The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently revised its guidelines for work carried out in confined spaces. The Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and guidance has been updated with a number of regulatory changes as well as some aesthetic changes to make the guide easier to use.
The safe work in confined spaces ACOP is published for the benefit of employees likely to work in confined spaces as well as their employers and any representatives involved. Changes have been designed to make it easier for relevant parties to assess the risks associated with working in a particular confined space. Relevant parties will be better able to identify, measure and mitigate risks associated with this kind of work.
Particular emphasis has been placed on clarifying the meaning of a confined space. On the first page of the report a confined space is defined as “any place, including any chamber, tank, vat, silo, pit, trench, pipe, sewer, flue, well or other similar space in which, by virtue of its enclosed nature, there arises a reasonably foreseeable specified risk”
Easier for everyone
Amanda Chamen, Director at Altius Vendor Assessment said: “These new guidelines should make it easier for employees, employers and contractors to assess whether a particular enclosed space is hazardous. Hopefully we will see a reduction in the number of accidents associated with working in these conditions.
“Many businesses don’t fully appreciate the dangers of certain work spaces, and many more don’t realise that working in confined spaces is often excluded from insurance policies, or has special conditions attached by the insurer. When employing contractors, it is important to ensure that they are covered for working in enclosed spaces, especially if a site contains any places covered under the ‘confined space’ definition.
The Altius Vendor Assessment process includes these checks as standard to help ensure the smooth running of operations and above all, to minimise the risk of accidents”. You can read the revised HSE guidelines here.
Photo Credit: HSE