Confined space safety legislation - Confined spaces - Healthy Working Lives

Confined spaces

Hazards for employees working in confined spaces and precautions you can take

Work in confined spaces can be dangerous. You need to be aware of the risks and know how to prevent them.

Use the links below to find information on common hazards for employees working in confined spaces and how to assess these. You will also find information about precautions you can take and your legal duties.​

  1. Common confined space hazards
  2. Confined space safety precautions
  3. Confined space safety legislation

3. Confined space safety legislation

Confined Spaces Regulations 1997

These regulations provide guidance on how to carry out work in confined spaces safely. They also provide information on the likely hazards and suitable precautions. The regulations and associated guidance are available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Visit the HSE site for Confined Spaces Regulations

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

These cover all parts of the workplace.

Visit the HSE site for Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulation​s​

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations state you must assess the risks to employees. You need to make arrangements for their health and safety by effective

  • planning
  • organising
  • control
  • monitoring
  • review.

Personal protective and work equipment

The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992 require you to consider the impacts of personal protection on work activities. You need to ensure suitable equipment is provided and used.

The Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 also requires you to consider the impact on work in confined spaces.

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act places the general duty on you to ensure the health, safety at work of all your employees.

To achieve this you need to provide adequate

  • training
  • instruction
  • information​​
  • supervision.

It also places duties on employees to take reasonable care of their own safety and that of others. They must cooperate with their employer to help them meet their legal obligations.