Spot the OSHA Violation: Is This a Safe Job for a Worker Working Alone?

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: April 30th, 2015
Topics:

Is This a Safe Job for a Worker Working Alone?

Would you want your workers doing this job on their own?

confined space

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for Answer

Entering a permit required confined space like this one requires at least 2 workers:

  • The entrant; and
  • An attendant to remain outside the space at all times.

It looks like the workers in this photo are following the rules. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. 

The Moral: Confined space entries are just one example of jobs that are too hazardous for a single worker to perform alone or in isolation (i.e., cut off from immediate help).

WHAT’S AT STAKE

THE DANGERS OF WORKING ALONE

Just about all jobs pose some kind of safety hazard. Working with or near co-workers and supervisors is an effective way to manage those hazards because those other people can:

  • Look after you and keep you out of trouble; and
  • Give you immediate help if you do get injured, ill or caught in some kind of emergency situation.

By the same token, performing a job when you’re alone or isolated from others increases your risks of serious injury or illness.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

FOLLOW THE SAFETY RULES FOR WORKING ALONE

Sometimes, the hazards of working alone or in isolation can be managed. The company has implemented safety controls, procedures and equipment to protect workers who work alone or in isolation.

Don’t work alone or in isolation unless you understand and are capable of using these safety measures.

KNOW THE JOBS THAT CAN’T BE DONE WORKING ALONE

Some operations are so dangerous that they should never be undertaken by a single worker working alone; they require at least 2 workers to carry out safely.

Example: A worker must never go into a confined space requiring a permit to enter unless there’s an attendant stationed outside to monitor the entry and deliver help in the event of an emergency.

Make sure you know these jobs and don’t try to carry them out unless you’re with or within easy reach of at least one co-worker or supervisor.

1. Firefighting operations inside structures that contain atmospheres which are immediately dangerous to life and health

 

fire-fighter

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Installation, removal or repair of electrical lines over 600 volts

 

electric-cables

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Installation, removal or repair of de energized electrical lines exposing you to risk of contact with parts over 600 volts

600watts

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Handling of radioactive, explosive or highly reactive substances

toxic-workers

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Handling of toxic gases, liquids or solids

 

handling-flammable-liquids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Handling of flammable liquids

 

presirised systems

 

 

 

 

 

7. Working on highly pressurized systems

 

combustable materials

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Welding or cutting near combustible materials

 

Welding it together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Using fall arrest equipment or scaffolding

fall arrest equipment

 

 

 

 

  1. Working in extreme weather

working in extreme weather

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR MORE HELP PROTECTING WORKERS WHO WORK ALONE OR IN ISOLATION

 
 
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