What is the difference between a confined space and a high risk environment?
What is a high risk environment?
A high risk environment is a space which is likely to expose individuals to dangers. A number of industries operate in these environments with many people entering to perform essential tasks. Therefore, it is essential for employers to identify hazards and control potential risks to protect staff members before gaining entry to a high risk environment; otherwise referred to as a confined space.
What is a confined space?
A confined space is an enclosed area which has a substantially limited access.
There is a greater chance of serious injuries arising to individuals due to the risks involved; hazardous substances, reduction of space, and a lack of oxygen.
Often a confined space occurs in:
• inspection pits
• experimental hutches
• building voids or other similar spaces.
Confined spaces can be found in a large number of industries: construction, facilities management, farming, mining, water, oil and gas.
How should a high risk environment, such as a confined space, be managed?
The possibility of injuries and fatalities arising is more likely in a confined space. Employers need to follow measures to ensure staff are secure at all times – even in an emergency rescue. A suitable and sufficient assessment of any potential hazards needs to be identified prior to entry. The system in process must be adhered to when accessing entry.
Confined Space Services believe there are three methods to reduce injuries from occurring by:
• Enrolling on current and relevant confined space training courses
• Ensuring qualified workers are undertaking tasks
• Collaboratively supporting third party workers
Subsequently, this will assist workers to understand and evaluate risks and hazards. After all, the protection of workers is essential for an effective work environment.