Confined space entry is an underappreciated risk in both general industry and in construction. Confined space entries cause thousands of workplace injuries every year. While this may keep Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers busy, these injuries are unnecessary and can be avoided if employers follow basic workplace safety rules. Under the OSHA rules and basic workplace safety protocols, any entry into a confined space of 4 or more feet should generally be accompanied by a pre-entry oxygen check. Additionally, the worker entering the space should wear a harness and have a spotter with him at the entry.
In August, a steel worker was killed after being overcome by nitrogen while working in a confined space. According to the safety inspector, the worker’s death was caused by a “terrible design” which required the worker to open and enter a furnace to install parts. The employer was issued 15 safety violations, one of which was related to the employer’s failure to establish conditions of work free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious harm. This likely casued the industrial injury and death of the steel worker.