What is one of the biggest mistakes while working in a confined space environment? Further than knowing all the hazard and control measure and the correct procedure, sometimes even if you think on doing the right thing, that doesn’t mean is the safest one.

As reported by James Pretty in “Myth-busting Confined Spaces” (Health and safety international article in September 2021 edition), it is important to separate some of the facts of working in and around confined spaces, from several of the common misconceptions and fictions surrounding working in and around them.

By this way, we can enlist some of the trickiest conception that are not 100% true.

  • “Confined Spaces are always very small, totally enclosed spaces”.
  • “The space is empty, so there are no problems.”
  • “As long as we do not enter the space, we will not have a problem. It is totally safe outside of it.”
  • “The only way we can do this job is to go into the space”
  • “We have tested for gas and other hazardous materials around the space, and have found nothing, so it is fine” - “We have tested inside the space and found nothing, so it must be safe”

In order to eliminate or at least reduce this “misconceptions”, it is important to be educated with proper trainings. Sometimes, it will take just a little to change behavior avoiding unnecessary risk.


It is important to have the right approach while facing that particular circumstance.

Firstly, consider what confined spaces you have? What hazards do they present? What tasks do you need to perform in and around them? Also, consider what your own corporate requirements and rules are, not just the legal requirements. Remember, the law is the bare minimum we must do, there is nothing wrong with doing extra. As always, look at the competence of your workforce and consider bringing in specialists and consultants when the need arises. Separate “fact from fiction” to help keep everyone safe when working in and around confined spaces.


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