Sentry Services

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Confined Space Management

 

Regulation 4.2 of the WA Mines Safety & Inspection Act states “The manager of, and each employer at, a mine must ensure that the requirements of AS/NZS 2865 are complied with in relation to work carried out in a confined space…”

 

SMS is now offering Confined Space Management services to aid clients in ensuring the safety of personnel working in confined spaces; while simultaneously maintaining compliance with legislative frameworks and Australian Standards throughout the duration of the works.

Confined spaces are particularly dangerous because they are usually not designed as a normal workplace. Confined spaces often have poor ventilation. This often allows hazardous atmospheres to develop, especially if the space is small. The hazards are not always obvious and may change from one entry into a confined space to the next.

Some of the risks to personnel from working in confined spaces include:

  • loss of consciousness, impairment, injury or death due to the immediate effects of airborne contaminants;
  • fire or explosion from the ignition of flammable contaminants;
  • difficulty rescuing and treating an injured or unconscious person;
  • asphyxiation resulting from oxygen deficiency or immersion in a free-flowing material, such as grain, sand, fertiliser, water or other liquids.

Confined spaces are commonly found in vats, tanks, pits, pipes, ducts, flues, chimneys, silos, containers, pressure vessels, underground sewers, wet or dry wells, shafts, trenches, tunnels or other similar enclosed or partially enclosed structures.

 

Our services:

SMS Sentry Services provides specialist personnel to assist confined space owners to implement and monitor specific control measures. These include communications, signs, and the isolation of connected plants and services. They will also put in place controls to maintain a safe atmosphere within the confined space, as well as providing ongoing safety monitoring from our pool of over 100 specially trained Confined Space Sentries and Supervisory personnel.

Gas Testing
Our trained gas testers will monitor and record the atmosphere wherever work is to be conducted within any confined or restricted space.

Supervisory Services
Our dedicated supervisors monitor multiple confined space work activities in conjunction with SMS Sentries. This means that you can rest easy that all confined space work activities have multiple levels of monitoring to ensure the safety of everyone on site.

 

Our Sentries and Supervisors will also assist customers with:

  • Risk assessment, hazard management
  • Job safety analysis (JSA)
  • Safety audits conducted

 

What do SMS Sentry Services confined space sentries do?

In relation to confined spaces SMS Sentries are trained to:

  • Assist the work teams with managing health and safety risks associated with a confined space, including risks when entering, working in, on or near a confined space, as well as the risk of inadvertent entry;
  • ensure that no member of a work team enters a confined space until all safety requirements in relation to the confined space have been complied with, for example; any entry permit, JSA’s etc. are valid and the requirements met. i.e., Atmospheric Monitoring;
  • monitor and maintain accurate records including entry/exit logs and ensure all members sign on/off and lock on/off in accordance with established procedures;
  • ensure atmospheric conditions are continuously monitored using a range of monitoring instruments and detectors;
  • establish first aid and rescue procedures in the event of an emergency in the confined space and implement those procedures if required.

Before any worker enters a confined space, a fully trained and competent SMS Sentry is assigned to continuously monitor the wellbeing of those inside the space. If practical, they will also observe the work being carried out and initiate appropriate emergency procedures should the need arise.

 

SMS Sentry Services:

  • must understand the nature of the hazards inside the particular confined space and be able to recognise signs and symptoms that workers may experience;
  • remain outside the confined space and not undertake any other task which may interfere with their primary role of monitoring the safety of workers inside the space;
  • have all the required rescue equipment (g. safety harnesses, lifting equipment etc.) immediately available;
  • order workers to exit the space if a hazardous situation arises;

 

SMS Sentry Services (Management Team) will assist with maintaining compliance

 

We at SMS pride ourselves on our professional staff working on every project we undertake.

This includes our (Confined Space) Sentries, Supervisors and Management personnel. All members of our Confined Space Management Team are fully trained, qualified and experienced in all aspects of Confined Space Management.

This translates to something we all strive for, reduced risks.

We will consult with the confined space owners, contractors and all other parties involved in the work within a confined space long before anyone enters it.

 

Our aim is to manage all foreseeable hazards and risks. These may include;

  • harmful airborne contaminants
  • unsafe oxygen level
  • fire and explosion
  • engulfment
  • uncontrolled introduction of substances
  • biological hazards
  • mechanical hazards
  • electrical hazards
  • skin contact with hazardous substances
  • noise
  • heat extremes and unpredicted weather elements
  • manual tasks
  • radiation
  • environmental hazards
  • hazards outside the confined space
  • physiological and psychological demands

 

Why use us?

  • Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your workers’ safety in confined spaces is monitored and performed in accordance with all regulations and site procedures.
  • All Sentries are fully trained and experienced in confined space hazards and emergency procedures.
  • Elements exposure and time rotations are adhered to and recorded.

Of course, consultations with the work teams and their health and safety representatives are a critical part of managing work health and safety risks. Between our management team and our sentries, we make sure that everyone is fully aware of the hazards, risks, control measures, and most importantly, their responsibilities.

After all, everyone wants to go home safe.

Whether your shutdown or outage is for just one day, or it’s ongoing, our SMS Sentry Services confined space management team will provide a professional and courteous service, which is complemented by a ‘can-do’ attitude to ensure your specific needs and requirements are met across all confined space activities on your site, in the safest possible manner.

 

CONFINED SPACES AND THE LAW

Regulation 4.2 of the WA Mines Safety & Inspection Act states “The manager of, and each employer at, a mine must ensure that the requirements of AS/NZS 2865 are complied with in relation to work carried out in a confined space…”

Part 3, Division 8 of the WA Occupational Safety & Health Regulations, specifically Reg 3.85 states, A person who, at a workplace, is an employer, the main contractor or a self-employed person must ensure that the provisions of AS/NZS 2865 are complied with in relation to work done in a confined space.

Regulation 34-38 of the national Work Health and Safety Regulations (NUL) has very specific obligations on a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) who has management or control of a confined space; this also includes company directors. The primary duty under the WHS Act is to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that workers and other persons are not exposed to health and safety risks arising from the business or undertaking.

This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure that the business or undertaking has and uses appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risks that arise from entry into confined spaces.

 

Note: There are very large penalties for failing to comply with all legislative instruments.