The main reason accidents occur in or around ‘Confined Spaces’is because a PLAN has not been developed, by the employer, per the regulations. The company must answer the following question,

What is a Confined Space?

A ‘Confined Space’ means a fully or partially enclosed space,
(a) that is not both designed and constructed for continuous human occupancy, and
(b) in which atmospheric hazards may occur because of its construction, location or contents or because of work that is done in it.

Ontario Regulation 632/05

The plan shall contains provisions for,
a) The duties of workers
b) Co-ordination document (section on lead employers)
c) On-site rescue procedures
d) Rescue equipment and methods of communication
e) Clothing and personal equipment and devices
f) Isolation of energy and control of materials movement
g) Attendants
h) Adequate means for entering and exiting
i) Atmospheric testing
j) Ventilation and purging
k) The Permit

A $300,000 fine was levied against Essar Steel Algoma Inc., In mid-October, following the death of a worker two years ago. The penalty was ordered in the wake of a fatality at the company’s steel mill on October 30, 2008. A guilty plea was entered regarding the company’s failure to ensure that appropriate overhead guarding was in place to prevent falling material from harming a worker, notes the MOL in Toronto.

Three workers had been doing a pre-start check on a conveyor used to pile rocks, the MOL reports. Maintenance team members believed the system was empty, but toward the end of the check, material weighing more than 125 kilograms fell off the conveyor about one worker, causing fatal crushing injuries.

As a Training Director for a Peterborough, Ontario-based company, HRS Group Inc., I have access to information concerning health and safety from all parts of Canada. As a member of the C.S.S.E. (Canadian Society of Safety Engineering) we are constantly inundated about the many accidents in the workplace all across Canada, any subsequent fines or jail time, and any possible corrective action applied to ensure the accident(s) do not have a recurrence.