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Occupational confined space-related fatalities: surveillance and prevention.
J Saf Res 1990 Dec; 21(4):157-164
During the period from December of 1983 through December of 1989, an investigation was made of 55 confined space fatality events resulting in 88 fatalities. These 55 events were analyzed and the results indicated that NIOSH recommendations for working in confined spaces were not followed adequately. These data indicated that many companies either had no confined space entry procedures or they were inadequate, or they were not implemented. Many workers and supervisors may not have recognized the hazards associated with confined space entry. This underscored the need for companies to increase worker understanding and awareness through developing and implementing comprehensive confined space entry procedures and worker training in accordance with NIOSH recommendations. In some instances a lockout entry system that would have prevented a worker from entering until all the appropriate confined space entry procedures had been followed would have prevented fatalities. The authors conclude that it is the responsibility of management to develop and implement comprehensive confined space entry procedures, provide adequate training to all workers and enforce adherence to established policies. NIOSH encourages companies, trade associations, and unions to work together to recognize the dangers associated with this work and to prevent additional deaths by implementing appropriate engineering controls and by following NIOSH recommended procedures for confined space entry.
NIOSH-Author; Safety-practices; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-safety-programs; Safety-research; Mortality-data
Issue of Publication
Journal of Safety Research
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division