Entry into confined spaces is extremely hazardous. Work in a confined space can pose a number of hazards as a result of restricted ability for movement, including a higher than normal risk of fire, explosion, flood or asphyxiation resulting from being submerged under liquid or flowing dry materials. These risks and their controls are specified in the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997. The main requirement of these regulations is to avoid the need to enter a confined space if at all possible and, if entry is necessary, to ensure that an adequate safe system of work is in place, including contingency plans for emergencies and rescue.

This topic outlines the risks posed to those who are required to work in confined spaces, where human entry cannot be avoided. It also highlights the importance of identifying the associated hazards, implementation of control measures, ensuring the equipment selected is appropriate and that those who enter confined spaces are suitably competent.

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