The recommendations of NIOSH regarding the safety of confined spaces were presented. A NIOSH investigation of 14 confined space accidents involving 24 fatalities revealed that none of the confined spaces were posted at the time of the incidents. A confined space was defined as any space with limited openings for entry and exit and unfavorable atmospheres due to air contamination and or poor ventilation. Four recommendations were cited. It was recommended that employers identify confined spaces within their facilities and post highly visible safety signs at or near points of entry to such areas. It was recommended that the signs be printed in English and in the predominant language of the non English reading workers and that all workers be instructed as to the hazards of the areas and the instructions on the signs. The third recommendation was that access to confined spaces should require a permit certifying that existing hazards were evaluated and the necessary protective measures were instituted prior to entry. NIOSH also recommended that the colors and geometric shapes recognized by the International Organization for Standardization, the British Standards Institute, and the American National Standards Institute be used on the warning signs.
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