Human Resources

Confined Spaces 

Types of Space

A confined space is described by the Health & Safety Executive as a place which is substantially enclosed and where serious injury can occur from hazardous substances or conditions within the space or nearby.  Such spaces at the University would include:

  • Sewers

  • Plant rooms

  • Roof spaces

  • Walk in incubators

  • Walk in fridges

Work within confined spaces must be assessed for risk prior to commencement and will be subject to a permit to work system where the risk heirarchy determines that working within a confined space is necessary.

Dangerous Conditions

Danger car arise from:

  • Lack of oxygen

  • Presence of poisonous gas, fume or vapour which can build up or be released once disturbed

  • Free flowing solids which can asphyxiate and collapse suddenly

  • High concentration of dust which can limit breathing and create explosion potential

  • Hot conditions

Confined spaces may have some of these dangerous conditions already present but others may be created due to the work being carried out in them.