The Conﬁned Spaces Regulations 1997 were made under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSAW Act) 1974 and came into force on 28 January 1998. The Regulations apply in all premises and work situations subject to the HSW Act and specify requirements and prohibitions to protect the health and safety of persons working in conﬁned spaces, and those who may be affected by the work.
What would constitute a confined space? The following all must apply:
Existence of pathway: In this case when hazards are poised to be released upon a human action of material failure.
Presence of a touchpoint: Where operators interact with the hazard. Touchpoints occur in this case, in control rooms or merely the act of entry into a restricted area could be classed as a touchpoint.
Certainty: If control is lost due to an error, there is complete assurance that harm triggered by the action will occur.
Immediate: The occurrence of harm happens faster than a human can respond to prevent the harm.
Irreversible: The consequence of the action cannot be reversed, causing the critical limit to pass the point of no return.
Intolerable harm: The severity of the outcome is classed as intolerable.
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