Avoid entry: Confined space

Control Measure Knowledge

Avoiding entry into a confined space to deal with an emergency, should always be the preferred approach. The Confined Spaces Regulations and the Confined Spaces Regulations (Northern Ireland) state:

‘No person at work shall enter a confined space to carry out work for any purpose unless it is not reasonably practicable to achieve that purpose without such entry.’

If objectives can be achieved without entering the confined space, the risk of injury to personnel and worsening of conditions, for example, disturbance of sludge, in the confined space are significantly reduced. It is vital to assess the confined space to establish the risks presented by entry in comparison to the benefits of doing so.

All personnel should be aware of the limitations of their knowledge, training and equipment so they can assess the risk and make an informed tactical decision and intervention.

If the full risk assessment indicates that it is not safe enough for personnel to be deployed into the confined space, specialist advice or assistance should be requested. For further information refer to

If the confined space is in an industrial context, the responsible person or on-site staff may be able to provide the fire and rescue service with details of specialists who are competent to work in confined spaces.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions