A manhole guard, also called outside guard, is used to supervise employees who perform work in a confined space. As a manhole guard, your job is to supervise the safety of the employees who work in a confined space. It is not without reason that “safety watch” is another synonym for manhole watch.
As a manhole guard you are the right person to keep watch at a manhole. It is important to be present as close as possible to the manhole, so that you can keep a close eye on things and know exactly which employees are working in the confined space. Read more below about what a manhole is and what the activities of a manhole guard are.
A manhole: what is it actually?
A manhole is often an access option to a narrow and unventilated space. Consider, for example, an opening in a silo, sewage system or tank. A manhole is a narrow access option that only one employee can pass through. A manhole is used as a passage during repair, inspection or cleaning work. When working in such a confined space, it is mandatory to deploy a manhole guard to ensure the safety of employees. The room in which work is carried out often has too low an oxygen level because the room is not ventilated. There is also often the presence of flammable, hazardous or explosive substances in the space behind the manhole.
There are all kinds of different manholes. Most can be closed with a manhole cover or hatch. You often have to enter manholes vertically and the opening is often narrow and dangerous. Sometimes it is necessary to lower an employee by means of a hoist system.
Before working in the space behind a manhole, it is always important to obtain permission from a responsible supervisor before entering the confined space. A Risk Inventory & Evaluation ensures that the risks are analyzed and that a thorough rescue and evacuation plan is in place.
What are the activities of manhole guard?
As a manhole guard you must always be present in the vicinity of the manhole. A manhole guard does not enter the confined space, but supervises the manhole to ensure the safety of employees. He or she must supervise whether the work is carried out according to safety guidelines by the employees entering the confined space. The manhole guard often communicates with the employees in the confined space by means of a walkie-talkie or another means of communication. This is essential to know what is happening as a manhole guard. Should something happen in the confined space, causing an emergency, it is important that a manhole guard can call in the correct services or rescue the employee (s) from the confined space themselves. Would you like to know more about hiring a manhole guard? Go to this website for more information on manhole guards.