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Thread: Confined Space

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Perth, Western Australia

    Smile Confined Space

    Does anyone have a risk / hazard assessment example that they may send me as a guide.

    I'm not full bottle on confined space and apart from the risks identified in the Code of practice I would have no idea where to start with a Confined space Risk Assessment

    Cheers Glenys.

  2. #2
    If you're not up to speed then you need someone who is to assist you with the risk assessment. Confined spaces are a serious hazard and one of the biggest causes of multiple fatalities so must not be taken lightly.

  3. #3
    The starting point is to look at the Australian Standard on Confined Spaces. I do agree with Linda, seek help on your specific issue from someone who has experience.

    What is the confined space in question?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    The confined space I am looking at does not fit under the Confined Space definition within the Australian Standard. The confined space in question is 2mtr deep by 2mtr wide drainage pipe within a local community area. I have a risk assessment template to use in this area but most of the items such as oxygen deficiency, toxic gases and restricted entry and exit do not apply. The only thing that is steering me towards confined space is the fact that the Australian Standard says "The size of a space is not one of the factors used to define a confined space. Therefore, there is no specified minimum or maximum size". I was going to risk assess the area first on my own to determine the risks, then take it further to a specialist if the assessment risks were too High???


  5. #5
    I would be very surprised if a drainage pipe did not qualify as a confined space! How long is the pipe, what is at either end of it? What angle is it at?
    Toxic gases (H2s specifically) are always a risk in draininage pipes, unless there is constantly flowing water, since it's produced by decaying organic matter which can be things like sediment, dead roots, or decaying rodents etc.
    You also have to consider things like the operation of nearby machinery, or the proximity to roads, which can cause exhaust gases to enter drains and pipes and settle there. I would suggest you get assistance from someone with a bit more experience in confined spaces or, if no-one is likely to be required to go into it, treat it as a confined space and block it off with a permanent grating and signage indicating it's a confined space and entry requires authorisation (and a permit/ risk assessment).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Confined Space

    Confined space is a enclosed or partial closed space that is no a normal intended or primarily as a workplace space and also has a potentially harmful atmosphere levels of contaminant or likely an unsafe oxygen level or a space that could be overwhelmed by an unsafe atmosphere or cotaminate.

    This pipe is a partial enclosed space that is not intended as a primarily as a work space and you could be engulfed by water or it could be a settling place for gases from above live vehicles their could alge or plant life their absorbing oxygen.

    There are many danger that are involved in confined space first thing test the atmosphere with a gas tester by a qualified person to test gases.where are you engery source are they isolated-water ,gases etc

  7. #7
    Glenys Have you completed Confined Space Training?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Burwood, Melbourne
    Hi all

    My name is Caroline and this is my first time posting!

    In regards to advice for Confined Spaces try Cameron at He specializes in confined spaces and is a great resource.

    Cheers Caroline

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Just remember that entering and working in a confined space is a high risk acytivity. Your risk assessement must demonstrate that. If you do a risk assessement and com up with low or medium risk go back and have a good think about it. Gasses are mostly invisable and specilist monitors are required to measure the air that is in the confined space. But also remember that most monitors only measure four gasses. Question could there be a gas that is not measured present?. This is the most forgotten thing when doing a risk assessement. The risk assessement is a tool that guides you to realistic controlls that will allow you to work in the area. Just because you did a risk assessement it does not mean the space is safe.
    Training is a great administration controll only.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    South Coast SA
    Hi! The quickest way to start is to ask "is there any chance of engulfment?" If so a confined space entry permit must be issued and executed by qualified personel.
    Only ever done if all other avenues have been considered.
    Hope that helps!
    Cheers! Al

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