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  • confined space, do you worry?

    We just had 3 guys die in Norfolk, va when 1 guy was fixing a lift station. A valve opened and the methane killed him. The other 2 died trying to save him. How much of a concern is confined spaces to you? According to OSHA a crawl space is a confined space.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

  • #2
    Re: confined space, do you worry?

    I hate confined spaces..I only do drian cleaning, but still you have those crawl spaces, manholes and what have you. I take a course every year in confined space. Definitely make sure you have someone with you at all times!!

    Greg
    The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

    www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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    • #3
      Re: confined space, do you worry?

      I've never thought about it before you mentioned it

      I wonder how much methane is in an unvented septic tank

      is methane a heavier than air gas

      how much methane would come out of a line that is cut under a house.

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      • #4
        Re: confined space, do you worry?

        I don't like them. Especially when the craw space is so low you need a army type shovel to dig a low space to get across the area,

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        tragic event that could have been and should have been avoided,

        5 killed in methane gas accident on Virginia dairy farm

        http://www.boston.com/news/nation/ar...ia_dairy_farm/
        Last edited by BHD; 07-27-2007, 11:54 PM.
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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        • #5
          Re: confined space, do you worry?

          METHANE
          Methane is a colorless, odorless gas with a wide distribution in nature. It is the principal component of natural gas, a mixture containing about 75% CH4, 15% ethane (C2H6), and 5% other hydrocarbons, such as propane (C3H8) and butane (C4H10). The "firedamp" of coal mines is chiefly methane. Anaerobic bacterial decomposition of plant and animal matter, such as occurs under water, produces marsh gas, which is also methane.

          At room temperature, methane is a gas less dense than air. It melts at –183°C and boils at –164°C. It is not very soluble in water. Methane is combustible, and mixtures of about 5 to 15 percent in air are explosive. Methane is not toxic when inhaled, but it can produce suffocation by reducing the concentration of oxygen inhaled.
          http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/chemweek...e/methane.html

          there is more to the article above at the URL above, most is on methane as in natural gas or coming from petroleum or coal products,
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
          attributed to Samuel Johnson
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: confined space, do you worry?

            They lost a couple of guys in Henderson when one guy got into trouble in the sewer and others tried to save him. A rescuer always needs to protect himself first or he is of no help to the victim.

            Mark
            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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            • #7
              Re: confined space, do you worry?

              I have woked in many confined spaces, truth is, the work still needs to get done. I have taken a training program on confined spaces, as long as you abid by the rules, you will be ok. Safety is always "uncomfortable" but if it brings you home to you family at night, thats all that matters
              sigpic

              Robert

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              • #8
                Re: confined space, do you worry?

                I hate to hear about stuff like that. Because we all work in crawl spaces solo, even when conditions say we shouldn't. most of us have jumped into trenches that really should have been shored but weren't. I know I've climbed into a manhole when I know I shouldn't have, but I couldn't get my jetter hose in right.

                "confined space, do you worry?"

                I think we all do, but a lot of us work alone and still need to get the job done. Is it safe? Probably not.
                Brent

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                • #9
                  Re: confined space, do you worry?

                  Brent speaks the truth

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                  • #10
                    Re: confined space, do you worry?

                    I am surprised to hear how casually some of you protect yourselves from the dangers of confined spaces. I realize some are one man shops or work alone on many jobs but I think there are still things you can do to reduce the chances of becoming a statistic. They may sound expensive but in the long run they are not.

                    The places I have spent most of my 31 years in the trade working (refineries, chemical plants, utilities) first off do not allow anyone to work in a confided space without someone standing by on the outside. The space must also be 'sniffed' to ensure the atmosphere in the space can support life and the O2 levels is within the allowable range. Now-a-days you can get sniffers and also monitors that you wear on your person for relatively little money (I'd rather spend a couple hundred bucks than be dead, how about you?). If ti needs re-calibration or service every year so what, it is cheaper than a (your) funeral.

                    The first job of any 'outside man' or 'hole watch' is to summon help, NOT to jump in and possibly die beside his buddy who has succumbed to whatever danger lurks within. Since you all state you have received training in confined space work I won't bore you with the details, you know you are putting yourselves at risk with you casual attitude.

                    I fail to see why any one would choose to 'get the job done' no matter the threat to their own life or a co-workers or an employee. That attitude is not macho or tough it is stupid, period. Well, actually I can because I can remember some stuff I did looking back that was stupid from where I sit now (like on a high school we were building I climbed a 30' ladder with a oxygen bottle on my shoulder instead of waiting for the Lull because of the perceived pressure to keep cutting openings in the deck for pipe sleeves and stay ahead of the ironworkers). I am not trading my life to complete a repair or perform any type of work in this or any other trade for any amount of money, I doubt any of you are either.

                    This is not war, there is no situation under which to me you can justify throwing away a life to achieve some goal. Work smart and live to make money and hug your wife and kids when you get home that evening.

                    I have not done much jobbing or service work, I did a year as an apprentice many years ago. Since I was an apprentice I was not allowed to work alone, so I was never really in the situation as some of you are when making service calls. But the outfit I worked for back then would not let us do silly things like this either. We were instructed to call the shop and get some help, not take chances on being injured or killed. The shop manager always blew a cork saying we were killing his schedule but we would get some help.

                    I know some of you will want to dismiss my position and warnings as those of someone who is too old, or too cautious or afraid to take a chance. If you are lucky you will live to be old enough that someone will say the same about you in 20 or 30 years, if you're not they will be standing over your grave saying he sure was a great guy, he'd do anything for you (even give up his life to clean your drain).
                    ---------------
                    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                    ---------------
                    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                    ---------
                    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                    ---------
                    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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                    • #11
                      Re: confined space, do you worry?

                      Bob, I had no idea you could pass for "someone who is too old" till this post.
                      That would axplain why you have so many intuitive posts.
                      Your words hit home...traditionally plumbers take risks or do jobs that require a certain "stamina", but no amount of "gutsy" resolve to get a job done detracts from the fact that I have a family that depends on me.
                      Thank You.

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                      • #12
                        Re: confined space, do you worry?

                        Ben, too make it simply, do I worry? Eh sometimes.

                        But, do I take the correct measures shown by the OSHA course, yes and I know that if something happens to me, I did 'what I could' in a sense. I also need to get my Confined Spaces Certification as well, which I will be looking into shortly.

                        Sure, you can all say the job needs to get done, and jump into the job at hand, but remember it only a second for a accident to happen. If you haven't already taken the OSHA course, I highly suggest it, it opened open my eyes greatly to job site safety.
                        Proud To Be Union!!

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                        • #13
                          Re: confined space, do you worry?

                          I'm the safety supervisor for my unit so I've attended all kinds of OSHA courses. I'm also probably a poor example of a safety sup. I take risk all the time but within reason and think most OSHA regs are overblown. The thing about confined space is there are no second chances. I was down in gulfport after katrina working in lift station 10 feet deep, up to my waist in sewage. Did the job have to get done? Yes, but at what risk? The guy that died in Norfolk had done his job hundreds of times before, it was this one time that got him. No matter how stupid or meaningless we think these regs are, we must remember they were written in blood.
                          Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                          • #14
                            Re: confined space, do you worry?

                            confined space can be a large AC unit or other small spots with 1 way in and out . but if it under ground you better check the air and have the harness and the way some one can get you out with out putting them self in danger.

                            but the best thing some one should have is common sense
                            Charlie

                            My seek the peek fundraiser page
                            http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


                            http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

                            new work pictures 12/09
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                            • #15
                              Re: confined space, do you worry?

                              Just some thoughts on this.

                              1. Use prisoners that are on "Death Row" and have someone standing by the open fire if he/she doesn't behave.

                              2. Get busy and make robots that really can do many things us people can. Expend them over good people when the going gets nasty.

                              3. There has to be some good plumbers, electricians and HVAC techs that have had their doctor(s) tell them that while mentally fine their body is going and they don't have too long to live. Let them do the really dangerous work and save those that are really needed to raise their family and care for others. I know this seems a bit heartless but please think about it.

                              I like #2 and really want to see this get worked on more. How nice it would be to have a helper to do the nasty work I hate and have this helper not feel pain and/or suffer when it has been smashed up or burned or such.
                              Last edited by Woussko; 07-29-2007, 12:13 AM.

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