Industry Code of Practice for Safe Working in A Confined Space

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Working in a confined space can expose a person to a very risky situation that can cause diseases and injury which leads to an accident and death. Statistics have shown many fatalities involving workers working in a confined space such as working in a silo, storage tank, pressure vessel or tank, sewer system or communication system, trenches and others. In most cases the cause of death is due to inhaling of toxic gases or oxygen deficiency.

Investigations conducted by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) have found that most confined space accident were due to failure of the employer in establishing and providing a safe work system for working in a confined space. Another factor is due to lack of coordination and control of activities when executing more than one task at the same time. For example, working in a confined space can be hazardous when maintenance work on a piping system containing flammable substances connected to the confined space is done without proper coordination and control.

DOSH also noticed that one of the main reasons for these accidents is the sub-contacting of work to contractors that do not have knowledge and experience in working in a confined space. These contractors normally do not have proper work procedures and equipment for working in a confined space.

Thus, to overcome these problems, DOSH has published a code of practice for all safe working in a confined space in 2001 for the purposed of providing practical guidance to the employers, parties and employees for safe working in a confined space. However, after seven (7) years since it had been published, DOSH felt the code of practice need to be amended, so that it is consistent with current and future information and needs. This code is known as Industry Code of Practice For Safe Working In A Confined Space 2010.