A confined space is an enclosed or partially enclosed space that is at atmospheric pressure when someone is in there but at no time was it intended, nor designed, as someone’s primary place of work. Confined spaces may have a harmful atmosphere such as a toxic gas, or a lack of oxygen; they could be prone to flooding or they could be difficult to get in and out of, particularly in the event of an emergency. A person is deemed to have entered a confined space when their head is placed within the space. Working within a confined space is a specialised task that only trained and competent people, having been issued with a permit, should undertake. At all other times, access to such places needs to be prevented so that unauthorised persons cannot gain entry.
Confined spaces within DEECD Schools and workplaces may be found in ceiling cavities, storage tanks, plant rooms, open drains, pits, air-conditioning ducts and in some cases, there may be old water wells located on site.
Consult with Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) and employees to determine whether confined spaces are present at your workplace and make sure they are appropriately signed and that access is restricted to prevent the entry of unauthorised people;
Please note that working in a confined space is a hazardous undertaking and must only be done by qualified and experienced contractors.
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007
AS2865 (1995) Safe Working in a Confined Space.
OHS Advisory Service on 1300 074 715