ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox

Confined Spaces

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Dams of all types, from the largest gravity dams to the smallest low head dams, may have areas of confined space. These structures include everything from overhangs to tanks, tunnels, manholes, conduits, pipes, pits, and ductwork. Because of the small nature of these spaces, objects and people can easily become wedged, especially if water flows into or around the space. These confined areas are especially hazardous for smaller children and should not be entered or approached except by qualified dam inspectors and professionals.

These spaces may also contain hazardous gasses may be odorless and colorless or undetectable but can create an area of low oxygen where you can suffocate, pass out quickly and expire if you are not rescued. This creates another hazardous zone for the rescuers and first responders to navigate. There are many governmental regulations (OSHA, MSHA) for confined spaces that should be researched and respected by dam professionals and the public before entering these places.


Revision ID: 4437
Revision Date: 11/18/2022