We’re always amazed at the diversity of businesses that come through our doors here at the Training Academy and who need confined space training.   Today we welcomed ten Winemakers – who were attending our Confined Space Basic Entry Course.

The wine is fermented in huge ‘Vats’. These need cleaning and maintenance undertaken on a regular basis, which often involves entry into the Vat . This needs to be done in the safest possible way, and with the correct procedures put in place.

Confined spaces within the wine industry can relate to any areas, fully enclosed, partially enclosed or even open topped, which are not intended to be a normal, habitable workspace. These can include fermentation vats, bins, and even some barrels. Because of the nature of fermentation as well as chemicals used for cleaning equipment, there are opportunities for sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), ethanol (EtOH) and even water vapor to create unsafe work atmospheres in these potentially dangerous areas where workers are required operate.

There is ample evidence to suggest that even well-trained personnel can drown or be asphyxiated when their work requires them to be exposed to the dangerous atmospheres created by wine making in a small or confined area.

Entry into areas that may contain toxic environments must be made by people trained in confined space entry. Those workers must have the appropriate protective gear (PPE) including a gas monitor for testing the atmosphere, a means of safe entrance and egress of the space, and the ability to be retrieved by competent people outside the space if they are overcome while working.

For further information on Confined Space Training, call Alpha Training on 01903 871381.

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