What determines a confined space

From the definition it must be enclosed or partially enclosed, not designed primarily for human occupancy and have the risk of ONE of the following:

  • lack of oxygen or excess of oxygen,
  • presence of airborne toxic gases or vapours,
  • explosive environment
  • or the risk of engulfment in a stored free flowing solid, or rising level of liquid.

Remember “risk of” does not mean it has to be there, but in your evaluation of the space that at some time it could contain one of the listed risks.  ie when driving a motor car there is always a risk of having an accident.

Also you cannot put a “control measure” in place and then say, “it is not a confined space”.  ie placing a ventilation fan in the space to provide a flow of fresh air.  You have to go back to the reason you put the fan in place, and that then becomes “the risk of”.

Confined Space Code of Practice