Training for Confined Spaces

There's often discussion and dispute about what training is required for workers entering a confined space. In this video, Laurie explains what training is required when it comes to confined spaces.

Watch the video below to hear Laurie discuss this topic:




Workers and their supervisors must have the skills and knowledge to understand the hazards associated with working in confined spaces, the contents of the confined space entry permit, the control measures implemented for their protection and any emergency procedures.

Training should be provided to:

1. Workers that enter a confined space

They are the individuals who will actually go in and conduct the work and they must be given training that is relevant to them carrying out that activity.


2. Workers who undertake hazard identification or risk assessment in relation to confined spaces

This may be particularly applicable to a supervisor or manager who is managing the process of confined space entry permits. Even though they may never enter a confined space, they must understand the hazards that are associated with it and the controls that must be put in place.


3. Workers who implement Risk Control Measures

This would include how to use gas detectors, and how to carry out gas monitoring.


4. Worker that issue the permits

Workers who issue the permits must be provided training in the understanding of the content of those permits.


5. Workers who act as a stand-by

A person who is going to act as a standby person must be provided with training in the confined space entry, the communications and also the rescue procedures.


6. Workers who Monitor the conditions in a confined space

These workers must be provided with training and the use of that monitoring equipment.


7. Workers who purchase equipment for confined spaces

This is an area that is often overlooked, as these workers usually do not carry out the work, but they are the people who sign off on the actual equipment and materials that are going to be used. So, it's important they're provided with some understanding of the issues that are relevant to a confined space.


8. Workers who design or layout a work area that includes a confined space

This includes the people who design or layout the work area in the very early stages. So, we make sure for example, that confined space entry points are adequate for getting people in and maybe in some instances, getting a stretcher in.


Training should be related to the type of space

Training should relate to the type of confined spaces and that will generally cover things like the nature of the hazards associated with the confined space, the need for and the use of the risk control measures, the selection, use and fit of PPE, the contents of any relevant confined space entry permit and emergency procedures.


Training should be relevant to the role

It's also really important that the training in confined space is relevant to the role.

For example, we were recently involved with a sand mining operation, where the sand actually passes through a number of processes removing rocks.

The workers in that particular area had been sent away to a confined space entry course, and when the workers came back, we found that they've been trained how to enter sewers.

There was no reference in how to enter a space where the person could be engulfed with rocks and how that should be managed. So, the training they would actually receive was not relevant to the work that is going to be carried out.


Training can be accredited or non-accredited

Accredited training is required for confined spaces and this may be relevant to the work that is being performed in your workplace.

However, the legislation does not specifically state that accredited training is required, it is perfectly in line for an organisation to do non accredited training.

In the previous example, where I was talking about entry into a rock silo, the entry should have been in and around this particular entry point, it was the only confined space entry on site and it could have been delivered non-accredited.


Re-training or refresher training

The legislation requires that workers undergo retraining or refresher training appropriate to the work and the workplace. There is no defined timeframes involved.

The organisation themselves must establish the frequency of refresher or retraining required. Records of training must be maintained; this also should provide you with a reminder to carry out the refresher or retraining.


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