Confined Space ProBE
Rationale for the Programme
From 2002 to 2005, there was an increase in the number of fatal industrial accidents in confined spaces.
Accidents in confined spaces are usually due to poisoning, asphyxiation, fire or explosions, and typically involve multiple victims.
In 2004, hot work carried out in a confined space on board an oil tanker resulted in the deaths of seven workers.
And in 2005, two separate industrial accidents occurred in confined spaces, resulting in the deaths of five workers and injuries to two other workers.
Engaging the Industry
The confined space priority programme was highlighted at the following competency-building events and promotional activities:
The increase in the number of confined space-related fatal industrial accidents and the high probability of multiple victims necessitated the launch of a confined space priority programme.
Awareness Seminar on Risk Assessment
The seminar was organised by the Singapore Chemical Industry Council on 2 May 2006.
Two presentations were made:
- ProBE Priority Programme on Confined Spaces; and
- Safe Working in Confined Spaces.
About 80 people attended the seminar.
Risk Assessment Workshop
The workshop was held on 10 May 2006 by the Association of Singapore Marine Industries.
The workshop covered tank cleaning in confined spaces. Participants were asked to develop detailed risk assessments for the tank cleaning processes carried out at shipyards. The developed risk assessments will be made available once all inputs have been collated.
‘Hot Work Safety in Confined Space’ Seminar
Jointly organised by the Workplace Safety and Health Advisory Committee and the Association of Singapore Marine Industries, the seminar drew 300 participants from the shipbuilding and repair industry. The event took place on 26 May 2006.
Among the speakers was Mr Alvin Yeo, Head of the Major Hazards Industries Unit, whose case studies on past accidents brought home the message that safety is of paramount importance at any workplace.
Other presentations at the seminar included:
A technical advisory on work in confined spaces has been issued to help stakeholders better understand:
- The legal requirements pertaining to work in confined spaces; and
- The best practices that can realistically be applied.