Restricted and Confined Spaces

Restricted and Confined Spaces present the potential for additional safety considerations when performing power quality diagnostic testing and measurements. Caution should be exercised, and common sense applied, when working in close quarters.

Several actions are recommended for people working in confined spaces:

  1. First, when entering a restricted space, such an attic, crawl way, or narrow access area in commercial and industrial sites, identify all means of access, egress.
  2. Second, be sure that adequate ventilation is provided.
  3. Third, be sure that adequate lighting is available. When working in dimly lit locations use a high-output battery-operated lamp with good batteries.
  4. Fourth, before entering restricted spaces, inform someone present of what you will be doing and about how long you should be. Ask them to check on your progress if you are longer than you estimated.

In the event that you must work in an attic space, several additional hazards should be kept in mind:

  • Attic temperatures can often reach very high levels (130°F is not uncommon). One of the best ways to handle the heat is to be familiar with the causes and preventative measures for heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Know your own limitations and pace yourself accordingly.
  • Be sure you know what you are supporting yourself on. Ceiling joists are preferable attic supports. You should never assume that something will be hidden under the insulation to support you. You should always check by feeling for support with your hands or feet before committing yourself to the next support.
  • Many hazardous items are often found in restricted and confined areas, including airborne insulation, sharp objects, exposed wiring, gases, fumes, toxic materials, insects, rodents and birds.