Confined Space Training - Why is it so important

By Steve Brand | February 13, 2018

Confined spaces can involve potential danger

Confined space work is one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities. Sadly, an average of fifteen people are killed, with many more seriously injured, in the UK whilst working in these environments each year.

Statistics do however show that there has been a downward trend in the rate of fatal injuries in the workplace, and it’s suggested that this positive change can be largely attributed to the increased amount of health and safety training that businesses take part in.

What is a confined space?

It may come as a surprise that confined spaces are not defined by the physical dimensions of a space but rather the hazards that may arise in that space.

By definition, a confined space is any place such as ducts, vessels, culverts, tunnels, boreholes, manholes, excavations, sumps, inspection pits, experimental hutches, tanks, building voids or other similar spaces in which, by virtue of its enclosed nature, there is a reasonable foreseeable risk of:-

  • Serious injury from fire or explosion.
  • Loss of consciousness arising from increased body temperature.
  • Loss of consciousness or asphyxiation arising from gas, fume, vapour or lack of oxygen.
  • Drowning arising from increased levels of liquid.
  • Asphyxiation from a free flowing solid.

The Law

As part of the ‘Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1999’ sufficient risk assessments must be completed for all work that is to be completed before moving onto the next stage. If your risk assessment identifies the risk of fatal injury from working in a confined space then you are expected to adhere to the ‘Confined Spaces Regulations, 1997’. These regulations state that an employee must:

  • Avoid entry to confined spaces.
  • Follow a safe system of work.
  • Put emergency arrangements in place before starting any work.

Working in Confined Spaces

If confined space work is unavoidable then you should be aware of the risks that may occur within the space and ensure the person is capable and trained in the work to be carried out, the use of any emergency equipment, and has undergone appropriate confined space training.

Seahaven Maritime Academy offers Confined Space training for all levels of risk including:-

If you would like more information on our Confined Space Courses then please get in touch.

Alternatively please click on the links above to go to the Seahaven Safety Training website to see course dates for each of our respective confined space courses.

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About The Author

Steve Brand
Managing Director

Steve is a highly experienced instructor with a long and impressive track record in safety-critical working environments. Training is much more than a job for him, it is a vocation and his dedication and care for his valued students is second to none.

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