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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 (e.g. lack of oxygen).
Some confined spaces are fairly easy to identify, e.g. enclosures with limited openings:
Others may be less obvious, but can be equally dangerous, for example:
What are the dangers from confined spaces?
Dangers can arise in confined spaces because of many reasons; these include many relating to the atmosphere e.g.:
What the law says
You must carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks for all work activities for the purpose of deciding what measures are necessary for safety (The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999).
For work in confined spaces this means identifying the hazards present, assessing the risks and determining what precautions to take.
Testing the air