Elimination of entry to confined spaces by redesign of the treatment plant
Water pumps in a waste treatment facility were situated at the bottom of three deep, narrow, round shafts. Maintenance of these pumps could be hazardous because of the confined space where the pumps are situated. If workers entered a shaft to maintain or replace the pumps, then there was a risk of being overcome by fumes.
The company had to rebuild the treatment plant to make it comply with environmental legislation. It was decided at this time to eliminate the need to enter the confined space to undertake maintenance.
The submerged water pumps are now suspended in the water treatment shafts on chains. During maintenance the pumps are raised to ground level eliminating the need to enter the confined space.
Hierarchy of Controls:
- The risk level has been significantly reduced now that entry into the confined space does not have to take place.