Confined Space Gas Testing – Module 2

We start each module by first laying out the requirements of Opito for this section. Module 2 learning elements are as follows:

Module 2 – Authorised Gas Tester Level 1 – Initial Training

Training staff to explain:

Element 1.2     Relevant Legislative Controls


1.1.1 – The implications of organisational and statutory requirements with respect to gas testing – to include legislation, codes of practice, manufacturers’ and company instructions


1.1.2 – The fact that the owner is responsible to make the confined space safe for entry

1.1.3 – How to interpret operational requirements – to include policies, procedures, instructions, codes of practice and standards


1.1.4 – How to select, use and care for PPE for different toxic and flammable gases through risk assessment

1.1.5 – Consideration of appropriate levels of respiratory protective equipment

1.1.6 – How to work both with and within the Permit to Work system

 Confined Space Legislation:


1.1.1 – The implications of organisational and statutory requirements with respect to gas testing – to include legislation, codes of practice, manufacturers’ and company instructions


There often appears to be a mountain of infomation that needs reading every time someone asks us to looking into health and safety legislation – and unfortunately to an extent this is true for confined spaces!

Now we would like to start by saying this is not a complete list of the legislation applying to all those working in confined spaces. It is therefore essential – that you work along with those having safety expertise within your own organisation to ensure everyone meets the full requirements of the law.

If you do not have the relevant expertise within your organisation, you must seek advice from other suitable qualified and competent professionals. Further information on this subject can be found on the Health and Safety Executive’s web site.

Major Leislation:

  • Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
  • Confined Spaces Regulations 1997
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work (MHSW) Regulations 1999
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002
  • Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
  • Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, Emergency Response) Regulations (PFEER) 1995
  • Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002. (DSEAR).

Others:

  • Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
  • Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
  • Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002
  • Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012

In this section we are not going to explain the implications of each piece of legislations. We simple want to inform you the reader of the law and what is often required for those working with confined spaces.


1.1.2 – The fact that the owner is responsible to make the confined space safe for entry

This learning element is relatively self-explanatory; all employers around the world have a moral and normally, legal requirement to provide safe working environments for their employees and members of the public. The same is especially true of confined spaces as these present a high risk to those required to work within the.


1.1.3 – How to interpret operational requirements – to include policies, procedures, instructions, codes of practice and standards
.

Here’s a simple tip to answer this “slightly ambiguous” statement.

Read them, live them, love them!

For every routine and non-routine operation requiring gas testing, there should be a formally recorded procedure containing simple and clear instructions based upon the local country’s legislated standards and associated codes of practice.

From these simple work instruction can be given so that everyone in the work process knows and understands what is required of them.

For high risk activities – permits to work are required, which clearly define the role of the Authorised Gas Tester.

It is therefore vital that Authorised Gas Testers read and understand what is required of him them before starting work.

If you would like to know more on this subject, why not apply for one of our classroom courses where you will see and try working examples.

Also the HSE’s website 


1.1.4 – How to select, use and care for PPE for different toxic and flammable gases through risk assessment

Again, this is a slightly unusual approach to safety to training!

Why do we say this –  because PPE is the last form of defence in the hierarchy of safe systems of work – and the selection of PPE isn’t normally determined by the gas tester as it should already be documented in the relevant company work procedures!

For example – when trying to protect yourself from a toxic or flammable hazard, it is best to:

  1. Eliminate the hazard completely if possible
  2. Substitute it with a less hazardous work method where elimination is not possible
  3. Use engineering control to isolate the hazard
  4. Implement administration controls to limit how people are exposed to the hazard
  5. Finally identify suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Hence in our training courses you will see how to implement the hierarchy of control effectively as  gas testers and how to reduce the risk of your work and need for PPE.

How do You Select PPE?

Selection must always be made following the suitable and sufficient Risk Assessment. And note – It is the Employers responsibility to supply PPE free of charge

You need to find out:

  1. Who is exposed and to what?
  2. How long are they exposed for?
  3. How much protection is required?

Then with the aid support documents such as those below, you can make a start in your  search for suitable and sufficient PPE.

  • Selecting protective gloves for work with chemicals
  • A short guide to the PPE at Work Regulations 1992
  • Respiratory Protective Equipment at Work (a practical guide)

However please note. The selection and use of PPE often need a degree of expert advise. So please speak to you organisations health and safety professionals for more help on this subject, or attend one of our courses.


1.1.5 – Consideration of appropriate levels of respiratory protective equipment 

Respiratory Protective Equipment

The one item of PPE that often requires the services of an Authorised Gas Tester before it is selected, or during its use is – Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE).

The reason for this is because, without knowing the concentration of the atmospheric hazard – it is impossible to determine how much protection is required.

How Much Protection is Necessary?

Six simplified steps for the selection and use of RPE?

  1. Identify the contaminants and their concentration (normally undertaken by the Authorised Gas Tester or another professional such as an occupational hygienist or chemist)
  2. Determine the level of protection required and whether suitable filtration is satisfactory
  3. Is the oxygen concentration 20.9% or lower?
  4. Is the RPE Suitability for the work process (e.g. can it be worn comfortably) and is ti compatible with any other PPE?
  5. What are the relevent regulations associated with these forms of RPE and am I aware of the Manufacture’s Specifications and Instructions?
  6. Have I undertaken Face Fit testing and is it Comfortable for the user to wear?

After Using PPE and RPE the COSHH Regulations Require You:

  1. Inspect that it is in good working order
  2. Clean and disinfect
  3. Store appropriately

1.1.6 – How to work both with and within the Permit to Work system

For more on this subject see the members area.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*