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Contents (2011 - 674)
Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011
Repealed version for 1 July 2017 to 31 August 2017 (accessed 23 November 2017 at 20:17)
Chapter 4 Part 4.3
Part 4.3 Confined spaces
Division 1 Preliminary
62   Confined spaces to which this Part applies
(1)  This Part applies to confined spaces that:
(a)  are entered by any person, or
(b)  are intended or likely to be entered by any person, or
(c)  could be entered inadvertently by any person.
(2)  In this Part, a reference to a confined space in relation to a person conducting a business or undertaking is a reference to a confined space that is under the person’s management or control.
63   Application to emergency service workers
Clauses 67 and 68 do not apply to the entry into a confined space by an emergency service worker if, at the direction of the emergency service organisation, the worker is:
(a)  rescuing a person from the space, or
(b)  providing first aid to a person in the space.
Division 2 Duties of designer, manufacturer, importer, supplier, installer and constructor of plant or structure
64   Duty to eliminate or minimise risk
(1)  This clause applies in relation to plant or a structure that includes a space that is, or is intended to be, a confined space.
(2)  A designer, manufacturer, importer or supplier of the plant or structure, and a person who installs or constructs the plant or structure, must ensure that:
(a)  the need for any person to enter the space and the risk of a person inadvertently entering the space are eliminated, so far as is reasonably practicable, or
(b)  if it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate the need to enter the space or the risk of a person inadvertently entering the space:
(i)  the need or risk is minimised so far as is reasonably practicable, and
(ii)  the space is designed with a safe means of entry and exit, and
(iii)  the risk to the health and safety of any person who enters the space is eliminated so far as is reasonably practicable or, if it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risk, the risk is minimised so far as is reasonably practicable.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
Division 3 Duties of person conducting business or undertaking
65   Entry into confined space must comply with this Division
A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that a worker does not enter a confined space before this Division has been complied with in relation to that space.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
66   Managing risks to health and safety
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must manage, in accordance with Part 3.1, risks to health and safety associated with a confined space at a workplace including risks associated with entering, working in, on or in the vicinity of the confined space (including a risk of a person inadvertently entering the confined space).
Note.
 WHS Act—section 19 (see clause 9).
(2)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that a risk assessment is conducted by a competent person for the purposes of subclause (1).
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$3,600, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$18,000.
(3)  The person must ensure that a risk assessment conducted under subclause (2) is recorded in writing.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$1,250, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$6,000.
(4)  For the purposes of subclauses (1) and (2), the person conducting a business or undertaking must have regard to all relevant matters, including the following:
(a)  whether the work can be carried out without the need to enter the confined space,
(b)  the nature of the confined space,
(c)  if the hazard is associated with the concentration of oxygen or the concentration of airborne contaminants in the confined space—any change that may occur in that concentration,
(d)  the work required to be carried out in the confined space, the range of methods by which the work can be carried out and the proposed method of working,
(e)  the type of emergency procedures, including rescue procedures, required.
(5)  The person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that a risk assessment under this clause is reviewed and as necessary revised by a competent person to reflect any review and revision of control measures under Part 3.1.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$3,600, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$18,000.
67   Confined space entry permit
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must not direct a worker to enter a confined space to carry out work unless the person has issued a confined space entry permit for the work.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(2)  A confined space entry permit must:
(a)  be completed by a competent person, and
(b)  be in writing, and
(c)  specify the following:
(i)  the confined space to which the permit relates,
(ii)  the names of persons permitted to enter the space,
(iii)  the period of time during which the work in the space will be carried out,
(iv)  measures to control risk associated with the proposed work in the space, and
(d)  contain space for an acknowledgement that work in the confined space has been completed and that all persons have left the confined space.
(3)  The control measures specified in a confined space permit must:
(a)  be based on a risk assessment conducted under clause 66, and
(b)  include:
(i)  control measures to be implemented for safe entry, and
(ii)  details of the system of work provided under clause 69.
(4)  The person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that, when the work for which the entry permit was issued is completed:
(a)  all workers leave the confined space, and
(b)  the acknowledgement referred to in subclause (2) (d) is completed by the competent person.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
68   Signage
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that signs that comply with subclause (2) are erected:
(a)  immediately before work in a confined space commences and while the work is being carried out, and
(b)  while work is being carried out in preparation for, and in the completion of, work in a confined space.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$3,600, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$18,000.
(2)  The signs must:
(a)  identify the confined space, and
(b)  inform workers that they must not enter the space unless they have a confined space entry permit, and
(c)  be clear and prominently located next to each entry to the space.
69   Communication and safety monitoring
A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that a worker does not enter a confined space to carry out work unless the person provides a system of work that includes:
(a)  continuous communication with the worker from outside the space, and
(b)  monitoring of conditions within the space by a standby person who is in the vicinity of the space and, if practicable, observing the work being carried out.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
70   Specific control—connected plant and services
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must, so far as is reasonably practicable, eliminate any risk associated with work in a confined space in either of the following circumstances:
(a)  the introduction of any substance or condition into the space from or by any plant or services connected to the space,
(b)  the activation or energising in any way of any plant or services connected to the space.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$3,600, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$18,000.
(2)  If it is not reasonably practicable for the person to eliminate risk under subclause (1), the person must minimise that risk so far as is reasonably practicable.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$3,600, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$18,000.
71   Specific control—atmosphere
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure, in relation to work in a confined space, that:
(a)  purging or ventilation of any contaminant in the atmosphere of the space is carried out, so far as is reasonably practicable, and
(b)  pure oxygen or gas mixtures with oxygen in a concentration exceeding 21% by volume are not used for purging or ventilation of any airborne contaminant in the space.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(2)  The person must ensure that, while work is being carried out in a confined space:
(a)  the atmosphere of the space has a safe oxygen level, or
(b)  if it is not reasonably practicable to comply with paragraph (a) and the atmosphere in the space has an oxygen level less than 19.5% by volume—any worker carrying out work in the space is provided with air supplied respiratory equipment.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(3)  In this clause, purging means the method used to displace any contaminant from a confined space.
Notes.
 
1   
Clause 44 applies to the use of personal protective equipment, including the equipment provided under subclause (2).
2   
Clause 50 applies to airborne contaminants.
72   Specific control—flammable gases and vapours
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that while work is being carried out in a confined space, the concentration of any flammable gas, vapour or mist in the atmosphere of the space is less than 5% of its LEL.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(2)  If it is not reasonably practicable to limit the atmospheric concentration of a flammable gas, vapour or mist in a confined space to less than 5% of its LEL and the atmospheric concentration of the flammable gas, vapour or mist in the space is:
(a)  equal to or greater than 5% but less than 10% of its LEL—the person must ensure that any worker is immediately removed from the space unless a suitably calibrated, continuous-monitoring flammable gas detector is used in the space, or
(b)  equal to or greater than 10% of its LEL—the person must ensure that any worker is immediately removed from the space.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
73   Specific control—fire and explosion
A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that an ignition source is not introduced into a confined space (from outside or within the space) if there is a possibility of the ignition source causing a fire or explosion in the space.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
74   Emergency procedures
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must:
(a)  establish first aid procedures and rescue procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency in a confined space, and
(b)  ensure that the procedures are practised as necessary to ensure that they are efficient and effective.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(2)  The person must ensure that first aid and rescue procedures are initiated from outside the confined space as soon as practicable in an emergency.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(3)  The person must ensure, in relation to any confined space, that:
(a)  the entry and exit openings of the confined space are large enough to allow emergency access, and
(b)  the entry and exit openings of the space are not obstructed, and
(c)  plant, equipment and personal protective equipment provided for first aid or emergency rescue are maintained in good working order.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
Note.
 See Part 3.2 for general provisions relating to first aid, personal protective equipment and emergency plans.
75   Personal protective equipment in emergencies
(1)  This clause applies in relation to a worker who is to enter a confined space in order to carry out first aid or rescue procedures in an emergency.
(2)  The person conducting the business or undertaking for which the worker is carrying out work must ensure that air supplied respiratory equipment is available for use by, and is provided to, the worker in an emergency in which:
(a)  the atmosphere in the confined space does not have a safe oxygen level, or
(b)  the atmosphere in the space has a harmful concentration of an airborne contaminant, or
(c)  there is a serious risk of the atmosphere in the space becoming affected in the way referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) while the worker is in the space.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(3)  The person conducting the business or undertaking for which the worker is carrying out work must ensure that suitable personal protective equipment is available for use by, and is provided to, the worker in an emergency in which:
(a)  an engulfment has occurred inside the confined space, or
(b)  there is a serious risk of an engulfment occurring while the worker is in the space.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
Note.
 Clause 44 applies to the use of personal protective equipment, including the equipment provided under this clause.
76   Information, training and instruction for workers
(1)  A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure that relevant workers are provided with suitable and adequate information, training and instruction in relation to the following:
(a)  the nature of all hazards relating to a confined space,
(b)  the need for, and the appropriate use of, control measures to control risks to health and safety associated with those hazards,
(c)  the selection, fit, use, wearing, testing, storage and maintenance of any personal protective equipment,
(d)  the contents of any confined space entry permit that may be issued in relation to work carried out by the worker in a confined space,
(e)  emergency procedures.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$6,000, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.
(2)  The person must ensure that a record of all training provided to a worker under this clause is kept for 2 years.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$1,250, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$6,000.
(3)  In subclause (1), relevant worker means:
(a)  a worker who, in carrying out work for the business or undertaking, could:
(i)  enter or work in a confined space, or
(ii)  carry out any function in relation to work in a confined space or the emergency procedures established under clause 74, but who is not required to enter the space, or
(b)  any person supervising a worker referred to in paragraph (a).
77   Confined space entry permit and risk assessment must be kept
(1)  This clause applies if a person conducting a business or undertaking:
(a)  prepares a risk assessment under clause 66, or
(b)  issues a confined space entry permit under clause 67.
(2)  Subject to subclause (3), the person must keep:
(a)  a copy of the risk assessment until at least 28 days after the work to which it relates is completed, and
(b)  a copy of the confined space entry permit at least until the work to which it relates is completed.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$1,250, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$6,000.
(3)  If a notifiable incident occurs in connection with the work to which the assessment or permit relates, the person must keep the copy of the assessment or permit (as applicable) for at least 2 years after the incident occurs.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$1,250, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$6,000.
(4)  The person must ensure that, for the period for which the assessment or permit must be kept under this clause, a copy is available for inspection under the Act.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$1,250, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$6,000.
(5)  The person must ensure that, for the period for which the assessment or permit must be kept under this clause, a copy is available to any relevant worker on request.
Maximum penalty:
(a)  in the case of an individual—$3,600, or
(b)  in the case of a body corporate—$18,000.