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Safety Manual. Revised Edition 2010

Revised Edition 2010

Work in Confined Spaces

2.7 Work in Confined Spaces

1. Definition

A confined space is any setting with limited entry and exit openings and adverse natural ventilation in which toxic or inflammable pollutants or an oxygen-poor atmosphere may accumulate and which is not conceived for continued use by a worker.

Work in Confined Spaces

These may be of several types:

Confined spaces which are open at the top and with a depth that hinders their natural ventilation; for example:

  • Cesspits.
  • Vats.
  • Pits.
  • Open tanks.

Confined spaces which are closed with a small entrance and exit opening; for example:

  • Underground transformer rooms.
  • Tunnels.
  • Sewers.
  • Service galleries.
  • Underground utility shafts.
  • Storage and settling tanks and similar.

Work in Confined Spaces

2. Reasons for Accessing

  • Construction work.
  • Repairs.
  • Cleaning.
  • Painting.
  • Inspection.
  • Installation of Trays.
  • Wiring.
  • Rescue.
  • Etc.

3. General Hazards

Those which, apart from the hazardousness of the atmosphere inside, are due to the deficient material conditions of the space as a workplace.

  • Becoming trapped.
  • Electrocution.
  • Falls.
  • Postural Risks.
  • Problem of Communication.
  • Physical Atmosphere: Heat and Cold / Noise / Vibrations / Lighting.

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