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Examples of a confined space

What is confined space?

It can be any space of an enclosed nature where there is a risk of death or serious injury from hazardous substances or dangerous conditions (e.g. lack of oxygen).

A ‘confined space’ must have both of the following defining features:

  • it must be a space which is substantially (though not always entirely) enclosed; and
  • one or more of the specified risks must be present or reasonably foreseeable.

Examples of a confined space

  • ducts, culverts, tunnels, boreholes, bored piles, manholes, shafts, excavations and trenches, sumps, inspection and under-machine pits, cofferdams;
  • freight containers, ballast tanks, ships’ engine rooms and cargo holds;
  • buildings, building voids;
  • some enclosed rooms (particularly plant rooms) and compartments within them;
  • enclosures for the purpose of asbestos removal;
  • areas used for storage of materials that are likely to oxidise (such as store rooms for steel chains or wood pellet hopper tanks);
  • unventilated or inadequately ventilated rooms and silos;
  • structures that become confined spaces during fabrication or manufacture; and
  • interiors of machines, plant or vehicles.

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