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Design of a digital tool for the identification of confined spaces
Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries  (IF3.66),  Pub Date : 2022-01-13, DOI: 10.1016/j.jlp.2022.104731
Lucia Botti, Cristina Mora, Emilio Ferrari

Statistics on accidents in confined spaces reveal that many workers are injured and killed each year while working in confined spaces. The main cause of accidents and fatalities due to work in confined spaces is related to the lack of awareness about the presence and the risks of such unconventional workplaces. A confined space hazard assessment and risk control program should be implemented prior to access a confined space, aiming to control the risks associated with working in a confined space. This paper introduces a structured procedure and a digital tool for mobile devices, which aim to increase workers’ awareness about the risks of working in confined spaces.

The proposed tool investigates four different categories of confinement that characterize confined spaces: geometry, access, internal configuration, and atmosphere. After completing the procedure on the mobile application, the user, e.g. the employer or the company's safety professional, receives a list of potential issues that should be addressed before entering the space. Three case studies show the application of the proposed methodology to three suspected confined spaces.