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 Great Western Painting
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 Safety Questions Call Bob   208-371-7757

                                                                                                 

 Patrick  1 - 877-749-5554   /     pat@greatwesternpainting.com

 We Serve  All of USA
In Commercial & Industrial Painting &
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Confined spaces
Two-point (swing sTwo-point (swing stage)tage)
Two-point (swing stage)
Two-point adjustable suspension scaffolds, also known as swing-stage scaffolds, are perhaps the most common type of suspended scaffold. Hung by ropes or cables connected to stirrups at each end of the platform, they are typically used by window washers on skyscrapers, but play a prominent role in high-rise construction as well. Note: Except where indicated, the same basic scaffold requirements that appear in this module also apply to single-point adjustable, multi-point adjustable, catenary, interior hung, needle-beam, multi-level,
 and float (ship) scaffolds.

Review the elements of suspended scaffold safety with the following modules:

 

 

 

Support

Support
Adjustable suspension scaffolds are designed to be raised and lowered while occupied by workers and materials, and must be capable of bearing their load whether stationary or in motion. Note: Except where indicated, these requirements also apply to multi-level, single-point adjustable, multi-point adjustable, interior hung, needle beam, catenary, and float
(ship) scaffolds.

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Access

Access
While a worker may technically access a suspended scaffold from a ladder, the preferred industry practice is to do so from a rooftop or from the ground, and then raise or lower the scaffold to its working location. Therefore, ladder access is not discussed in this module. To review ladder access requirements, please refer to the OSHA Standard [1926.451(e)] or the Supported Scaffolds module. Note: Except where indicated, these requirements also apply to multi-level, single-point adjustable, multi-point adjustable, interior hung, needle beam, catenary, and float (ship) scaffolds.


Fall Protection

Fall Protection
The number one scaffold hazard is worker falls. Fall protection consists of either personal fall arrest systems or guardrail systems, and must be provided on any scaffold 10 feet or more above a lower level (two-point scaffolds require both PFAS and guardrail systems). This is especially critical with suspended scaffolds, because they often are operated at extreme elevations. Note: Except where indicated, these requirements also apply to multi-level, single-point adjustable, multi-point adjustable, interior hung, needle beam, catenary,
and float (ship) scaffolds.

Platform

Platform
Because the platform is the work area of a suspended scaffold, an inspection requires safety checks of both the platform structure and how the platform is used by the workers. Note: Except where indicated, these requirements also apply to multi-level, single-point adjustable, multi-point adjustable, interior hung, needle beam, catenary, and float (ship) scaffolds.
 
Stability

Stability
Even if a suspended scaffold has been assembled in compliance with every applicable standard, employers and workers must continue to exercise caution and use sound work practices to assure their safety. Extreme weather, excessive loads, or damage to structural components can all affect a scaffold's stability. Note: Except where indicated, these requirements also apply to multi-level, single-point adjustable, multi-point adjustable, interior hung, needle beam, catenary, and float (ship) scaffolds.
     
             Electrical Hazards
 
Electrical Hazards
Suspended scaffolds are often made of metal and sometimes used in close proximity to overhead power lines. These factors introduce the risk of electrocution. However, proper clearance and maintenance reduce this risk. Note: Except where indicated, these requirements also apply to multi-level, single-point adjustable, multi-point adjustable, interior hung, needle beam, catenary, and float (ship) scaffolds.

 
Personnel Training and Competent Persons

Personnel Training and Competent Persons
Competent persons and trained workers are critical to safety on suspended scaffolds. Therefore, assessing personnel abilities is a vital part of scaffold design, erection, maintenance, and use, and should not be overlooked in scaffold inspections. Note: Except where indicated, these requirements also apply to multi-level, single-point adjustable, multi-point adjustable, interior hung, needle beam, catenary, and float (ship) scaffolds.
     

1. Monitor the atmosphere

Atmospheric monitoring is the first and most critical rule, as most fatalities in confined spaces are the result of atmospheric problems. Remember, your nose is not a gas detector — some hazards have characteristic odors and others do not. Even when you can detect the presence of a hazard, you cannot determine the extent of that hazard. Some materials may even deaden your sense of smell after short exposure, which can deceive you into thinking the problem has gone away, when in fact your ability to smell it is all that went away.

The only reliable method for accurate detection of atmospheric problems is instrument monitoring. Basic confined space atmospheric monitoring should routinely include oxygen concentration and flammable gases and vapors. OSHA regulations require the oxygen concentration to be between 19.5 and 23.5 percent and flammable vapors or gases to be below ten percent of the lower explosive limit (LEL).

But regulatory limits provide only minimal protection. Best practices dictate that any variation from normal (20.9 percent oxygen and 0 percent LEL) should be investigated and corrected prior to entering the space.

Toxic monitoring requires an evaluation of potential atmospheric contaminants before you even determine how the monitoring will be performed. Simply put, this means you must establish what you need to look for in order to determine what equipment to use. The following digital instruments are available for common toxic contaminants:

 

. Eliminate or control hazards

All hazards identified during the hazard assessment must be eliminated or controlled prior to entering the space.

Elimination, the preferred method for dealing with hazards, means that a hazard has been handled in a way that it cannot possibly have an impact on the operation. For example, a properly installed blank eliminates the hazard of material being introduced through a pipe.

Control implies that the measures in place contain a hazard. If these measures were to fail, the hazard could have an impact on the operation. Ventilation (see below) is an example of a control, because if the ventilation setup quits, the atmospheric hazard may return.

3. Ventilate the space

Your approach to atmospheric problems should be to correct the condition prior to entry, and ventilation and related activities are the best options for correcting these problems.

Forced-air ventilation is generally the most effective approach for confined space entry operations. This technique dilutes and displaces the atmospheric contaminants in the space. Exhaust ventilation works best when a single-point source, such as welding, is the cause of the atmospheric contaminant.

Introduced air must be fresh. Use caution to avoid introducing hazards such as having the inlet of the ventilation setup too near the exhaust of a vehicle. Sufficient volume for the size of the space must be used. The length of duct and the number of bends in the duct can significantly reduce airflow and must be considered.

4. Use proper personal protective equipment

Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) should be the last line of defense. Elimination and control of hazards should be done whenever possible. PPE is essential when the hazards present cannot be eliminated or controlled through other means. PPE that meets the specific hazard must be readily available to the work crew. And personnel must be trained and competent in the proper use of the equipment. It is equally important that supervisors insist on proper use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Isolate the space

Isolation of the space should eliminate the opportunity for introducing additional hazards through external connections. This includes lockout of all powered devices associated with the space, such as electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, and gaseous agent fire control systems. Piping isolation may be completed with blanks, by disconnecting piping, or with a double block-and-bleed arrangement. A single valve is not adequate isolation.

6. Know the attendant’s role

An outside attendant must be present to monitor the safety of the entry operation, to help during an emergency, and to call for assistance from outside if that becomes necessary. The attendant’s role is primarily to help ensure that problems do not escalate to the point where rescue is needed. If an entrant does get injured or overcome, the attendant is to call for help and use external retrieval if available. This attendant must never enter the space during emergencies — multiple fatality incidents in confined spaces usually result from people attempting rescue.

7. Be prepared for rescues

Any equipment required for rescue must be available to those who are designated to use it. External retrieval equipment that may be used by the attendant must be in place when appropriate. More advanced rescue equipment for entry-type rescues must be available to the designated rescue crew.

You must ensure that the rescue crew is properly equipped to handle rescue for the particular situation. For example, if the rescue crew for your facility has self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and your spaces do not have large enough openings for the SCBA to pass through, the rescue crew will not be able to perform effectively. In this case, they should be equipped with airline breathing apparatus with escape cylinders.

8. Use good lighting

Lighting is important for two primary reasons: You cannot safely perform in environments where you cannot see adequately, and lighting failure can cause fear. Anyone who is uncomfortable inside a well-lit confined space may become afraid if the lighting fails, and fear can cause people to behave irrationally and injure themselves or others.

The entrant should always have at least one backup source of lighting, so if cord lights are used, the entrant should also carry a flashlight.

9. Plan for emergencies

You must assume you will have emergencies. While your efforts to prevent them need to be constant, odds are good that you will have to deal with at least a minor emergency if you engage in confined space entry over a long enough period.

Emergencies may not even have anything to do with the confined space, but if the entrant is in the space at the time of the emergency, prompt and effective action is required. If your entry crew is prepared for this emergency, it may be handled without a problem. If preparations are not adequate, the emergency may easily turn into a fatal incident.

10. Emphasize constant communication

Effective communications are critical to safe operation and are the string that ties all the other activities together. Communication must be maintained between entrants and the attendant. The attendant must also be able to contact the entry supervisor and call for emergency help.

None of these steps is complex or difficult, but they still provide the layout for a basic, safe approach to confined space entry. Be aware that the next time you read about a confined space fatality, at least one of these general rules was probably violated. And do your best to ensure that I won’t ever read about one of your entries.

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