Confined Space Management
What Is A Confined Space?
A confined space has a very definitive set of characteristics and risks. Confined spaces may be above or below ground and may be open or enclosed spaces. Confined spaces are often associated with work areas that have difficult or restricted access / egress. Working space may be restricted and bring workers into close proximity with other hazards such as moving machinery, electricity or steam vents and pipes. A confined space may be encountered in virtually any occupation and has many definitions;
The term CONFINED SPACE means any place, including any vessel, tank, container, vat, silo, hopper, pit, bund, trench…… or other similar space which, by virtue of its enclosed nature creates conditions which give rise to a likelihood of accident, harm or injury.
The following are the HSA’s key characteristics of a 'confined space'
• The space must be substantially enclosed.
• There must be a risk of at least one hazard of the type, listed in the definition above, occurring within the space.
• The risk of serious injury from the hazard must be created by virtue of the enclosed nature of the space.
• The potential injury must be serious and be such as to require emergency action to rescue the person involved.
What Can Holland Safety do for you:
We have vast experience working in all types of confined space locations across industry and the economy. A risk assessment will focus all involved on the hazards they may encounter such as collapse of space, noxious gases, fire risks, etc. Where the risk assessment identifies serious health and / or safety issues, a method statement can be prepared to ensure the work is planned and sequenced.
Safe Systems of Work
If entry into a confined space cannot be avoided, it is essential to have a ‘safe system’ for working inside the space. Anyone working in a confined space must be properly trained and instructed, as should the Top Man. They should also understand exactly what work they are to do; they must not alter from their job description/duties as this could give rise to further hazards.
Risk Assessment will identify the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of injury. The safe system of work, including the precautions identified, must be developed and implemented. We can assist you in identifying your safety system of work and develop safe work procedures in line with best practice.
Confined Space Permit
A ‘permit-to-work’ regime ensures that a formal check is undertaken to ensure all the elements of a safe system of work are in place before people are allowed to enter or work in the confined space. It is also a means of communication between site management, supervisors, and those carrying out the hazardous work and acts as a control for contractors working on your premises or at your factory. We can assist you in developing a robust permit system for your high-risk areas.
Where you want to create a register for your confined space locations and rate them by risk level, we can assess each location, attach a risk classification to the area and assign minimum controls for working in the area. This allows you to ensure contractors and your own staff are clear on the precautions to be taken before entering the area and can base their safety plan on the risk level when planning the work.
Where you require Gas Free Certification to ensure certainty with vessels, tanks, work location or areas, we can provide an Authorised Gas Tester (AGT) to go to your locations and inspect and verify it is gas-free. If you require further details about this service why no contact our team to discuss your requirements.
Click here to access our full list of Confined Space Training Courses