NEW: Leicester Municipal Workers Participate in Confined Space Training
Monday, October 22, 2012
The training was made possible by a collaboration between the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA) and The New England Consortium (TNEC). Municipal workers in the water, sewer, lighting and fire departments regularly work in dangerous environments, including confined spaces.
The training took place at the Anne T. Dunphy School in Williamsburg. Roger Hammond, superintendent of Leicester Water Supply District knows the dangers facing these municipal workers.
“We are constantly confronted with confined space issues,” Hammond said. “Having everyone trained and utilizing the correct safety protocols and equipment will keep our employees safe and keep our insurance rates down.”
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) confined workspaces are those which, “Hinder the activities of any employees that must enter into, work in, and exit from them.” Confined spaces present increased risk of serious injury and exposure to hazards such as entrapment, engulfment in water, soil or other debris, and dangerous atmospheric conditions (presence of toxins or lack of oxygen). On average, 80 fatalities occur each year in the Unites States because of confined space hazards; about 50 percent of them are would-be rescuers.
Training participants learned about OSHA-recommended protocols for entering Permit Required Confined Spaces including procedures and checklists for eliminating or controlling hazards and preventing injury. They also evaluated confined space scenarios and learned about the roles of the worksite entrant, attendant and supervisor. Trainees were educated on personal protective equipment, gas meters, air monitoring equipment and blowers; how to calculate hazardous chemical flash points and exposure limits; as well as “lock-out/tag-out” procedures for controlling kinetic or mechanical energy.
Upon completion of this and other MIIA risk- and loss-prevention programs, the town of Leicester is eligible to receive insurance premium credits through the MIIA Rewards Programs, thereby reducing its property and casualty insurance costs.
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