not meant/design for human occupancy.
  2. Any workplace where there are limit to the natural lighting.
  3. Any workplace where the source of ventilation is compromised.
  4. Any workplace where the point of exit is limited & the movement out of the workplace required restricted body movement.
Now, since you had identify that your workplace is a confined space, what are the items that you might want to focus on?
  1. The workplace might face Oxygen deficient or enriched. (Typical oxygen level is between 19.5% - 23.5%)
  2. Any release of flammable or toxic gas from the workplace? (e.g: methane, sulphur dioxide)
  3. Sufficient ventilation in the confined space?
  4. How many workers are allowed in the confined space? (This question could be very tricky)
  5. Which type of lighting is allowed?
Knowing the potential problems, it's now to tackle them. How?
  1. First, you will definitely need a portable gas meter (to measure the oxygen level, Carbon dioxide (CO2), Lowest Explosive Limit - Combustible gas (LEL - <10%) & Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S).
  2. A adequate portable ventilation fan to provide ventilation to your confined space, with proper ducting.
  3. Ensure that the workers enter the confined space with minimum of a buddy system. (The one will the portable meter shall enter the confined space & his buddy shall await at the entrance.
So, what is the proper procedures on entering a confined space?
  1. Quite identical to all works, apply for a permit to enter a confined space from your safety officer / confined space assessor.
  2. Before entering a confined space, ensure that the opening for the confined space are opened. Identify the types of cargo that are stored inside the confined space to evaluate on the potential hazards (e.g: types of hazardous gas).
  3. Conduct an initial gas check with a gas meter to check on the oxygen level, carbon dioxide level & any present of hydrogen sulphide & combustible gas.
  4. Shall any of the four parameters failed to meet the safe condition, connect the portable ventilation fan with ducting into the confined space & ventilate the area to a reasonable time. Preferable to conduct gas checks at every 30 mins interval.
  5. Shall the gas meter identify that the confined space is well ventilated, enter the confined space in this order. First to go in, last to come out. The first person shall be the one who carried the portable gas meter. He/she shall wear the portable gas meter at least above 1m from his feet. He/she shall evacuate the group when he observed any danger indicate from the gas meter. He/she shall also be the last person to exit from the confined space.
  6. Shall the confined space be previously contain any flammable or toxic substance, the confined space shall be scheduled for a every 3hr gas check. Other situation will be at an interval of 6hr. The records of the air level shall be recorded & display at the entrance of the confined space at all times together with the permit.
  7. Once all work had been done, conduct a last check in the confined space, ensure that no tools & foreign materials are left in the area. Upon ensuring that the area is vacant, exit from the confined space & locked up the area. Inform your safety officer / confined space assessor to close the permit.

Lifting Operations Safety

Lifting activities are an essential part of operations at many worksites. However, lifting operations can be potentially dangerous and are considered high-risk activities. The unsafe and improper use of lifting equipment had resulted in fatalities, serious injuries, and dangerous occurrences. Crane-related incidents such as crane collapse can have severe outcomes, including damage to surrounding properties, and serious injuries to workers and the public.
Ensuring Safe Lifting Operations
To ensure safe operations, thorough risk assessment and careful planning are required prior to commencement of work. A proper lifting plan should be developed for all lifting operations, which should include (i) a proper risk assessment process, (ii) a permit-to-work system, (iii) the selection of safe and proper equipment, (iv) an appreciation of the actual ground conditions and (v) the deployment of qualified and competent personnel.
The followings are some of the safety precautions which should be exercised at all times for lifting operations:
  • Site lifting machines such as cranes on firm, stable and level ground (see Figure 1) to ensure stability during lifting operations.
  • Do not overload the lifting appliance, lifting gear and lifting machines
  • Ascertain the weight of the load before lifting
  • Develop specific risk assessment and method statement for tandem lifting operations, slope, or travelling with suspended loads
  • Check that the lifting hook’s safety latch is functioning
  • Inspect all lifting gears such as shackle, sling and hook for defects before use
  • Prominently display all relevant test certificates of the lifting equipment and permit to lift

5 Steps of Risk Assessment in Nebosh

Risk Assessment is “a logical process of collecting information &
making judgments against standards to establish whether or not risks
are adequately controlled”
Or Risk Assessment is “Evaluating & analyzing the risks arising from
hazards, and checking the existing control measures & identifying
additional controls if needed”

5 Steps of Risk Assessment

1- Define the activity & identify the hazards:
Sources used to identify hazards
- Task observation
- Accident, ill-health & near miss records
- Experts & workers carrying out the assessed task
- Workplace inspections, Job safety analysis (JSA)
- Local legislations & legal standards
- Company policies & work procedures

2- Decide who might be harmed and how:
- Consider both employees & non-employees (contractors,
visitors & members of the public)
- Consider groups at special risk (pregnant women, young and
old workers & disabled workers)

3- Evaluate, analyze the risk and check the existing precautions
& control measures:
- Estimate, analyze & rank the risk considering both likelihood
and Severity of the harm using risk assessment matrix (5X5)
- Check the existing control measures & decide whether they are
adequate or additional precautions are needed

Record the findings:
Everything should be recorded & documented; such as
- The details of the assessors
- Date, time & location of the assessment,
- Description of the assessed activity & types of hazards
- People who might be harmed
- Level of the risk and control measures that should be taken

5- Review the assessment and revise if necessary:
- After any change such as new equipment used in the activity or
a new legislation or periodically


Summer is here, and those workers who do roofing work, road repair, construction, landscaping, or other physically demanding jobs are probably exposed to hot and humid conditions! Being uncomfortable is not the major problem which exists, when working in high temperatures. Varying degrees of heat stress may also be suffered, increasing the potential for accidents.
The human body maintains a fairly constant internal temperature. When we become overheated, several reactions take place. First, the body rids itself of excess heat by increasing circulation in blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. This is why the face and hands turn red when you begin to overheat. The brain may also signal the sweat glands to work harder. As the sweat evaporates, it cools the skin and removes large quantities of heat from the body. Problems begin when outside temperature are near your body temperature (980 F). If the air temperature around you is warmer than your skin, blood that has been brought to the body surface cannot lose its heat. Also, if the humidity is high, your body will continue to sweat liquids containing electrolytes, which will not easily evaporate. Therefore, you cannot rid yourself of the excess heat that is building up. With so much blood being sent to the outer surface of your body, less is available for active muscles, your brain, and other internal organs. The following reactions take place:-
●          Body strength declines;
●          Fatigue occurs sooner than it would otherwise;
●          Alertness and mental capacity may also be affected. Workers who must perform delicate or detailed work may find they are less accurate. Others may find they have less ability to understand and retain information. The problem is, you may not realize this is happening.
Heat stress may also produce heat cramps (the internal organs are not getting enough electrolytes due to profuse sweating). It may bring on heat exhaustion (caused by insufficient water intake and not being able to evaporate the sweat). Or, you may suffer heat stroke, which is when your body shuts down in an attempt to keep its internal organs from burning up. Without emergency treatment, the heat stroke victim lapses into shock, then a coma and death may follow.
To control heat stress, remember these tips:-
●         Use ventilation or local cooling fans to increase air movement over your body and promote skin evaporation.
●         Take frequent rest breaks between strenuous work activities.
●         Wear protective clothing, such as loose cotton or heat reflective clothes.
●         Drink plenty of liquids to replenish your fluid loss.

●         Avoid alcohol and caffeine, these also cause an expansion of blood vessels and may bring on dizziness or fainting.

what is PPM and why gas used to measure in PPM?

ppm is an abbreviation of parts per millionppm is a value that represents one ten thousands  of one percent in total air volume

It's the same reason why, for example, we measure people's weight in pounds and not tons. It's easier to read and express things in ppm when you're dealing with measures that are much less than 1%, as "percent" literally means "per hundredth". 

If something had "0.5 parts per million", that would be a fraction of 5 ten millionths, or 0.0000005, which is 0.00005%. Having all those zeroes in there could make it easy to misread it as "0.000005" or "0.0005". So rathan than spending so much time keeping track of zeroes, it's easier to just express some percentages as "ppm".

1 ppm=0.0001%
1%=10,000 ppm


This Talk is prepared to cover preparations and precautions required before any Hot Work may commence and  which have to be observed while Hot Work is being carried out on live existing pipelines.                                                                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                 AREA PREPARATIONS – CLEARING

            A.      Removal of all combustible materials from the work area (waste, fuel, flammable chemicals, paints, thinners, etc.)

            B.      Removal of empty drums and gas cylinders.

            C.     General clean-up of the work area (also to be done at the end of each shift).

            D.     Access and escape ways to be kept clear.

            E.      Preparations to avoid hydrocarbon or other combustible material from entering the hot work area; check overflows, drain systems, vents, relief lines, etc.

                     MECHANICAL PREPARATIONS

            A.      Fire blankets to be positioned below hot work locations, to protect against sparks and welding scatter.  Blankets to be kept wet.  Screens of fire retardant material are to be constructed around the hot work location to contain grinding sparks and weld arcs.

            B.      When working adjacent to "live" areas, seal area off with canvas to prevent the tripping of alarm systems in those areas.


            C.     Position notices "HOT WORK IN PROGRESS" and "AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY", at all entrances and boundary areas which lead into or run adjacent to the hot work area.

            D.     No fiber ropes or slings to be used near the hot work area.

            E.      Prior to any hot cutting taking place, pipes should be clearly marked by an   authorized person.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
            A         Fire hoses to be run and pressurized.
            B.      Fire extinguishers to be positioned at the work site.
            C.     Aluminum scaffold decking is preferred, but wet fire blankets should suffice.
            D.     Fire-Watch to be posted at site.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                              WELDERS AND WELDING EQUIPMENT

            A.      Whenever possible, earth returns should be coupled directly to the work being welded and to an independent earth.  Earth returns should not be connected in such a way that the path of the current is outside the designated safe area.

            B.      No earthing cables are to be connected to pipes containing hydrocarbons.

            C.     Welding cables must in good condition with no cuts or breaks in the insulation.

            D.     Welders to be supplied with receptacles for electrode stubs.

            E.      For electric welding, voltage should be kept to a minimum for efficient welding.

            F.      Hoses should be kept for one type of gas only.  Red for acetylene and green for oxygen.

            G.     Hoses should be examined before use for correct couplings, signs of deterioration and signs of slitting or drying out, which may give rise to leakage.


            A.      Access to the hot work area to be restricted to a minimum of people.

            B.      All hot work to stop immediately on the receipt of a gas alarm.  This work should only re-start with specific instructions from the permit issuer.

            C.     Any dangerous incident (near miss) to be reported immediately.

            D.     A responsible person should be appointed to stand-by at the welding sets for the immediate shutdown of all the sets and gas cylinders in case of alarm.

            E.      Ensure all permits are validated and signed-off at the end of the shift. 


Serious accidents may result from the misuse, abuse or mishandling of cylinders.

Cylinders must never be lifted by their valves since the valves are not designed to take such stress and can break-off.  When a cylinder is not in use, the valve should be protected with the valve cap.

All valves must be fully closed before a cylinder is moved.

Unless a trolley or special carrier is used, regulators and hoses should be detached from the cylinder.

If cylinders are to be lifted by a crane, specially designed bottle holders with lifting eyes should be used.

Chain and wire rope slings can allow cylinders to slip.  Where a trolley is to be used for slinging, its base should be strong enough to take the weight of the cylinders.

Do not lift with an electromagnet.  Cylinders in transit on vehicles should have valve caps in place.  Cylinders should be upright and secured to avoid any violent contact which could weaken the cylinder walls.  Loading and unloading should take place carefully, cylinders should not be dropped, thrown, dragged, used as rollers or as a support.  No damaged or defective cylinders should be used.

When in doubt as to the proper handling of a compressed gas cylinder or its contents, your Supervisor or the supplier should be consulted.
                                                                                                                                                                   Empty cylinders should be returned to the supplier with the valves closed and the valve caps in place.

Cylinders, even those marked "empty" should be treated as a potential hazard and handled with great care as they still contain some gas.

Only soap-water should be used to check the valves for leaks. Cylinders and valves should be kept clean and free from dirt, grease, oil or oily water. Oil and grease react vigorously with oxygen which can cause the cylinder to explode.                                        

 When blowing compressed gas to clear valves and sockets ensure you are not blowing onto people working around you.    

·         Treat every cylinder as “full” and handle carefully.

·         Always use a carrier and secure the cylinder into it.

·         Always secure acetylene cylinders in an upright position both in use and in storage.

·         Store ALL cylinders so that they cannot fall.

·         Keep them away from sun, artificial heat, flammable materials, corrosive chemicals and fumes.

·         Avoid damage to valves and fittings.  Do not use them for lifting or carrying.

·         Keep valves and fittings of oxygen cylinders free from oil and grease.

·         Open cylinder valves slowly and close sufficiently to shut off gas - NEVER USE FORCE.

·         Always lift cylinders from trucks - do not drop or slide them.

·         Keep hose lines clear of traffic lanes.

·         REMEMBER: Handling cylinders is a two man job.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Components (elements) of the health & safety management system

1) Policy:-
- A business plan for health & safety to prevent / reduce loss in
the organisation
- Consisting of 3 sections (Statement of intent, Organisation &

2) Organising:-
o Identify Channels of communication within the organisation (chain
of command: who is reporting to whom)
o Identify the health & safety roles & responsibilities of everyone in
the company e.g. job descriptions (5Cs: Competence,
Commitment , Control, Co-operation, Communication)

3) Planning 4) Implementation: - Identify hazards, assessing risks,
and decide how risks can be eliminated or controlled, and Set
standards against which performance can be measured.
This should be implemented & enforced all over the organisation

5) Monitoring (Measuring performance):- to determine the extent

to which health & safety policy and its objectives are being
implemented, Monitoring should be both reactive e.g. Accident
investigation and proactive e.g. Audits

6) Audit:- Systematic examination of the whole health & safety
management system to ensure UAE , using 3 evidences:
inspections (physical observation), documents checks & staff

7) Review:- Analysing data gathered through monitoring to see
whether performance is adequate or not, developing the action
plan and recommendations needed for improvements

Foundations in Health and Safety--- Nebosh

Health: - absence of diseases, PLUS physical, mental & social well
Safety: - Absence of uncontrolled hazards, unacceptable or significant
Welfare: - Looking after people’s basic needs; providing welfare
facilities such as : food, water, accommodation & bathrooms

Environmental protection: - measure used to prevent harm to the
environment of the workplace & to the surroundings of the organisation
& the whole world including air, water, land and natural resources,flora,
fauna and human beings and their inter-relationships.

Hazard: - Something with the potential to cause loss or harm of any
kind such as: injury to people / damage to equipment.
Example: Electricity, Welding machine, Noise, or Vibration

Risk: - Combination of the likelihood of harm to occur and the severity
of that harm – this harm could be injury to people or damage to
equipment (Risk = Likelihood X Severity)
Example: Working at heights, Confined space entry or Welding

Accident: - An unwanted, unplanned event which results in a
Loss of any kind such as: injury to people, damage to equipment
Example: An employee tripped over a cable, fell down & broke his leg.

Occupational Accident: - An unwanted & unplanned event which
results in a Loss or harm of any kind such as: injury to people, damage
Example: An employee tripped over a cable INSIDE THE WORKPLACE
fell down and broke his leg.




q  Issue keys for Forklift Trucks to authorised operators only who should retain them until the end of the work period;

q  On completion of work, park the Forklift Truck in the designated parking area with the fork arms lowered to the ground, parking brake applied and engine switched off.  Disconnect the battery on battery-powered Forklift Trucks.  Turn off the gas on LPG- powered Forklift Trucks.  Return the keys to their place of safe keeping;

q  Be particularly careful when operating where there are pedestrians.  Observe the site rules (banks man required when operating a Forklift Truck in the vicinity of pedestrians) and take all precautions to avoid pedestrians;

q  As a general rule, when operating, keep to the left.  However, when driving between rows of machines or racks it maybe safer (if a clear view can be obtained) to keep to the centre of the gangway or aisle;

q  Sound the horn in short sharp blasts at every potential danger spot.  Remember, the horn does not give automatic right of way;

q  Stop before doorways.  Sound the horn and proceed slowly if clear to do so;

q  Avoid violent braking or sudden change of direction which may cause the load to fall off or the Forklift Truck to tip;

q  Where possible, travel with the fork arms lowered to within 150mm (6”) of level ground and mast tilted slightly back.  With some attachments, e.g. barrel clamps, the mast should be kept vertical.  Always follow the instructions for use of the attachment;

q  Always look in the direction of travel.  When loaded, travel down or up slopes with the fork arms facing uphill.  When unloaded, travel up or down slopes with fork arms facing downhill.  It may be necessary to raise the fork arms slightly at the bottom of slopes to avoid grounding the load or fork arms.  Where it is impossible or hazardous to turn the Forklift Truck to comply with the above, e.g. when loading containers using a portable ramp, operate with the fork arms facing uphill for both directions of travel.  In this case keep the Forklift Truck in line with the incline and do not attempt to turn until on a level surface.  Do not turn on or travel across a ramp or incline;

q  Travel slowly when descending slopes;

q  When leaving the Forklift Truck, even for a few seconds, apply the parking brake, make sure that it is in neutral and the fork arms are tilted forward and lowered to the ground.  It the Forklift Truck is to be out of sight or remote, shut off the power and remove the key;

q  Before raising a load ensure there is sufficient clearance overhead to do so and that objects which could fall and injure people nearby will not be dislodged;

q  When mounting or dismounting from the Forklift Truck use the steps and handholds provided for the purpose.  Before dismounting, check that is it safe to do so and the Forklift Truck is parked safely.



q  Do not permit operators to consume alcohol while at work.  Even small quantities of alcohol can impair judgement and put the safety of the operator and others at risk;

q  Do not allow an employee who appears unfit through drink or drugs to operate a Forklift Truck (a person who would be unfit to drive a vehicle on the public road should be considered unfit to operate an Forklift Truck);

q  Do not pick up a load if someone is standing close to it;

q  Do not allow people to walk underneath the load;

q  Do not move a load that appears unsuitable.  Mark it as such and report its condition to the supervisor.  When using wooden pallets follow the guidance in ‘Safety in the Use of Timber Pallets’.

q  Do not leave an Forklift Truck unattended on a gradient except in an emergency, in which case chock the wheels;

q  Do not carry passengers unless the Forklift Truck is designed and equipped to do so;

q  Do not run over cables or flexible pipes etc that are on the floor unless they are suitably protected;

q  Do not operate with the load raised, because of the risks of overturning, except at creep speed as part of a stacking or de-stacking manoeuvre;

q  Do not carry a load that blocks forward visibility.  It is absolutely necessary to carry a bulky load which blocks visibility, then the Forklift Truck should be driven in reverse.  If this is not possible, for example when travelling up a slope, a banksman should be used to assist the operator.


The places at which you work, and the access to these places, should always be free from unnecessary equipment, materials and substances which are liable to cause people to trip or slip.  Waste materials and substances should be cleared away regularly and tools kept together in a box or bag when not in use.

Holes or openings in floors must be filled in, or fitted with protective covers securely fixed in place and labelled "CAUTION OPENING BELOW", or protected by guard rails and toe boards.  Every year someone lifts an unmarked, loose cover and then walks down the hole being "protected".

Edges of floors, roofs and other working places from which people can fall, or from which people can fall into water and drown, must be protected by suitable guard rails and toe boards as indicated by the risk assessment.  If work is to be undertaken adjacent to water, suitable rescue equipment must be available.

If you work at a height, take care of the people working below.  Let them know you are there and take steps to prevent things from falling.  Precautions might include cover for floor openings, toe boards, brick guards, barriers or safety nets and the use of tool belts.

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