Introduction to this document

Working in manholes

Manholes may contain anything from asphyxiating gases to contaminated water. Use our risk assessment document to help avoid accidents, injuries and ill-health.

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards associated with work in manholes and the appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Working in Manholes. It covers the generic hazards associated with this type of activity and suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level.

Make your instructions clear

Don’t include activities in your document that simply don’t need to be there. Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of doing something, then you will need to make it clear in your document. Finally, always ensure that any control measures you identify and follow only go so far “as is reasonably practicable”.  

Note. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive. However, for your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards found while working in manholes. You may also wish to refer to our Risk Assessment - Working in Confined Spaces.