Safety expert in warning to firms over 'confined spaces'
Many Northern Ireland firms are unwittingly putting employees at risk operating in confined spaces, a Co Armagh safety firm has warned.
Industry Training Services (ITS), based in Portadown and which runs Northern Ireland's largest health and safety training facility, said some firms could be unwittingly operating in dangerous confined spaces, the risks of which can include serious injury or even death.
Managing director Brendan Crealey said the company had seen a surge in related training.
He said: "Many companies may operate in a confined space without even knowing it. To keep up with hygiene standards, the equipment used in the making of food and drink needs to be cleaned regularly.
"This often involves people physically having to enter machinery which in many cases feature hard to reach or confined spaces.
"A confined space is anywhere which is considered substantially enclosed where injury can occur through, for example, a lack of oxygen or by inhaling a hazardous substance. Above all, nobody should enter such a space without full prior training."