Florida employers cannot send workers into confined spaces unless they have received confined space training and certification. While injuries occurring in confined spaces in the workplace are rare, if it happens, there is a high likelihood of fatality. Not only might a worker be at risk in a confined space, but if he or she gets stuck or runs into trouble, any rescuer that enters the space to assist might also be at risk.
The idea of a confined space in a workplace evokes images of tiny spaces that may make a person feel claustrophobic upon entering. It is important to note, however, that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that the size of the space is not the only important factor in defining a confined space. The accessibility of the space is also an important consideration.
For instance, a hay silo is typically an enormous structure. However, according to OSHA regulations, a silo is a confined space. This is because it is not meant for continual human occupancy. It is also because a silo has limited means of entrance.
Florida employers who send workers into manholes, storage bins, tunnels, vaults or manure pits are sending workers into confined spaces. OSHA differentiates between confined spaces that require permits and confined spaces that do not require permits. If the space in question poses a risk of asphyxiation or entrapment, it no doubt is a space that requires a permit. Any worker who has suffered a confined space injury on the job and is in need of legal support may request a meeting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.