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Services / Medical Services

Confined Space Assessments

What is a confined space?

  • A restricted space which may become hazardous to a worker entering it.  
  • Is not designed for continuous occupancy
  • Has limited access or egress
  • May be configured in such a way that complicates first aid, evacuation, or rescue.  

Why is it important to have confined space medical practices?

According to Occupational Health and Safety Code, employers are responsible for ensuring they have a written code of practice governing the policies and procedures to be followed when workers enter and work in confined spaces.  However, to date, there has been no documented policy in regards to medical assessment requirements.  Developing medical best practises around confined space medical assessments creates safe, healthy, and productive workforces and communities and can help prevent an unnecessary fatality.

What medical conditions or symptoms may preclude someone from working in a confined space?

  • Severe upper and lower respiratory tract infections or asthma
  • Mental disorders such as unresolved depression or psychotic illness 
  • Limited mobility
  • Conditions affecting sense organs and effective communications
  • Impairment of awareness or concentration
  • Epilepsy/seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing impairment 
  • Balance or coordination issues
  • Diabetes 
  • Hypertension 
  • Phobias such as claustrophobia, or a history of having to leave a confined space precipitously
  • Skin problems
  • Medication - no prescription or over the counter medication which impairs attention or consciousness

What does a confined space medical assessment Involve?

SureHire offers two levels of Confined Space Assessments, however, you can customize your testing protocols to best suit your needs.

Basic Confined Space Assessments include:

  • Confined Space Questionnaire
  • Height, weight, blood pressure measurements
  • Positional & Mobility testing
  • Confined Space Fitness Certificate - issued to employer and worker

Premium Confined Space Assessments include:

How often should medical testing be performed?

  • A baseline screen or assessment should be performed, prior to working in confined spaces. 
  • Periodic testing frequency which will be determined by the age of the worker, or at the physician’s discretion.

Resources:

  1. Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulations and Code, Part 5 Section 44(1)
  2. UK Health and Safety Executive, Confined Spaces Regulations 1997
  3. Canadian Oil & Natural Gas Produces Code of Practice for Confined Space January 2018
  4. Confined Spaces Medical Fitness Criteria - Medical Principle Alberta Health Services
  5. Total Access Confined Spaces Medical Procedures February 2011 Version 

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