Confined Space & Recovery


A number of people are killed or seriously injured in confined spaces each year in the UK. This happens in a wide range of industries, from those involving complex plant to simple storage vessels. Those killed include not only people working in the confined space but those who try to rescue them without proper training and equipment.

What is a confined space?

It can be any space of an enclosed nature where there is a risk of death or serious injury from hazardous substances or dangerous conditions (eg lack of oxygen). Some confined spaces are fairly easy to identify, eg enclosures with limited openings:

  • storage tanks
  • silos
  • reaction vessels
  • enclosed drains
  • sewers

Others may be less obvious, but can be equally dangerous, for example:

  • Open topped chambers
  • vats
  • combustion chambers in furnaces etc
  • duct work
  • un-ventilated or poorly ventilated rooms

It is not possible to provide a comprehensive list of confined spaces. Some places may become confined spaces when work is carried out, or during their construction, fabrication or subsequent modification.

Are your site personnel equipped to carry out the task?

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