Not sure if you’ve got a confined space ?

Some confined spaces are obvious, others aren't so easy to spot...

  • Roof voids
  • Hoppers
  • Industrial boilers
  • Cargo holds
  • Trenches
  • Wells
  • Open topped pits
  • Flour silos

The HSE define “A confined space is a place which is substantially enclosed (though not always entirely), and where serious injury can occur from hazardous substances or conditions within the space or nearby (e.g. lack of oxygen)”.


It’s basically down to our old friend the risk assessment, and whilst some are obvious, most are not.

‘Specified risks’ to look for....

element tickWhen in the potential ‘confined space’, could everyone escape quickly, without having to negotiate obstacles?

element tickIs the exit nearby or is there only one exit?

An enclosed nature may not always be apparent, it may only be in one necessary location, and may only be intermittent.

element tick

Is there adequate ventilation?

Could toxic fumes, gases or vapours be present or flow in to the confined space or be created during the works?

element tick

Is there risk of serious injury arising from a fire or explosion in the ‘space’?

These gases may include flammable substances or too much oxygen.

element tick

Is there a foreseeable risk that the ‘space’ could flood with liquids or free flowing solids - preventing entrants breathing?

  • Liquids which are toxic or inert e.g. water
  • Free flowing solids - such as sugar, flour or coal dust

element tick

Is there too little oxygen?

element tick

Is it too hot?

Any of these could indicate a confined space. There are procedures you must put in place under the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974










Latest news


Worker Oven Death – Management Personnel Charged

Confined space - Worker Oven Death $6M Settlement & Management Personnel Chargedread more...

School Rooflight Fall

Bricklayer dies in school rooflight plungeread more...


Contact Element Safety

Phone: 01143 421 421
Post: Element Safety Ltd
Dannemora Drive
S9 5DF
Linked in

Mark Dickens

Richard Oliver







This website uses cookies for statistical usage data. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies. Don't show this again