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A confined space is referred to as a space which is large enough for someone to enter and work, is an enclosed or partially enclosed space, has restricted entry/exit routes, is not designed, or intended to be primarily used for human occupancy and contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere. Confined space entry (CSE) is used in a wide range of industries to perform a range of tasks including cleaning and maintenance. The key concern relating to CSEs is that should an incident occur it often results in serious injury or fatality to personnel for those working within the CSE. The need for a CSE should always be challenged although should it be unavoidable, a safe system of work must be in place to assess the risks.
Ask yourself and your crew:
- How can something like this happen here (e.g. on our site)?
- What safety measures (i.e. procedures, controls/barriers) do we have in place to mitigate the risk?
- How do we know the risk controls/barriers are working?
- What improvements or changes should we make to the procedures, controls/barriers or the way we work?
Original content courtesy of IChemE Safety Centre
Other issues from ISC Safety Lore series:
ISC Safety Lore issue 1 - Key lessons from incidents during startup operations
ISC Safety Lore issue 2 - Key lessons from incidents during maintenance on atmospheric storage tanks
ISC Safety Lore issue 3 - Key lessons from incidents involving flare systems
ISC Safety Lore issue 4 - Key lessons from incidents relating to ageing
ISC Safety Lore issue 5 - Key lessons from incidents relating to creeping changes
ISC Safety Lore issue 6 - Key lessons from incidents relating to flanges
ISC Safety Lore issue 7 - Key lessons from road transportation incidents
ISC Safety Lore issue 8 - Key lessons from incidents related to shift-handover
ISC Safety Lore issue 9 - Key lessons from incidents related to permit to work
ISC Safety Lore issue 10 - Key lessons from incidents related to alarm management
ISC Safety Lore issue 11 - Key lessons from incidents related to ammonium nitrate fertilisers
ISC Safety Lore issue 12 - Key lessons from coal mine methane explosions
ISC Safety Lore issue 13 - Key lessons from incidents related to audits
ISC Safety Lore issue 14- Key lessons from incidents - inadequate hazard identification
ISC Safety Lore issue 15 - Key lessons from incidents related to dust explosions
ISC Safety Lore issue 16 - Key lessons from incidents related to procurement
ISC Safety Lore issue 17 - Key lessons from incidents related to intermediate bulk containers (IBCs)
ISC Safety Lore issue 18 - Key lessons from incidents related to flammable atmospheres
ISC Safety Lore issue 19 - Key lessons from incidents involving confined space entry