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Confined Space Entry - Dräger Confined Space Entry Safety and Rescue Solutions

Confined Space Entry

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Confined space entry – stay safe with planning, monitoring and protection

Dräger offers solutions and support for working in confined spaces. Guidance for confined space entry risk assessments helps prepare you with the procedures, permits to work and equipment necessary for confined space training. Our experts offer professional tips and practical confined space training to help you follow correct procedures for working in confined spaces – or calmly deal with confined space rescue scenarios. Products, such as confined space monitoring equipment – including reliable confined space gas detectors and confined space entry equipment for personal protection – help provide confidence and security for site managers and plant workers alike.

confined space entry rescue

Accidents in confined spaces – why do they happen?

A confined space is among the potentially most dangerous workplaces and confined space entry presents many challenges. Despite high safety precautions, too many accidents still happen worldwide, such as predominantly asphyxiation, exposure to hazardous substances or traumatic injuries to name just a few. Thus, when working in confined spaces, safety always comes first. Regarding the questions as to what causes an accident, there is more than one answer to that.

Frequent causes of accidents in confined spaces

  • Missing or insufficient hazard identification and risk assessment
  • Insufficient threat awareness
  • No selection or the incorrect selection of gas detection instruments
  • The use of unsuitable personal protective equipment or
  • The lack of training of workers who are designated for Confined Space Entry

Detect confined spaces

The understanding of confined spaces can be diverse. By clicking through the gallery you will learn about the obvious examples, but also lesser known sources of danger.

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How to avoid confined space accidents

The better a confined space entry is prepared the lower the risk. Here is a list of important questions that need to be answered in advance– before entering a confined space. 

  • Which legal regulations apply for this specific work assignment?
  • Are certified workers and proper devices available?
  • Does everyone know their responsibilities? 
  • Is the necessary operating instruction available?
  • Have your workers been trained regarding their individual activities? 
  • Have they been trained regarding the use of personal protective equipment?
  • Do you have an alarm and rescue plan for this specific mission? 
  • Have the recommended measures been consistently thought through?

Some companies are not even aware that their plants include confined spaces. This means that there is no risk assessment because a hazard has not been recognised. Information and consultation should be the first step. Once this has been addressed, there comes the confined space entry training. A proper training is an important prerequisite for avoiding accidents and to ensure the worker’s safety. Training sessions simulate a real work scenario and start, for example, by demonstrating the correct way to take clearance measurements and the use of personal protective equipment followed by entry and exit exercises.

Expert tips for a safe confined space entry

Confined Space Entry - Confined Space Entry – Mastering Risks Part 1

What exactly is a confined space or container?

Confined Space Entry - Confined Space Entry – Mastering Risks Part 2

Why are confinded spaces or containers so dangerous?

Confined Space Entry - Confined Space Entry – Mastering Risks Part 3

What is often done incorrectly in critical situations?

Confined Space Entry - Confined Space Entry – Mastering Risks Part 4

What are the typical mistakes made in CSE deployments?

Confined Space Entry - Confined Space Entry – Mastering Risks Part 5

What categorises good CSE training

Risk assessment

Risk assessment – manage hazards, risks and potential dangers

Risk or hazard – what’s the difference? What does a confined space risk assessment involve? A risk evaluation matrix helps you assess the challenges of confined space entry. Determine what confined space equipment is needed for the detection of any hazardous substances present and how to implement a safe system of work when working in confined spaces.

Risk assessment matrix

Risk Assessment Matrix

A matrix is a helpful instrument for risk assessment. It facilitates the systematic naming and evaluation of dangers and risks. Our example shows you how this might look.

Download matrix

Danger or risk: what is the difference?

When addressing workplace safety hazards it seems necessary to draw a distinction between “danger” and “risk”. 

“Dangers” are all aspects and framework conditions that could have a threatening influence on people, the environment, and plant safety with regard to a specific work situation. Such as entering a confined space. 

“Risks” are understood by workplace safety experts as the evaluation of the probability that this danger will occur in this exact situation and describes the specific potential of a hazard.

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Hazardous substances may cause damages

  • Explosions: triggered by sparks, high temperatures or instable behaviour of substances
  • Bodily damage: contact with toxic gases, vapours, fluids or caustic substances
  • Long-term bodily damage: carcinogens or gamete-damaging effects of toxic substances
  • Uncontrolled reactions of chemical substances: contact with certain catalysts
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Typical risks for workplace health and safety

  • Combustible gases and vapours
  • Toxic fluids and gases: like chlorine (Cl2), ammonia (NH3), hydrochloric acid (HCl)
  • Toxic organic substances: in particular benzene, methane, ethylene, butadiene
  • Particles: especially breathable ones
  • Additional dangers and risks: presented by specific work processes

A “safe system of work” – what does it mean for confined space entry?

The goal of the “safe system of work” is to minimise permanently the risks of specific work processes. This involves specifying methods and procedures that need to be implemented at a practical level when working in a confined space. Five partial steps to guide you to a safe system of work:

Step 1

Avoidance of risks via elimination of tasks

Step 2

Substitution by less dangerous or harmless processes

Step 3

Isolation of the danger via preventative interaction in the process (shut off mechanical functions, disconnect power supply, ventilation, etc.)

Step 4

Accompanying control measures (pre-entry measurement of toxic or explosive gases, of evaluation of entry options, etc.)

Step 5

Use of personal protective equipment (self-contained breathing apparatus, filter devices, chemical protection suits, etc.)

Permits to Work for confined space entry

Obtain vital facts about confined spaces before entry. Take the right precautions by obtaining an entry permit as a vital part of a “safe system of work”. Find out which standards and regulations are in place for working in confined spaces. Plan ahead with the right documentation and PPE for safe and efficient CSE.

Work permit sample

Work permit sample

What are the most important aspects of a clearance measurement job? Which facts have to be checked? Our sample CSE work permit can make your job a lot easier.

Download form

Clearance measurement of confined spaces – a job for experts

Standard confined space safety precautions like clearance measurements must be followed prior to entry into these potentially hazardous work environments. The atmosphere must be measured and monitored for hazardous substances with a dedicated confined space gas detector. Comprehensive knowledge and practical skills are necessary to ensure safety for workers.

Clearance measurement FAQ
FAQ on clearance measurement

Get answers on most frequent questions.

Download FAQ´s

Digital clearance measurement
Digital clearance measurement

A smart safety solution saves valuable time, improves efficiency and promotes safety for working in confined spaces.

Download white paper

Dräger helps you to bring clearance measurement to the next level

Innovative CSE gas detectors and software solutions interface seamlessly with one another.

Draeger X-am 8000

Dräger X-am 8000

Mobile / portable gas detector X-am 3500 checked by industrial worker

Portable Gas Detectors

confined space entry safety

PPE – select and use protective equipment

Personal protective equipment is necessary for the safety of all personnel working in confined spaces. What PPE is mandatory for different confined space hazards? What gear or confined space entry equipment comfortably guards you from exposure to hazmats during maintenance work? How to choose the right PPE?

PPE Infografic

Working safely in confined spaces: Infographic

How to choose the most suitable protection equipment for maintenance and inspection works in confined spaces.

View infographic

confined space training equipment

Get the information you need for choosing what’s best by downloading our guides.

Dräger Confined Space Equipment
Selecting Chemical Protection Suits

10 things you need to know about chemical protection suits.

Download e-book

Chemicals tank
More strength in the tank

Tank cleaning – a case study for PPE selection.

Download case study

Respiratory Protective Equipment

Respiratory Protective Equipment

Where toxic substances can’t be completely controlled, respiratory protection must be used.

Draeger Hazmat Suit

Hazmat Suits

Working with hazardous materials requires high standards in body protection.

Draeger Hazmat Suit

Air Line Systems

A compressed-air delivery hose can supply necessary breathing air from the outside.

Confined space rescue – keep professionals equipped and briefed

A confined space rescue mission should only be carried out by trained professionals with first-hand experience to ensure confined space safety for all. A specific and well-established rescue plan should be in place for a confined space rescue. Technical equipment, as well as organisational and personalised measures, are the keys to success for potential escape and rescue situations.

Rescue approach manual

Developing a specific rescue approach

Here’s how you can greatly reduce potential danger by putting professional and proven rescue approaches in place.

Download white paper

Get in touch with Dräger

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Dräger South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

Johannesburg: 2 Ruacana Street, Waterfall Commercial District, (cnr Beatty Street), Buccleuch, 2090

+27(0)11 059 4200

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4676 Rivonia, 2128 Republic of South Africa  

Dräger South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

Cape Town:  Unit 7 on London, 7 London Circle Brackengate Business Park Brackenfall, 7561 

+27(0)21 552 6713

Postal Address: P.O. Box 3677 Tygervalley 7536

Dräger South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

Durban: 17 Thynk Industrial Park Cnr Brickworks and Queen Nandi Drive, Briardene, Durban North, 7561 

+27(0)31 812 7900

Postal Address: P.O. Box 40554 Redhill 4071