Plan, manage and review legislative and safety compliance for work in confined spaces

Business Sectors (Suites): Confined Spaces
Developed by: Energy & Utility Skills
Approved on: 30 Mar 2020


This standard is about managing legislative and safety compliance for work in confined spaces.  A confined space is any place, including any chamber, tank, vat, silo, pit, trench, pipe, sewer, flue, well or other similar space in which, by virtue of its enclosed nature, there arises a reasonably foreseeable specified risk.  Risks could lead to serious injury or death through fire, explosion, gas, fumes, vapour, lack of oxygen, rising levels of liquid, asphyxiation or entrapment by free flowing solids. 

It involves planning, organising and managing work safely in confined spaces including legislative roles and responsibilities, health and safety considerations and equipment requirements.  It includes:

  • applying relevant legislative and industry confined spaces requirements 
  • developing risk assessments 
  • determining suitable control measures 
  • developing safe systems of work
  • establishing effective procedures for using permits to work
  • developing  effective emergency arrangements
  • implementing and maintaining effective arrangements for document storage, review and audit.

This standard is for managers that are responsible for organizing, planning and managing legislative and safety compliance for work in confined spaces. The manager may or may not supervise the actual job.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

1. identify work activities that involve confined spaces
2. determine the classification of confined spaces from their description and work tasks when relevant
3. identify competences required to develop effective safe systems of work to control work activities in confined spaces
4. ascertain legislative and organisational requirements for work activities being undertaken in confined spaces
5. determine the minimum numbers of persons required to undertake work activities in confined spaces
6. develop and implement suitable and sufficient safe systems of work for confined spaces
7. identify the competencies of people required to work within each identified confined space
8. determine when and how permits to work are to be used to control work in confined spaces
9. confirm all relevant people understand their roles and responsibilities
10. monitor, audit and review safe systems of work as and when required
11. identify hazards associated with working in confined spaces including who might be harmed and how
12. evaluate risks and identify control measures required to mitigate them
13. record the findings of risk assessments in appropriate documentation
14. review and update risk assessments as required to maintain health and safety for work in confined spaces
15. use risk assessments to determine the type and number of control measures for given hazards at confined spaces to ensure health and safety is maintained
16. determine the necessary tests required to verify the effectiveness of control measures for the hazards at confined spaces
17. identify the procedures required for safe working at confined spaces
18. determine the records associated with the control measures and the frequency of their renewal and review
19. determine the composition, competences and physical capabilities and numbers of work teams to accomplish work at confined spaces using identified controls
20. identify the specialised equipment to control found and anticipated hazards
21. determine and communicate the order in which control of hazards is established, verified and maintained to the work team
22. establish effective arrangements for dealing with emergency situations that may arise
23. determine the scope of work requiring the permits to work at confined spaces
24. identify the personnel necessary to operate control provided by permits to work
25. complete necessary records and documents required by permits to work
26. establish procedure to ensure work teams are briefed on their role(s) and duties under permits to work
27. determine emergency responses required for given risk assessed tasks at confined spaces
28. determine suitable and sufficient first aid arrangements
29. ensure all personnel involved have relevant competency and authorization for their role
30. ensure that emergency response procedures and first aid arrangements are understood by work teams and any third party assistance
31. complete confined spaces documentation and retain according to legislative and organisational requirements
32. review documents used for work activities in confined spaces to ensure accurate records are maintained
33. undertake audits of the management system used to control work activities in confined spaces to ensure that statutory compliance is maintained
34. maintain qualifications and ongoing training for this role in line with legislative requirements

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. the main principles of current confined spaces, health and safety and environmental legislation and regulations
2. approved codes of practice, guidance and standards for working safely in confined spaces
3. the range of risk assessments that may need to be produced to comply with work activities being undertaken in a confined space
4. the legislative duty placed upon employer, manager, supervisor and operator associated with confined space work activities
5. organisational requirements relevant to confined space work activities
6. the 5 step process to producing risk assessments
7. the hazards indigenous to confined space when undertaking work activities
8. the hazards imported to confined space when undertaking work activities
9. the hierarchy of hazard control required by statutes
10. classification schemes for the complexity of entry
11. how to determine severity of hazards and levels of risk
12. groups of people likely to be affected by work activities associated with confined spaces
13. the competencies required for personnel involved in confined space work activities including medical exclusions, human factors, ergonomic issues
14. types of ventilation systems including circumstances in which their use would be most effective
15. environmental monitoring equipment available for confined space work activities
16. environmental monitoring regimes required to enable work to be undertaken safely
17. equipment available for accessing confined spaces
18. the equipment and tools compatible for environment being worked in
19. how to check that equipment and tools are fit-for-purpose
20. the respiratory protective equipment available for confined space work activities
21. the personal Protective Equipment available for confined space work activities
22. relevant measures for effectively controlling “specified risks” associated with confined space work activities
23. how to evaluate effectiveness of existing and proposed control measures
24. decontamination procedures
25. the elements needed for a safe system and methods of work
26. information sources available to assist in developing a safe method of work
27. sequence in which confined space work activities are to be carried out
28. plant and equipment required to undertake work activities in confined spaces
29. roles and responsibilities of those involved in confined space work activities
30. communication methods suitable for confined space work activity
31. when permits to work should be issued
32. how to issue permits to work
33. relevance of permits to work for confined space activities
34. the elements needed for permits to work
35. roles and responsibilities of personnel involved in confined space activities under a permit to work system
36. how emergency situations can arise in a confined space
37. roles and responsibilities of personnel involved in confined space work activities should an emergency arise
38. communications and reporting systems for emergency situations
39. procedures for dealing with emergencies
40. the rescue equipment that may be used in confined spaces 
41. the first aid measures that may be used in confined spaces 
42. procedures for dealing with the aftermath of an emergency
43. reporting systems for routine work activities and resolving problems
44. processes used to determine the frequency of reviewing risk assessments
45. required frequency of ongoing training for this role and how and where to access it


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2025





Originating Organisation

Energy & Utility Skills

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Building and Construction, Engineering, Science and Engineering Technicians

SOC Code



Key words Confined space; high risk; medium risk; low risk; specified risk; plan; organise; manage; review; legislative compliance; safety compliance; safe systems of work; control measures; permits to work; emergency arrangements; procedures; risk asses