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Pump engineers are constantly learning and renewing their training and skills. Two of our engineers have recently renewed their Confined Space Training. The nature of the job, means dealing not only with water but also sewage and involves engineers entering, working in, and exiting confined spaces. A confined space is defined as a space with any of these three characteristics: (a) limited or restricted openings for entry or exit; (b) poor natural ventilation; and (c) unsuitability for continuous worker occupancy.

By this broad definition, spaces like manholes, tanks, pipelines, and underground vaults qualify as confined spaces. Other characteristics can include :-

• The presence (or potential presence) of a hazardous atmosphere and/or material that can engulf a worker;
• The potential to trap or asphyxiate a worker by virtue of inwardly converging walls or downward-sloping floors that taper into smaller areas; and
• The presence (or potential presence) of exposed live wires, heat stress, unguarded machinery, and other recognized safety and/or health hazards.

Some of the hazards associated with work in permit spaces include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Loss of consciousness due to asphyxiation resulting from lack of oxygen and/or the presence of noxious fumes and vapors;
• Loss of consciousness due to exposure to temperature extremes;
• Fire or explosion;
• Electric shock;
• Exposure to excessive noise;
• Slips and falls on slick or wet surfaces;
• Suffocation or asphyxiation due to engulfment or entrapment;
• Drowning (in confined spaces vulnerable to water intrusion);
• Falling objects (in confined spaces with topside openings);
• and more.

The above abviously outlines the more dangerous nature of the job, so when you next have contact with a pump engineer bear in mind that although your job may not include this aspect of their training many of our projects do.


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