CSA Launches First Confined Spaces Standard in Canada

CSA Launches First Confined Spaces Standard in Canada


CSA Standards has recently released its new CSA Z1006 Management of Work in Confined Spaces standard, which specifies requirements and guidelines for work in confined spaces as well as coordinating rescues — an issue that affects maintenance professionals working around tight spaces, including tunnels, shipping compartments, pump stations, boilers and chemical tanks.

Workers in confined spaces can be at risk of serious injury or death resulting from asphyxiation, engulfment, electric shock, falls, and heat, fire, explosion or long-term illness. In addition, more than 60 percent of confined space fatalities are would-be rescuers, according to the CSA.

“Even the most skilled workers can become trapped, injured or overcome by toxins in a confined space,” says Suzanne Kiraly, president of CSA Standards. “This new CSA standard, the first of its kind in Canada, defines what a confined space is and provides guidelines to managers, workers and rescuers for identifying and avoiding potential risks while not becoming victims themselves.”

A confined space is defined as a workspace that is fully or partially enclosed, is not designed or intended for continuous human occupancy and has limited or restricted access, exiting or an internal configuration that can complicate provisions of first aid, evacuation, rescue or other emergency response services. Confined spaces can be found in almost all industries in Canada, which include tunnels, mines, grain silos, hydro vaults, shipping compartments, pump stations, boilers, chemical tanks and more. Every confined space is considered to be hazardous unless deemed not so by a competent person through a hazard identification and risk assessment.

CSA Z1006 is pending approval as a national Standard of Canada. Current standards and regulations vary across jurisdictions and, until now, there has not been a comprehensive national standard or even a consistent definition of “confined space.”

Some regions have general occupational health and safety or sector regulations addressing various minimum requirements relating to their jurisdictions. CSA has considered these jurisdictional differences and embraced applicable legislation to address the need for a comprehensive national standard. The standard was developed specifically to ensure that it does not conflict with existing regulations but rather works in combination with them to help ensure a high level of safety.

CSA Standards Z1006 Management of Work in Confined Spaces standard is available for pre-order in English by contacting CSA Standards Sales at 800-463-6727 or by email at [email protected].

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