Working in confined spaces

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Working in confined spaces


The University is committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff, students, visitors, volunteers and contractors when at USC and/or engaged in USC activities. This includes work done in confined spaces.

In accordance with Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011, Schedule 19, a 'confined space' means an enclosed or partially enclosed space that:

  • is not designed or intended primarily to be occupied by a person, and
  • is, or is designed or intended to be at normal atmospheric pressure while any person is in the space, and
  • is or is likely to be a risk to health and safety from:
    • an atmosphere that does not have a safe oxygen level, or
    • contaminants, including airborne gases, vapours and dusts, that may causes injury from fire or explosion, or
    • harmful concentrations of any airborne contaminants, or
    • engulfment.

Confined spaces at USC may include, but are not limited to:

  • pits and degreasers
  • pipes
  • sewers and sewer pump stations (including wet and dry wells)
  • stormwater drains
  • shafts
  • ducts
  • tanks

USC recognises that activities undertaken in confined spaces may be inherently hazardous to workers’ health and/or safety and that such work involves a unique range of hazards and risks that are not normally associated with other work environments.

The USC Working in Confined Spaces Guideline details the requirements for working in confined spaces at, or for USC.

All confined space work must adhere to the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 and the Confined Spaces Code of Practice 2011. All work must be done in accordance with the details entered on the confined space entry permit.

As specified in the above mentioned guideline, an authorised Confined space entry permit (PDF 269 KB) * must be obtained prior to the commencement of any confined space work. It can be obtained from and authorised by:

  • Asset Management Services: Tel: +61 7 5430 1195
  • Health, Safety and Wellbeing: Tel: +61 7 5456 5125

* For PDF documents you must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded from the Adobe Download Page.

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