confined spaces

Confined Spaces Training: New for spring!

Posted on 13th Apr, 2015 | By Lorretta Tatham

It’s a double whammy for new courses this spring. We’re not only introducing our brand new Legionella Awareness Training, we’ve also got a fantastic new course on Confined Spaces.

People are killed or seriously injured in confined spaces each year in the UK and it’s not just one industry that is affected.

From complex plants to simple storage vessels, a whole range of environments carry risks.

Our new training course raises awareness of working in such spaces and details how to stay safe as well as equipment that should be used to maintain your health and safety.

Today on the blog, we’ll just be giving you an overview of working in confined spaces, setting you up for our brand new course.

What are confined spaces?

Confined spaces are any spaces that are of an enclosed nature where there is risk of injury or death from hazardous substances or dangerous conditions.

The types of space might include chambers, sewers, vessels, tanks, silos or pits.

Other, less obvious, places you may find yourself at risk include vats, ductwork, unventilated or poorly ventilated rooms and combustion chambers in furnaces.

What dangers to confined spaces present?

Confined spaces present a wide range of dangers, some of the most common being:

  • Fire or explosion
  • High concentrations of dust
  • Exposure to gas, fume, vapour (sometimes poisonous) or lack or oxygen
  • An increase in body temperature, causing loss of consciousness
  • Increase in the level of liquid – potentially leading to drowning
  • Free flowing solids within the space

Even if a confined space doesn’t carry the risks above, they may become apparent once you commence work in the space – for example through using machinery, welding, or restricting access to and from a space.

The regulations

In 1997, a whole host of regulations were introduced in order to control industry and the self-employed.

The regulations have made it mandatory to have received training if you’re involved with entering, controlling or supervising people involved with this type of work. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in prosecution.

It is also essential that you carry out a thorough assessment before letting employees enter and work in confined spaces. Your assessment should include consideration of:

  • The task
  • Working environment
  • Working materials and tools
  • Suitability of those working
  • Arrangements for emergency rescue

Protecting yourself

While it’s best to avoid entering confined spaces where possible, if it’s absolutely necessary we advise that you follow these steps to enhance your safety.

Carry out a risk assessment to identify the precautions you need to take.

Make sure the safe system of work and precautions are put in place and that everyone involved is made aware of them.

Make sure that all involved have received proper training and know what to do.

To find out more about our new Confined Spaced Training keep an eye out on our safety courses page. You can also call us on 01282 615 517 to find out more or book your place.

Have you ever suffered an injury from working within a confined space? If so, share your story in the comments below or tweet us @BrownsLadders

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