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The Confined Spaces Regulations 1997


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997 and shall come into force on 28th January 1998.

(2) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires—

“confined space” means any place, including any chamber, tank, vat, silo, pit, trench, pipe, sewer, flue, well or other similar space in which, by virtue of its enclosed nature, there arises a reasonably foreseeable specified risk;

“diving operation” has the meaning assigned thereto by regulation 2(1) of the Diving Operations at Work Regulations 1981(1);

“free flowing solid” means any substance consisting of solid particles and which is of, or is capable of being in, a flowing or running consistency, and includes flour, grain, sugar, sand or other similar material;

“mine” has the meaning assigned thereto by section 180 of the Mines and Quarries Act 1954(2);

“specified risk” means a risk of—


serious injury to any person at work arising from a fire or explosion;


without prejudice to paragraph (a)—


the loss of consciousness of any person at work arising from an increase in body temperature;


the loss of consciousness or asphyxiation of any person at work arising from gas, fume, vapour or the lack of oxygen;


the drowning of any person at work arising from an increase in the level of a liquid; or


the asphyxiation of any person at work arising from a free flowing solid or the inability to reach a respirable environment due to entrapment by a free flowing solid;

“system of work” includes the provision of suitable equipment which is in good working order.


S.I. 1981/399; relevant amending instrument is S.I. 1990/996.


1954 c. 70; section 180 was modified by paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 2 to S.I. 1974/2013 and by Schedule 3, Part II of S.I. 1993/1897.

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