Sustaining life in hazardous environments...
Sustaining life in hazardous environments...

Confined Space Series - What is a Confined Space?

4th January 2016

The simplest way to define this is to refer to the regulations:

Confined Space Regulations 1997 ‘Regulation 1: ‘Confined Space’ means any place, including any chamber, tank, vat, silo, pit, trench, pipe, sewer, flue, well or similar space in which, by virtue of its enclosed nature, there arises a reasonably foreseeable specified risk'.

There are therefore two features which determine if an area is actually covered by the regulations:

1. A substantially, but not entirely enclosed space

2. There is ‘a reasonable foreseeable specified risk’

E.g. you may have a small room which could be a ‘substantially enclosed space’, but if there is no ‘reasonably foreseeable specified risk’ then the Confined Space Regulations don’t apply.

E.g. if in that same room the only access/ egress was via a small opening in the ceiling and the only means of entry was using Man Riding Equipment, there would then be a ‘reasonably foreseeable specified risk’ due to access/egress issues. This would then need to be classified as a Confined Space.

Remember two rules about the Confined Space:

Rule No.1  Does the Confined Space have to be entered?

Rule No.2  If so, then a Risk Assessment must be carried out.

 

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