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Confined Space Series - How do I Risk Assess a Confined Space?

Anyone risk assessing a confined space must have the correct training to do so (i.e. City & Guilds 6150-14, 6150-54, 6150-61, Breathe Safety CS03, CS06 or equivalent). This must be completed prior to any task or work being carried out.

As with all risk assessments, risks need to be highlighted and assigned a severity and likelihood, then the action stated that is to be done to reduce this risk level.

A man looking down a confined space
Confined space risk assessment

Although there are many things that need to be considered, below we have listed four key things you will need to look out for before entering any Confined Space (extract from The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992: Regulation 3).

The assessment will need to identify the risks to those entering or working there, and also any others, for example, contractors and the general public in the vicinity who could be affected by the work undertaken. Assessment upon which a safe system of work is to be based must be carried out by those competent to do so.

  1. General Condition of the Confined Space

    1. What potential hazards are known to be or could be present?

    2. Consider any other factors that may affect not only the area, but the access and egress?

      1. Environmental I.e. Potential Gasses, Recent/Forecasted weather, Temperature etc.

      2. Physical I.e. Obstructions, Surfaces, Nearby Processes, Equipment used etc.

  2. Work to be carried out

    1. How will this affect, or be affected by area that is being worked in?

  3. Isolating the Confined Space

    1. What measures can be put in place to isolate the area i.e. machinery and processes?

  4. Emergency and Rescue Requirements

    1. How soon can the Emergency Services be present in the event of an emergency?

      1. Is this soon enough, based on the risk and Confined Space, to perhaps warrant a Standby Rescue Team?

Breathe Safety are always keen to help. If you have any further questions feel free to speak to one of our team: 0330 828 0887

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