The need for companies to take Confined Space training seriously and to put their procedures into practice was highlighted in a report (HSE/M/175/112) on the HSE website on 22nd November 2012.

A Derbyshire company was fined £30,000 plus costs of £12,348 for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974, for putting employees in danger by allowing them to work in confined spaces without any relevant training or safety measures.

Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”

HSE inspectors found the company had a written safe system of work, but it was not being adhered to. The policy stated that staff should be trained when either working in the pit or observing from the top, however training was not provided to a number of the workers involved.

In addition, some of the harnesses intended to be worn by workers when accessing the pit had not been thoroughly examined to ensure that they were safe to use, despite being reminded by their insurer of this requirement. It was also found that a gas analyser, used to ensure that the atmosphere in the pit was safe, had not been calibrated to ensure its accuracy.

Full report can be viewed on the HSE web site.

To ensure that you provide suitable and correct training for your employees who work in a Confined Space, please click here to see our range of Confined Space courses.

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