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By this definition, there is a clearer dis-tinction
of what constitutes a confined
space in Saskatchewan and what does not.
What is not a
Some office workers joke that their cubicles
are confined spaces. Maintenance work-ers
may mistake storage closets or boiler
rooms for confined spaces. Is it true that a
small space is also confined? No. Cubicles,
storage closets and boiler rooms are all de-signed
with human occupancy in mind. As
well, entries and exits are not restricted.
What if the boiler room in question con-tained
unlabeled chemicals in compressed
gas canisters that were being improperly
stored? The room contains a potential at-mospheric
hazard, but it still isn’t a con-fined
space. It is important that a space is
assessed to determine if it is confined so
that appropriate hazard controls, plans and
training may be implemented.
What is a confined space?
Examples of confined spaces include sew-ers
or man-holes, silos, manure pits, any
sort of utility vault, pipe, tanks and boilers.
Yes, boilers. The inside of a boiler is a con-fined
space. The room that houses the boil-er
is not. Boilers aren’t meant for human
occupancy and have restricted entry and
exit. The rooms in which they stand do not
meet those criteria. There are many other
examples of confined spaces that meet the
definition that are not listed; the important
thing is that any space that does meet the
definition is a confined space and must be
treated as such.
Rights at work
Under the Saskatchewan Employment Act,
all workers in Saskatchewan have three ba-sic
rights: the right to know, the right to
participate and the right to refuse unsafe
work. When it comes to confined spaces,
this means that workers may ask questions
about the space and the hazards within.
Workers being asked to complete work in
a confined space are entitled to training.
All workers have the right to refuse work if
they believe it to be unsafe and this includes
work in a confined space, especially without
training and any required personal protec-tive
equipment (PPE). If there is ever a doubt
The inside of a boiler is a
confined space. The room that
houses the boiler is not.
40 Think BIG | Quarter 2 2018 | saskheavy.ca