We work with a number of customers who need specialist pest control services in confined spaces. Because of the additional legislation around this type of work, it is critical that as FM or the Duty holder you ensure that the team carrying out the work are fully trained and operating within the Confined Space Regulations 1997
Is your confined space actually a confined space or an enclosed space?
You need to ask yourself the following questions:
Could a serious injury occur from any hazardous substances or conditions in the space?
Does it contain any of the following or could it cause any of the following ?
- Hot conditions that can cause the body to become overheated;
- Fire and/or explosions;
- Poisonous gas, fume or vapours;
- Liquids and solids can fill a space suddenly when disturbed; and
- Dust can be present in large quantities, which can cause asphyxiation.
Is the space substantially enclosed?
Remember – a confined space is not necessarily fully enclosed.
Some common confined spaces are Ductwork; Poorly ventilated rooms; some enclosed rooms (particularly plant rooms) and compartments within them; Building voids; Storage tanks; enclosed drains; Silos; Sewers; and Vats.
If you do have a confined space which requires specialist pest control then the team must have a safe system of work in place.
This will include the following as a minimum:
- Supervisor – should be present while work is being carried out;
- Competence – are operatives adequately trained and experienced?
- Testing the atmosphere;
- Removal of residues;
- PPE & RPE;
- Isolation from mechanical and electrical equipment, as well as gases, liquids, and other materials;
- Escape plan for emergencies;
- Breathing apparatus;
- Access & egress;
- Fire prevention; and
- Gas supplied by pipes and hoses.
To read the article in FM World in full please see: http://www.fm-world.co.uk/good-practice-legal/explainer/working-in-confined-spaces/