Confined Space Engineering

Confined Space Engineering

Confined Space Engineering 

Confined Spaces are defined as a space with “limited or restricted means for entry and exit and are not designed for continuous occupancy; an enclosed space with a specified risk of injury associated with it. The Hazards associated with confined spaces include:

  • Toxic, explosive, and oxygen-deficient atmospheres
  •  Heat and Water
  •  Free flowing solids and restricted space. 

Kaymac only carry out operations in confined spaces that are big enough for man entry, – which means we only work in areas that are 90mm and above. But, this doesn’t just mean a culvert or a tunnel. Confined space examples can include tanks, pipelines, excavations, trenches, sewers, chambers, pits, and maintenance holes too. Confined space engineering can be done when it is accessible to man entry; any space below 90mm would require CCTV camera remote controlled access equipment. 

Working in a Confined Space

Working in Culverts

One example of a previously completed project is Magor Culvert – Strengthening scheme. A principal inspection on the structure, recorded severe structural damage to an underlying culvert that runs diagonally beneath the Rail tracks at Magor, Newport. There were large voids confirmed circumferentially around the face of the structure. Kaymac were called to visit the site and propose a solution to strengthen the structure and prevent any closures of the rail track. Read more about how we repaired it.

Another similar example is Rhiwfawr Culvert; The culvert is 67.5m long and comprises a combination of masonry, concrete, and brickwork sections. The concrete pipe sections had severe scouring to the invert of up to 600mm in width, with open jointing throughout the length of the structure. This deterioration was typical throughout the entire length and ran for approximately 33m, with loose construction joints of up to 100mm throughout. Read more about how we repaired it. 

When repairing a culvert, we ensure that the diameter is not reduced and the volume of water influx is not compromised during high flow events, and are to design specification. We ensure the culverts are engineered to resist erosion that the existing natural channel remains the same or the diameter is made larger, to protect the environment and prevent flood risk, whilst ensuring the stability of the structure. 

De-Mudding Lock Gates

With over 45 years of experience in the Marine Ports and Harbours industry, Kaymac has earned its reputation as Lock Gate Specialists – we have extensive experience in installation, removal, maintenance, and repair of lock gates, pintles, sluice paddles, and dock structures. We also offer confined space teams for all de-mudding operations; that include jetting, dredging, and airlifting silt away from the gates and inside the gate chambers- this operation is classed as a confined space. 

Confined Space Training

Working in confined spaces and confined space engineering without proper training is illegal and can result in severe injury or death. At Kaymac, we ensure that all of our confined space personnel are trained to the required confined space training level, certified, and have proper permits to ensure that they are protected and prevent harm. 

All Kaymac confined space trained operatives are certified to a minimum of Level 2 Medium to High-Risk Training, with entry into Water. 

The training requires 20 hours of guided learning and the operative will be trained to: 

  • Recognize hazards
  • Alert attendants about the presence of risks and warning signs
  • Wear, store and use suitable personal protective equipment
  • Conduct self-rescue methods in emergency situations
  • Communicate with attendants who are outside the confined space
  • Training requirements for attendants

Attendants who are assisting entrants and are situated outside the confined space are also trained to:

  • Determine hazards
  • Monitor work conditions
  • Coordinate resources with confined space workers
  • Maintain worker count in the confined space
  • Maintain in constant communication when workers enter and exit the area.
  • Allow only qualified and authorized entrants to enter a confined workspace.

Some operatives are also trained to take part in rescue operations that do not require an entry. 

To ensure compliance while working on these projects, Kaymac confined space team provides the following:

  • Before work begins, a competent person on-site is assigned to determine all confined spaces and permit-required confined spaces, and risk assessments and method statements are carried out, completed, checked, and signed off. 
  • The internal environment of the confined space is tested.
  • Ensure that workers have access to personal protective equipment in case they need it.
  • Provide confined space training and toolbox talks to all individuals that may, at any time, enter the confined space.
  • Ensure that emergency rescue and emergency services are available before workers can enter a confined space.

For more information about our Confined Space Services, follow this link.