Check out this Brilliant Idea – Confined Space Simulator Training Trailer
In early 2009 a request from a training provider in Tasmania was received by WestCoast Trailers to supply a mobile special purpose training trailer. The concept was put into plan and built to specification for use as a Confined Space Simulator Training Trailer with a secondary use as a standard enclosed box trailer for transport and storage purposes.
On completion and delivery of the first unit and subsequent feedback from potential clients, leading safety industry equipment, training providers and OHS practitioners it was found that the Confined Space Simulator Training Trailer (Conspacetrailer) was far more adaptable and value adding to risk management than the original concept had been envisaged.
The Conspacetrailer was designed around a concept of providing a competency based training module and resources trailer that can be at the source of the risk to prevent risk of serious injury or death from entries into confined spaces.
The Conspacetrailer primary role will have a direct impact on preventing fatalities and injuries from the risk of entering confined spaces and work at heights by providing an on site/on call training simulator to the source of the risk with the adaptability of being a resource trailer for the provision of specialised safety equipment like lock out tag out systems, ventilation systems etc..
Unlike the current well established process of training staff and contractors in a class room environment that may be many miles away from the workplace, this unit can be on site any time any where.
The Conspacetrailer has the unique ability to be transported to the workplace and moved from site to site as the job requires which is a break through in terms of pipeline contracts and remote access works and can be placed on call for emergency and programmed shutdown tasks which is common place within the petrochemical industry and water and sewerage authorities.
The adaptability of The Unit is that it can be transformed into a standard box type trailer for use as storage and transport or converted into a small multipurpose class room.
The Unit could be utilised by the Emergency Services to provide training to staff in confined space rescue, rescue from heights, smoke room simulator and be on site without the need to transport valuable staff from there home base.
Once again the adaptability of The Unit comes into play by its ability to be utilised as a box trailer for the transport of HAZMAT, specialised rescue equipment and safety equipment as the situation requires.
As stated by an OHS Inspector who has worked for water and sewerage authorities and undertaken hundreds of confined spaces entries – “if we had this unit back in our days I’m sure we would have a direct impact of preventing some of the needless fatalities and injuries.
The big Australian also see’s confined spaces and work at heights as a big issue “that one of the key BHP Billiton initiative’s over the past three years has been the identification of repeat incidents that have occurred in many operating sites. These repeat incidents have resulted in fatalities or serious injuries across BHP Billiton. The list of identified repeat incidents affects not only the mining industry but many industries. Three of the identified repeat incidents – Working at Heights, Working in Confined space, and SCBA/Longline, involve activities that are part of the day-to-day operation on a site and are hazardous in their nature”.
The Unit can fit into all three categories of this risk management strategy by providing an on site – on call training simulator and specialised equipment provider to add to a corporate risk management plan regardless of destination or remoteness.
Trailer design incorporates a staircase that is painted yellow for visibility to enable the trainer to access the fold down fall prevention handrails that are locked into place. This ensures that the trainer is not exposed to risk of fall on setup and students are not at risk of falling during use.
The perimeter is fitted with toe boards and all walk areas are non slip.
The manhole opening in the roof is protected by the use of a chain and post fencing system that prevents persons falling into the void but is flexible to allow access into the simulator.
Similar devices are utilised at the exit manhole at the rear of the trailer to ensure students are free to exit the area as required.
The entire interior can be accessed in an emergency situation and can be modified to suit various applications as the walls and false floor is made of light weight materials for ease of handling.
A risk assessment was undertaken during the planning stage and post manufacture to ensure hazards are designed out and appropriate controls are put in place to prevent injuries during use.
The unit includes a balance of engineering controls that have been built into the design to ensure the highest level of safety for the operator and students during setup and use with an intended use for competency based training in a simulated environment with access to a range of risk controls (LOTO, permits, etc) that can be modified on site to suit the task at hand.
The unit can also provide for access to manual handling devices (winch and tripods, Confined Spaces Entry Smartarm) to allow persons access and egress into the simulator and the actual confined space and access to various types of breathing apparatus, ventilation and air monitoring equipment on site for use in training or use as required.
At the time of writing WestCoast Trailers was not able to find any specific studies on confined space fatal accidents covering all states in Australia.
For the purpose of this document the following workplace fatality statistics have been provided to highlight the urgent need for industry to ensure every effort is put towards preventing further injury and death from the hazard of entering confined spaces.
“In WA it is estimated that over 658,000 confined space entries are made each year” (WorkSafe, 1999, p28).
In 2006 a comprehensive study was undertaken by the EDITH COWAN UNIVERSITY into CONFINED SPACE FATALITIES in Western Australia by Ciaran MacCarron (0985377) which found of the 15 Western Australian case studies in the research 13 had failed to conduct confined space training.
On 27 August 2004 a Victorian company was convicted and fined $40,000 for failing to have proper procedures in place for welding in confined spaces and a second company who was involved in the incident was also convicted and fined $15,000.
On the 17th August 2007 “WorkSafe (Victoria) investigated the death of a 42-year-old Werribee man while working inside a steel tank at Altona North”
“In October 1985 an incident occurred aboard HMAS Stalwart, at sea off Darwin. The stern gland compartment was flooded with oily waste containing hydrogen sulphide (H2S), as a result of an incorrect pumping procedure.
The crew was exposed to H2S, three men were killed and almost 60 injured. A number of recent incidents have highlighted the importance of ensuring confined space entry is performed safely by trained personnel using appropriate equipment and procedures.”
It is estimated that approximately 10% of all work related fatalities in New Zealand over the last three years have occurred in confined spaces including silos, tanks and bins, (ACC, 1999, p58).
On the 29 September 2007 three experienced and qualified seafarers died as a result of entering the anchor chain locker on board a North Sea Emergency Response and Rescue Vessel (ERRV).
OSHA (USA) estimates that there are 5,000 serious injuries and 63 fatalities annually associated with confined spaces, (Department of Energy, 1993, p11).
“Other than vehicular accidents, more multiple fatalities occur during confined space entry work than any other type of work performed in the United States today”
(De Vaney, 1997, p22).
The Mobile Confined Space Training Unit is designed around a flexible management tool for providing a training and resources module that can be at the source of the hazard to prevent risk of injury or death from confined spaces and falls from heights and is so flexible it can be modified and utilised for used as a resource trailer in many industries including the emergency services.
West Coast Trailers
105 Duro Street North Geelong 3215