Another common task is sampling. This requires the collection of samples from different areas of the plant and testing them in an on-site laboratory for compliance with health and safety standards.
If the analysis reveals serious concerns, the operator typically reports them to a Supervisor for investigation.
The Fond du Lac Regional Wastewater Treatment & Resource Recovery Facility has a Sampling/Monitoring & Lab Technician who is responsible for scheduling and sampling events, as well as collection and processing of sample data.
The Sampling Technician also troubleshoots outlying sampling station operational problems and investigates alarms at those stations.
The Sampling/Monitoring & Lab Technician’s work site is often a confined space.
A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and it is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.
Confined spaces include, but are not limited to underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines.
OSHA uses the term “permit-required confined space” (permit space) to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics: contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.
Many workplaces contain spaces that are considered “confined” because their configurations hinder the activities of employees who must enter, work in, and exit them.