Code of Practice - WorkSafe Tasmania ... Code of Practice Page 4 of 53 Foreword This Code of Practice

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  • Confined spaces Code of Practice

    OCOTBER 2018

  • Disclaimer Safe Work Australia is an Australian Government statutory agency established in 2009. Safe Work Australia includes Members from the Commonwealth, and each state and territory, Members representing the interests of workers and Members representing the interests of employers. Safe Work Australia works with the Commonwealth, state and territory governments to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements. Safe Work Australia is a national policy body, not a regulator of work health and safety. The Commonwealth, states and territories have responsibility for regulating and enforcing work health and safety laws in their jurisdiction. ISBN 978-0-642-33313-1 (PDF) ISBN 978-0-642-33314-8 (DOCX) ISBN Creative Commons This copyright work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit creativecommons.org/licenses In essence, you are free to copy, communicate and adapt the work for non- commercial purposes, as long as you attribute the work to Safe Work Australia and abide by the other licence terms. Contact information Safe Work Australia | info@swa.gov.au | www.swa.gov.au

    mailto:info@swa.gov.au http://www.swa.gov.au/

  • Confined spaces Code of Practice Page 3 of 53

    Contents Foreword ............................................................................................................................. 4 1. Introduction ................................................................................................................... 5

    1.1. What is a confined space? .................................................................................. 5 1.2. Who has health and safety duties in relation to confined spaces? ....................... 7 1.3. What is involved in managing risks associated with working in confined

    spaces? .......................................................................................................................... 10 1.4. Information, training, instruction and supervision ............................................... 12

    2. Duty of designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers, installers and constructors ...................................................................................................................... 14

    2.1. Eliminating or minimising the need to enter a confined space ............................ 14 2.2. Entry and exit .................................................................................................... 14

    3. The risk management process ................................................................................... 16 3.1. Identifying the hazards ...................................................................................... 16 3.2. What hazards are associated with a confined space? ....................................... 17 3.3. Other hazards ................................................................................................... 19 3.4. Assessing the risks ............................................................................................ 21

    4. Controlling the risks ................................................................................................... 25 4.1. Eliminate the need to enter a confined space .................................................... 26 4.2. Minimise the risks .............................................................................................. 26 4.3. Entry permits ..................................................................................................... 27 4.4. Isolation ............................................................................................................. 29 4.5. Atmosphere ....................................................................................................... 33 4.6. Communication and safety monitoring ............................................................... 35 4.7. Entry and exit procedures .................................................................................. 36 4.8. Signs and barricades ......................................................................................... 36 4.9. Maintaining and reviewing control measures ..................................................... 37

    5. Emergency procedures............................................................................................... 39 Appendix A—Glossary ..................................................................................................... 41 Appendix B—Confined space criteria ............................................................................. 43 Appendix C—Sample confined space entry permit ........................................................ 44 List of amendments .......................................................................................................... 53

  • Confined spaces Code of Practice Page 4 of 53

    Foreword This Code of Practice on how to manage the risks associated with confined spaces in the workplace is an approved code of practice under section 274 of the Work Health and Safety Act (WHS Act). An approved code of practice provides practical guidance on how to achieve the standards of work health and safety required under the WHS Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulations (the WHS Regulations) and effective ways to identify and manage risks. A code of practice can assist anyone who has a duty of care in the circumstances described in the code of practice. Following an approved code of practice will assist the duty holder to achieve compliance with the health and safety duties in the WHS Act and WHS Regulations, in relation to the subject matter of the code of practice. Like regulations, codes of practice deal with particular issues and may not cover all relevant hazards or risks. The health and safety duties require duty holders to consider all risks associated with work, not only those for which regulations and codes of practice exist. Codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings under the WHS Act and WHS Regulations. Courts may regard a code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk, risk assessment or risk control and may rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code of practice relates. For further information see the Interpretive Guideline: The meaning of ‘reasonably practicable’. Compliance with the WHS Act and WHS Regulations may be achieved by following another method if it provides an equivalent or higher standard of work health and safety than the code. An inspector may refer to an approved code of practice when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice. Scope and application This Code is intended to be read by a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU). It provides practical guidance to PCBUs on how to manage health and safety risks associated with work carried out in a confined space. This Code may be a useful reference for other persons interested in the duties under the WHS Act and WHS Regulations. This Code applies to all workplaces covered by the WHS Act where work is carried out in confined spaces. How to use this Code of Practice This Code includes references to the legal requirements under the WHS Act and WHS Regulations. These are included for convenience only and should not be relied on in place of the full text of the WHS Act or WHS Regulations. The words ‘must’, ‘requires’ or ‘mandatory’ indicate a legal requirement exists that must be complied with. The word ‘should’ is used in this Code to indicate a recommended course of action, while ‘may’ is used to indicate an optional course of action.

    https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/model-work-health-and-safety-act https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/model-work-health-and-safety-act https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/model-work-health-and-safety-regulations https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/model-work-health-and-safety-regulations https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/interpretive-guideline-model-work-health-and-safety-act-meaning-reasonably-practicable

  • Confined spaces Code of Practice Page 5 of 53

    1. Introduction Confined spaces pose dangers because they are usually not designed to be areas where people work. Confined spaces often have poor ventilation which allows hazardous atmospheres to quickly develop, especially if the space is small. The hazards are not always obvious and may change from one entry into the confined space to the next. The risks of working in confined spaces include loss of consciousness, impairment, injury or death from:

    − the immediate effects of airborne contaminants − fire or explosion from the ignition of flammable contaminants − difficulty rescuing and treating an injured or unconscious person − oxygen deficiency or immersion in a free-flowing material, such as grain, sand, fertiliser,

    water or other liquids − falls from a height − environmental factors, for example extremes in temperature − poor lighting, and − manual handling.

    1.1. What is a confined space?

    WHS Regulation 5 Definitions

    A ‘confined space’ means an enclosed or partially enclosed space that:

    − is not designed or intended to be occupied by a person − is, or is designed or intended to be, at normal atmospheric pressure while any person is

    in the space; and − is or is likely to be a risk to health and safety from:  an atmosphere that does not have a safe oxygen level,