Confined spaces have long been recognised as potentially very dangerous not least because of the risk of toxic gases being present.
If persons entering these areas are not wearing the correct respiritory equipment potential toxic gases present can quickly overwelm the individual and numerous deaths have been caused by this.
Cargo containers are routinely fumigated to prevent weed, micro-organism and pest infestation. Fumigation chemicals are typically toxic in nature. Containers are fumigated at container ports and warehouses before being unloaded or shipped. Typical fumigation chemicals include:
These cargo conainers must be considered as confined spaces and therefore should be checked for toxic gas before being unloaded by persons entering either in a forklift of on foot.
A recent survey in 2010 in the Netherlands and Belgium found that 11% of the 50,000 containers tested were rejected because gas and vapour levels were too high. In addition to containers which have been gassed some products such as shoes, electronics and paints generate toxic gases during transit.
Examples of these gases include:
Toluene, Formaldehyde, 1, 2 Dichloroethane, Carbon Monoxide and Ammonia.
By checking toxic gas levels, and if necessary venting, prior to delivery to the customer or distribution centre we can ensure that the labour force are not unwittingly exposed to toxic gases well in excess of the “Maximum Allowable Concentration” or MAC value.
Conquer Environmental Services have gas testing systems that can provide the reassurance to you and your staff that the confined space they are entering is free of these chemicals and therefore safe to work in.