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Managing Confined Space Flammable Toxic Atmosphere Entries in Airport Underground Electrical Vaults (AIHce EXP 2023 OnDemand)

Course Description:
Recorded at AIHce EXP 2023

Airport underground electrical vaults are confined space that may contain flammable, toxic, and oxygen deficient atmospheres. Under wet conditions, anaerobic bacteria feed on organic materials/chemicals, generating methane and hydrogen sulfide. Similarly, aerobic bacteria may generate carbon dioxide. Airport vaults may contain organic chemical deicer, jet fuel, and solvents infiltrate the vaults via contaminated subsurface water. Vaults must be entered by trained and equipped workers to perform electrical work, and also to periodically remove accumulated toxic sludge that is corrosive to electrical components and vault structure. This presentation covers the step-by-step precautions to: 1) train and protect entry workers, and 2) identify and control hazardous atmospheres generated in the presence of organic material/chemicals and bacteria.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the session, the participant will be able to:

• Identify confined space hazards due to bacteria, organic materials and/or chemicals.
• Apply OSHA requirements for confined/enclosed space entries.
• Conduct measurements of hazardous atmospheres, prior to and during entries.
• Address elimination of flammable atmosphere ignition hazards.
• Select appropriate ventilation systems to eliminate hazardous atmospheres.
• Use full-face pressure demand airline respirators with emergency escape bottles for IDLH atmospheres.
• Define the three types of Grade D breathing air and how to supply them.
• Determine the need for flame resistant (FR) clothing and all-cotton undergarments.
• Detail the requirements for rescue teams, non-entry worker extraction equipment, and entry to rescue workers.

Contact Hours:

Presentation Date:

Jerome Spear
Arlen Siert, PhD, CIH, CSP