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Be aware of the risks associated with working in confined spaces

Be aware of the risks associated with working in confined spaces

agriculture. As part of Health and Safety in Agriculture Week, which runs until March 16, the Committee on Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST) and the Union of Agricultural Producers (UPA), point out the importance of awareness of the risks associated with indoor farm work.

Whether we think of silage silos or grain silos, pre-pits or slurry pits, tanks, warehouses or controlled atmosphere ponds, there are many enclosed spaces on farms. Workers are often unfamiliar with these environments, which can sometimes lead to decreased vigilance regarding the risks they pose to health and safety, the National Council for Science and Technology states.

Risks

Risks associated with closed spaces include loss of consciousness, poisoning, burial, drowning, explosion, and fire.

“Rescuing a person in distress in a confined space also poses many challenges and can be dangerous,” the National Science and Technology Research Council said in a press release.

Strict planning

Careful planning and preparation must be done to reduce the risks associated with working in confined spaces.

Power control, gas detection, adequate ventilation, wearing personal protective equipment and installing fall protection devices, such as handrails, are among the basic measures that should be taken.

The Council concludes, “In addition to all of this, it is necessary to ensure adequate monitoring and develop a rescue plan that includes the necessary equipment and means to quickly rescue any worker in a confined space.”

Information

Tools and information on prevention in agriculture can be found on the Agriculture and Confined Spaces pages of the CNESST website, as well as on the UPA Health, Safety and Welfare website.

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