The client contacted us to help carry out a confined space entry and classification review on 3 sites in their group, in a heavy manufacturing environment.
The brief was to look at the company site operating procedures and classifications of confined space entry and make suitable recommendations to improve the procedure from a legislative and practical operations point of view.
We requested all the current documentation they were used for the planning, management, and execution of the confined space process on-site including the confined space register and permit issue system. As the company had overseas owners there was a mix of the UK and American legislation which made some of the process confusing which we helped to clarify.
We read and understood the current procedures that were used on the sites. We then spent time on each of the sites talking to managers, shift leaders, and operators who used the procedures and got to understand how these were used by each level of people involved with the process.
From this information-gathering approach, we identified some areas for improvement in the control of entry and equipment used in the confined space entry tasks. Working with the onsite safety team we helped them to understand the classification of confined spaces and they were able to objectively reclassify some of the spaces on site.
We issued a report of our findings and recommendations for improvements in the planning, classification, and entry procedures. This highlighted a need for further training for Managers, Supervisors, and operators on site, along with an update to the permit issue and control used for confined space entry. We also identified some improved equipment that was more suitable for the tasks carried out whilst being cost-effective for the client to implement the current equipment replacement.
We now have a client that has an improved entry procedure and clear training plan with added competency sessions planned periodically to keep the site compliant and ultimately safer for all involved with the confined space entries on site.