There are hundreds of accidents every year happen where the worker is working in a confined space. According to statistics work in confined spaces causes about 15 deaths each year in the UK.
However there are Regulations in place to help prevent such accidents. The Confined Spaces Regulations 1997 are in place to protect workers who work in confined spaces.
Under the terms of the legislation, a "confined space" means any place, including any chamber, tank, vat, silo, pit, trench, pipe, sewer, flue, well or any similar space in which, by virtue of its enclosed nature, there is a risk of either:
In the Regulations a confined space has two defining features, enclosure to a substantial degree, and the significant possibility of being drowned, injured in a fire or explosion, or asphyxiated or poisoned, or any combination of these.
The Regulations place specific duties on the employers. Employers must ensure that all other methods of doing the work are exhausted; i.e. the work must be done from the outside if possible.
If work has to be carried out in the confined space then there must be a safe system of work in place. Accordingly before entry to the enclosed space a risk assessment must be carried out. This will determine the 'safe system of work' and appropriate emergency and rescue arrangements. Before any work is carried out there must also be emergency arrangements in place.
If you have been involved in an accident where you were working in a confined space then you may be eligible for compensation. Call our No Win No Fee lawyers today for FREE legal advice today on 0800 0891331.
More information can be obtained from the Health & Safety Executive.