The Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) has just made available a free online tool for analyzing and managing the risks associated with work in confined spaces. The tool, called CLOSE, is intended for use by people already qualified for confined space risk management, including prevention officers, supervisors, clients, principal contractors, designer-integrators and rescuers.
The tool takes into consideration the main potential hazards within the context of Quebec’s standards and regulations.
CLOSE can be used for both designing a confined space and assessing an existing one. It consists of five modules for describing the confined space, describing the planned work, determining the potential hazards, choosing preventive measures and estimating the risk before and after implementing the measures. Users can save the results of their analysis. Depending on what they need, they can also generate reports in PDF format, add or update information in the different modules and use the information to prepare documents such as entry permits, audits or calls for tenders for subcontractors.
“Some companies have trouble applying the regulations governing confined space work. Analysis of fatal accident statistics and reports for confined space work often reveals a lack of knowledge of the risks involved. The CLOSE procedure takes into account the complexity of confined space work and provides users with a structure for their analysis of hazardous situations,” explains researcher Damien Burlet-Vienney, one of the developers of the web-based tool.
An introductory video offers a guided tour of the tool, while a toolbox provides additional information, including case studies, a glossary, useful links and other resources.