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February 17, 2009

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HSE updates confined space guidelines

The HSE has today published updated guidance on working in confined spaces.

The regulator hopes that the guidance will help employers identify confined spaces and educate them about the risks associated with working in these areas. The revised document contains an Approved Code of Practice and guidance on the duties in the Confined Spaces Regulations.

The guidance is specifically aimed at the agriculture, brewery, construction, maritime and waste and water industries. It suggests that these sectors should be doing more to manage the risks associated with working in grain silos, storage tanks, slurry pits, brewery cellars and on ships, where shoreside workers are involved.

The updated documentation has been published after a series of fatalities that have occurred in enclosed areas on ships and offshore structures, in recent years.  

Bob Daunton, of the HSE, said: “Over the years a simple failure to recognise what is a confined space and not to think about the risks involved in enclosed areas, such as ships or offshore structures, has led to a number of fatalities.

“This guidance will hopefully clarify and highlight the responsibilities that employers have to their employees when they are working in a confined space.”

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, about the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

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