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New hazard alert targets confined space dangers of pesticide spray tanks

storage containers
Photo: PhilAugustavo/iStockphoto

Olympia, WA — Pesticide spray tanks are considered confined spaces if they’re big enough to enter (through a manhole cover or access port) and occupy, and require a permit for full or partial entry, emphasizes a new hazard alert from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

The alert is intended to help raise awareness among chemical supply dealerships, orchards, farms and businesses that use such tanks for storing, mixing, loading or spraying pesticides or fertilizers. Among the hazards workers may encounter are toxic and flammable liquids and vapors, rotating machinery, electrical parts, and low oxygen levels.

For workers to enter a confined space to inspect, clean, maintain or make repairs, employers are required to provide special training, equipment and written procedures.

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