EllisDon Facilities Services – Royal Inland Hospital Kamloops

In 2018 EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare was named the preferred proponent for a 6 year, $417M expansion and renovation of Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) in Kamloops, BC. At the same time, EllisDon Facilities Service Inc, was awarded a 30 year maintenance contract for RIH.

Category: Case Studies
Date: July 21, 2022

The Issue

A hospital requires considerable infrastructure to ensure and maintain a clean and healthy environment. This infrastructure includes miles of HVAC ductwork, heating and cooling system piping, laundry chutes, boilers and spaces and access points to access it all. This all results in many confined spaces. Legislation defines what a confined space is, requires an inventory be maintained, specifies the requirements for entry to each type of space and specifies program requirements.

EllisDon Facilities was relying on an outdated confined space program and assessments they were not certain met current legislative and regulatory requirements. OHS regulations require a qualified professional to assess each potential confined space and determine the hazard rating, which determines entry requirements. DCS Safety was invited to provide a proposal and was the successful proponent.

The Resolution

Four project components were identified and delivered on-time, although COVID restrictions did create several unavoidable delays, and on-budget by DCS Safety.

  1. Conduct inventory of possible confined spaces.
  2. Conduct on-site determinations and assessments of each potential space as per regulatory requirements.
  3. Develop a confined space policy and program.
  4. Develop and deliver confined space awareness training to EllisDon Facilities employees.

By looking at floor plans, the previous inventory and simply opening doors and asking people, a total of 204 potential confined spaces at RIH were identified and assessed with individual reports created for each potential space. 109 of the spaces were classified as excluded confined spaces based on the 9 criteria specified in regulation. Confirming classification as excluded confined spaces meant a significant operational cost savings to EllisDon as entry requirements are considerably less onerous and do not require rescue teams or specialized equipment to be on hand. A confined space entry procedures handbook based on a series of flowcharts was developed to aid employees in determining entry requirements.

A bespoke 2-hour training session was developed and 4 sessions were provided to 18 different employees. Training sessions were used to introduce employees to what a confined space is, what an excluded confined space looks like and the entry procedures handbook and processes.

Attendee feedback was very positive with all saying the training was useful and easy to understand.