An inspection pit can be found in a variety of different spaces such as vehicle inspection pits, but one of the defining features of them is that they are required to be in a confined space. A big part of this comes down to health and safety and ensuring that anybody who is working in them or nearby to them is properly protected from any potential hazards that they may end up facing. Although they are found below the level of the ground, there is every chance that a fall can result in a serious injury and perhaps even worse. So, let's look in closer detail about the standards of inspections pits, their health and safety concerns, and why being in a confined space needs to be a central component of this.
Inspection Pit Standards
First and foremost, let's take a closer look at the standards that inspection pits need to live up to. To begin with, they should have steel sections that are welded together rather than simply relying on pure concrete. Older pits did not have the waterproof element that is required in the modern pit and can end up making such a big difference to the overall safety standards. A full risk assessment should be carried about before opening up the vehicle inspection pits and limited access depending on who needs to be there.
Avoiding the Main Risks
There is no doubt that the risk factors need to be minimized as much as possible. As well as the provision of pit covers and manhole covers where appropriate, there is also the sense that you need to provide some sort of mental health help in your safety and health administration. In the United States, this should come under the guise of a systematic review that looks closer at health and human services. Some of the main risks include slips up and down the access steps, poor ventilation and associated asphyxiation risks, falling objects, head injuries, and even potential fires due to a build-up of vapours.
How to Ensure Inspection Pit Safety
There are plenty of social determinants that mean higher rates of accidents occurring, but you are certainly able to mitigate against these. As part of your occupational safety and health, and public health responsibilities, you need to ensure that there is limited or restricted access to your service pits. A proper inspection pit cover is certainly going to be required. At the same time, you should also take steps to improve visibility, as well as reduce the risk of any slips and trips occurring. There should be at least one fixed entry and exit point, as well as an additional means of escape in case a vehicle is blocking it up. You should also store any flammable objects and materials a safe distance away. Workers should always have proper exhaust ventilation, and idling needs to be prevented as well.
All of these points add up to mitigating against any risks of the confined space of an inspection pit.
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