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What’s the difference between a confined space and a high risk environment?

What is a high risk environment?

A high risk environment is a space which is likely to expose individuals to dangers. A number of industries operate in these environments with many people entering to perform essential tasks. Therefore, it is essential for employers to identify hazards and control potential risks to protect employees before gaining entry to a high risk environment; otherwise referred to as a confined space.

What is a confined space?

A confined space is an enclosed area which has a substantially limited access.

There is a greater chance of serious injuries arising to individuals due to the risks involved; hazardous substances, reduction of space, and a lack of oxygen.

Often a confined space occurs in:

  • Ducts
  • Vessels
  • Culverts
  • Tunnels
  • Manholes
  • Excavations
  • Sumps
  • Inspection pits
  • Experimental hutches
  • Tanks
  • Building voids or other similar spaces

Confined spaces can be found in a large number of industries: construction, facilities management, farming, mining, water, waste, oil and gas.

How should a high risk environment, such as a confined space, be managed?

The possibility of injuries and fatalities arising is more likely in a confined space. Employers need to follow measures to ensure their employees are safe and secure at all times – even in an emergency rescue. A suitable and sufficient assessment of any potential hazards needs to be identified prior to entry. The system in process must be adhered to when accessing entry.

Civil Engineering Safety Ltd believe there are three methods to reduce injuries from occurring by:

  • Ensuring qualified workers are undertaking tasks
  • Collaboratively supporting third party workers

Subsequently, this will assist workers to understand and evaluate risks and hazards. After all, the protection of workers is essential for an effective work environment.

Are you a manager who needs to protect your employees?

Civil Engineering Safety Ltd will provide expert industry training, which will give you a City & Guilds 6150-61 Management of Confined Spaces qualification. To learn more about this course please see here.

Please call Sarah Ellington on 01480 431111 or email sarah.ellington@civilsafety.co.uk to book or discuss your requirements further. 

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