Safety Safety Guidance

Guidance on Confined Spaces

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Published in December 2012

A ‘confined space’ is defined as a space of an enclosed nature where there is a risk of death or serious injury from hazardous substances or dangerous conditions (e.g. lack of oxygen). Some confined spaces are obvious e.g. enclosures with limited openings such as enclosed drains, sewers, tunnels, mines and pumping chambers. Geotechnical work is more likely to involve less obvious but equally dangerous confined spaces such as trenches and pits or unventilated or poorly ventilated rooms, light wells, basements and open-topped chambers. Drilling in basements for example may constitute a confined space activity due to poor ventilation and exposure to dust.

This guidance provides practical safety advice when working in confined spaces.