Preventing Confined Space Tragedies
“Confined spaces are basically just an area where you're not normally working in where if something happened, it would be very difficult to get you out of that hole or out of that silo or out of that baghouse,” Isom explained. “If it's a permit-required confined space, difficult to get in and out of, or like a pit, or somebody has a heart attack or even just twists their ankle. They're not going to be able to climb aladder. You can't carry a body up a ladder. So how do you get them out? You've got to have a means or mechanism to get that person out of there so you can render first aid to him.”
Isom said tree nut processors need to know when and where those confined spaces are in their operations.
“And if you do, what kind of safety plan you need to have in place, and what kind of rescue plan do you need to have in place in the event someone does get hurt or has an illness, you can rescue,” noted Isom.
“These things like those kinds of accidents. Nine times out of 10 on a confined space accident is where somebody goes in to rescue the person that's down. And a lot of times it might be a gas. Maybe you got a gas leak. You see the guy laying down in the pit as you walk by and think: oh my gosh, I got gotta go down there to get him,” Isom noted. “Well, then you’re overcome. Then the next guy comes along and he's overcome by the gas. Where if you have just a simple plan in place and you've got a bystander, who's watching what's going on, you avoid it,” he said.