Source: SafeWork NSW

Confined spaces may pose a danger because they are not designed to be areas where people work. Hazards are not always obvious, may change and the risks include loss of consciousness, impairment, injury or death.

Many workplaces have confined spaces such as pits, drains and structural voids in buildings or equipment. They often have poor ventilation that can allow a hazardous atmosphere to quickly develop. The hazards are not always obvious, may change from one entry into the confined space to the next and depend on the workplace or environmental circumstances.

This code is based on a national model code of practice developed by Safe Work Australia under the harmonisation of national work health and safety legislation and has been approved under section 274 of the NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Notice of that approval was published in the NSW Government Gazette referring to this code of practice as Confined spaces (page 7194) on Friday 16 December 2011. This code of practice commenced on 1 January 2012.

The 2022 Code of Practice: Confined Spaces, supersedes the 2020 publication.

This can be viewed online here.

Additional references and resources can be found in Standards:

  • AS 2865-2009 Confined Spaces
  • AS 1319-1994 Safety signs for the occupational environment
  • AS/NZS 1715: 2009 Selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective equipment.

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