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H&S Tech Tip: Confined Space Definition

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The Standard (AS2865:2009) defines a Confined Space as:
An enclosed or partially enclosed space that is not intended or designed primarily for human occupancy, within which there is a risk of one of more of the following:
a. An oxygen concentration outside the safe oxygen range
b. A concentration of airborne contaminant that may cause impairment, loss of consciousness or asphyxiation
c. A concentration of flammable airborne contaminant that may cause injury from fire or explosion
d. Engulfment in a stored free-flowing solid or a rising level or liquid that may cause suffocation or drowning

Types of Confined Spaces:

Confined spaces can be located above or below ground, and despite the name, they can be very small or very large. Confined spaces can have one single point of entry or egress, or multiple.

  1. Tank-like Compartments: Such as; tankers, process vessels, boilers, pressure vessels, silos and storage tanks.
  2. Open Top Spaces: Such as; pipes, pits, degreasers, sewers, shafts and ducts.

  3. Small Hatchways or Access Pits: Such as; cargo tanks, cellular double bottom tanks, duct keels, ballast and oil tanks and void spaces.