Introduction to this document

Flow chart - Identifying a confined space

The definition of a confined space can easily be mistaken, leading either to unnecessary concern or a dangerously lax attitude. Our flow chart will help you get it right.

Enclosed space?

Our Flow Chart - Identifying A Confined Space will help you to work through the criteria to determine whether the work environment is subject to the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997. It’s vital that you identify such spaces and, if they are within your control, that you display warning signs to prevent accidents.

Risky business

The Regulations state that in order for an area to be classified as a confined space, it must have one or more of the specified risks associated with it. Our flow chart leads you to a list of these so that you can check for yourself.

The specified risks are:

(1) Serious injury due to fire or explosion

(2) Loss of consciousness arising from increased body temperature

(3) Loss of consciousness or asphyxiation arising from gas, fumes, vapour or lack of oxygen

(4) Drowning from an increase in the level of a liquid

(5) Asphyxiation or entrapment due to a free flowing solid.