This course is designed for new and experienced personnel required to work in confined spaces and perform the stand-by person/ safety observer role in the resources and infrastructure industries at an operational level. Many roles require confined space training, including safety, injury prevention and maintenance personnel, engineers, risk managers, mine managers, cable installers and transport personnel.
The safety observer role is often referred to as a fire watcher, hole watcher or stand-by person. The primary role of a safety observer is to observe and interpret work permits, develop and be prepared to initiate a rescue/incident response plan, maintain communication with all the workers on the site, and ensure the work is being conducted in accordance with the permit conditions and workplace procedures. Safety observers can stop permit work, but do not have the authority to restart it. The scenarios specifically covered in this course include confined space and hot work. Please note, where the person is a safety observer for a confined space permit they should also be competent in confined space entry.
Participants will learn to distinguish what constitutes a confined space; key terminology; as well as understand the regulations and legislative requirements governing entering and working in and around confined spaces. Participants will identify hazards and emergencies as well as implement appropriate control measures; conduct risk assessments and apply for confined space entry permits and develop a rescue/ incident response plan.
Students will demonstrate how to enter, exit and work safely in a confined space according to an issued permit for two scenarios. Participants will also inspect and select appropriate personal protective gear; operate various confined space safety equipment including atmospheric testing/monitoring devices; and conduct routine servicing of all equipment and gear.
The following units will be included in your certificate:
An individual undertaking this course will need to demonstrate the following to be eligible for entry:
Psychological* and physical capability to be able to meet the demands of the practical demonstrations for this course, such as the undertaking of the requirements to safely enter, work in and exit a confined space wearing appropriate PPE. This may involve climbing up, down, through or under structures or confined spaces, being temporarily suspended, wearing harnesses and other relevant PPE, dragging and lifting in confined and restricted environments in dark, low light or smoke filled areas.
Protective footwear/safety shoes and comfortable/practical clothing must be provided by the student and worn during the practical sessions and assessment
Language, literacy and numeracy requirements - students must be able to read and correctly interpret required documentation relevant to the confined space entry, speak clearly and unambiguously in English, explain, describe and verify sometimes complex needs and issues and understand the permit requirements. Writing is required to the level of completing workplace forms and producing any required reports. Numeracy is required to the level of being able to correctly differentiate between high and low pressures and temperatures, voltages or masses and interpret gas test/monitoring results.
Basic computer skills to complete workplace forms and reports
*Safe Work Australia notes “Working in a confined space may impose physiological and psychological demands over and above those encountered in a normal working environment. Consideration should be given to a worker’s:
ability to work in a restrictive space (for example claustrophobia) and ability to wear the PPE required to do the work (for example respirators).”
Code of Practice - Confined Spaces, December 2011
Individuals undertaking this course will be expected to complete both written and practical assessment tasks.
- Perform a horizontal and a vertical entry into a confined space
- Ensure first response equipment is available and in working condition
- Use atmospheric monitoring devices prior to entering the confined space
Test for one or more of: atmospheric (including explosivity), flammability, toxicity, temperature, humidity, combustibles, electricity or stored pressure/energy
Interpret readings and take required action
Maintain testing and monitoring equipment
Communicate effectively with team/work group and other personnel to:
Explain and implement safety and incident response procedures
Explain the requirements of the permit
Withdraw or cause work to cease outside permit conditions
Control entry to and exit from the job site
Handover to oncoming safety observer (including the paperwork on permit aspect)
- Monitor work for compliance and respond appropriately to changing conditions and circumstances
- Identify and act on incidences of non-compliance and report promptly to relevant personnel
- Withdraw the permit and shut down the worksite or implement the rescue/ incident response plan in the event of an alarm or monitoring failure
- Demonstrate concluding operation techniques
Documentation – The student must complete all documentation according to the required standard:
- Complete two Job Safety Environmental Analysis (JSEA)/ Safe Work Methods Statement (SWMS) forms
- Develop a workable rescue/incident response plan
- Apply for and obtain a Confined space entry permit for both scenarios – horizontal and vertical entry
- Recording result for gas testing of atmosphere
- Complete workplace forms and reports to close permits and complete Stand-by person/ Safety Observer documentation
Theory assessment - A written assessment consisting of short-answer and multiple-choice questions. The student must complete all assessment questions.