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Confined Space

Identifying Confined Spaces

What is a confined space?

Confined space entries can be located in various working environments

It can be any space which is substantially, or fully enclosed, where there is a risk of death or serious injury from hazardous atmospheric conditions, substances or dangerous conditions (e.g. drowning or free-flowing solids), these are known as ‘foreseeable specified risks’ and identified in the Confined Space Regulations 1997

Confined space entries can be located in various working environments and should your in-house teams,  contractors or other workers undertake build and infrastructure projects, routine inspection checks, or maintenance tasks in these environments, they may be working in a confined space area as part of their normal duties without realising the significant risks associated with these areas if not correctly assessed.

To help you identify and classify your on-site confined spaces and the provision required to meet compliance, contact us on 01482 398521 or customer@hfrsolutions.co.uk

Confined Space identification and classification | What level of risk do your confined spaces present?

Confined Space Types

Some confined spaces are fairly easy to identify such as:

Low, medium and high-risk confined spaces are dangerous areas

  • Enclosed drains
  • Chemical reaction vessels
  • Gas storage tanks
  • Sewers
  • Grain silos
  • Slurry tanks

Others can be harder to identify such as:

  • Trenches
  • Vessel cargo holds
  • Sumps
  • Slurry Pits
  • Bunded Areas
  • Service tunnels & ducting

Undertaking your daily duties in confined spaces, in a safe and controlled manner requires a thorough understanding of the dangers and hazards these environments present, coupled with an efficient safe system of work and a robust rescue plan in the event of an incident occurring.

Confined space working – issues to consider

Confined space identification and categorisation - a key part of identifying risk

If your organisation undertakes work in a confined space, you should consider the following issues:

  • Confined space identification and categorisation
  • Sufficient planning and preparation
  • Risk Assessment of the confined space
  • Identifying associated risks and hazards
  • Understanding all work tasks to be undertaken within confined space (introducing further hazards)
  • Confined space rescue plan
  • Emergency rescue capabilities, specialist equipment and medical intervention
  • Training & Competency of workers planning, managing, and entering the confined space against the National Occupational Standards
  • Roles and responsibilities (including supervision)
  • PPE/RPE requirements and associated equipment for safe system of work
  • Legislation compliance – Confined Space Regulations 1997