Safe Work Processes
What are confined spaces?
Many hazards are present within confined spaces. While the hazards are also common in regular workspaces, they can be more hazardous in a confined space due to the variability of the spaces and can result in severe injury or death.
Some of the most common hazards in confined spaces include:
|Oxygen (too little of too much)||
|Toxic gases and vapours (e.g. carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane)||
|Explosions (e.g. combustible dust)||
|Biological hazards (e.g. mould, bacteria)||
|Entrapment and engulfment||
|Moving parts of equipment and machinery||
|Substance entering through pipe||
To effectively control the risks to these hazards, hazard assessments, entry procedures and rescue procedures must be established for each confined space.
Hazard assessments, entry procedures and rescue procedures must be prepared by a qualified person. A qualified person is one who has adequate training and experience in the recognition, evaluation and control of confined space hazards.
What are the hazards in confined spaces?
A confined space is an enclosed or partially enclosed area with limited or restricted means of entry or exit. Although it is big enough for a worker to enter, it is not designed for someone to work in regularly. Examples of confined spaces include sewers, pits, boilers, tanks and hoppers.
Who can enter confined spaces?
Only trained and authorized workers are to enter UBC confined spaces. Specific instruction and training must be given to workers who enter a confined space as well as any worker who is part of the work activity, such as a supervisor, standby workers and rescue personnel.
Workers must be instructed and trained as per the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation in the recognition of confined spaces, potential hazards of confined spaces, roles and responsibilities, atmospheric testing, ventilation, standby persons, rescue procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment, other precautions and coordination of work activities.
Prior to work starting, all workers involved in a confined space entry must be familiar with the site-specific confined space hazard assessment and safe work procedures and have all applicable documents available on site.
How to get more information about confined spaces?
Additional UBC Resources:
- UBC Confined Space Hazard Assessment Template (PDF)
- UBC Confined Space Entry Procedure Template (PDF)
- UBC Confined Space Rescue Procedure Template (PDF-Fillable)
- UBC Confined Space Entry Log (PDF-Fillable)
- UBC Confined Space Entry Permit (PDF-Fillable)
If you have any questions on Confined Spaces at UBC, contact the Safety & Risk Services, Health, Safety and Environment Coordinator at 604-822-6732.