Although there isn’t a real definition of “confined space”, you can identify these working environments as places or spaces large enough and configured for access to at least one operator, even though the primary function is not to house people.
In these environments, danger of serious injuries or death is very high, because of the difficulties of access and exit in case of emergency (twisting of the torso and use of the hands as a support point) and due to the presence of toxic substances, gas and / or flammable vapors or hazardous conditions, such as the absence or excess of oxygen.
Other features that help to identify a confined space are:
- temporary environment
- lacking feasibility
- insufficient or absent lights
- uncomfortable or limited ergonomics
- presence or absence of people: difficulties transmitting technical or emergency requests
- insufficient or absent ventilation
Confined space are also those places that, during the construction or preparation, do not have the features listed above, but acquired them only at the end of the work.
The Presidential Decree 177/2011 obliges companies and the self-employer to carry out specific training of operators who work in confined spaces.