Confined spaces present serious risks to people in a wide range of industries, and a significant number of people are killed or seriously injured in the UK each year. Of course, employers have a duty to prevent employees and others entering or working inside a confined space where it is not necessary. But the fact remains that this type of work is necessary in many cases and the people involved must undertake appropriate confined space training in order to carry out the work safely.
The HSE define a confined space as”…a place which is substantially enclosed (though not always entirely), and where serious injury can occur from hazardous substances or conditions within the space or nearby (e.g. lack of oxygen).” Many people in mining, sewage, ports and other industries undertake confined space work and face serious risk of injury or even death.
The main dangers in confined spaces are:
- A lack of oxygen
- Poisonous gas, fumes and vapours
- Liquids and solids entering the confined pace
- Fire and explosions
- Residues giving off gas, fumes or vapours
- Dust in high concentrations
- Hot conditions leading to a dangerous increase in body temperature.
Implementing a safe system of work is critical when planning work in confined spaces. The appropriate risk assessments must be undertaken by competent people and appropriate emergency procedures must be in place and communicated to workers before any work begins. Good quality and appropriate confined space training is necessary for the people who will be involved in the work.
Confined space training
The requirements for all confined space training are detailed in The Confined Space Regulations 1997. The training should equip personnel with competency and understanding of; the need for preventing entry into confined spaces, as far as is reasonably practicable; the hazards and the control measures and precautions; safe systems of work and, if appropriate, the use of permits to work; how emergencies arise, emergency procedures, how to follow them and the dangers of not doing so
Courses should be designed to provide delegates with the necessary background and skills to work safely in a confined environment. Here’s an example of the good quality training that’s available.
Alpha Training Safety Solutions is a specialist provider of confined spaces awareness, confined space entry, and confined space rescue training. The firm is accredited as a City & Guilds Centre to run the full 6150 suite of Confined Space courses.
Video: Alpha Training Safety Solutions and Rescue 2
Rescue 2 is a dedicated technical rescue service providing teams of professional, current serving front line emergency service personnel or technical rescue specialists.
On average, around fifteen people every year in the UK are killed working in confined spaces. In addition, a number of people are seriously injured. Those killed include not only people working in the confined space, but also those who try to rescue them. It is critical to ensure that everyone in your organisation that is likely to take part in confined space working is appropriately trained, and that suitable emergency arrangements are always in place. This may include professional confined space rescue teams such as Rescue 2 Ltd who offer a holistic approach to confined space safety and rescue management all over the UK.
This is an article about confined space training. For guidance on confined space working and the pertinent legislation and regulations, visit the HSE Confined Spaces Site
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.
Confined Space Training by PPE.