Overseeing Work in Confined Spaces: Water (6150-04)

City & Guilds, 6150-04 Training Courses in Northern Ireland

National Occupational Standards

Unit 6150-04 Description

Overseeing Work in Confined Spaces: Water

Area of competence

This unit is about the duties of a safety attendant (top-man/woman) which does not require entries into confined spaces. It is about controlling the pre-entry procedures and entry into and out of the confined space, maintaining communications, and initiating and controlling emergency procedures.

Skills and competencies which demonstrate effective performance

  • Prepare to work safely in all levels of confined spaces under emergency conditions
  • Enter and exit confined spaces safely
  • Prepare and use self-contained compressed air breathing apparatus (open circuit) in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications
  • Use rescue equipment and tools safely and in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications
  • Follow procedures and work safely
  • Deal with emergencies
  • Interpret the work plan and arrange for the necessary equipment to be available
  • Arrange for all equipment required to be available prior to entering the site
  • Determine work team activities
  • Put together a competent work team
  • Allocate activities to each team role
  • Confirm all team members know and understand their roles
  • Brief the work team on the nature of the specific confined space
  • Carry out real-time risk assessment before starting work
  • Organise and maintain a safety zone around the work site
  • Confirm communications systems are set up, tested, and are working before team move away from the entry point
  • Check atmospheric conditions are safe before the work team enters the confined space
  • Oversee and check the work team enter and exit in line with procedures
  • Make sure procedures regarding carrying and the use of breathing apparatus are followed
  • Remedy any incorrect activities with a team member
  • Oversee recovery of equipment and tools from site when work is finished
  • Control access of people and vehicles around the entry point
  • Resolve any problems connected to the work or team members with designated personnel
  • Act immediately to remedy any unsafe activity, equipment, or environmental conditions
  • Monitor continuously the work team and ensure compliance with procedures
  • Monitor environmental readings regularly and respond to information from monitoring equipment
  • Communicate regularly with the work team at all stages of the work
  • Initiate site hygiene procedures
  • Close down and make the work area safe when the work is finished
  • Make reports and complete all documentation and deposit them with the designated personnel
  • Confirm the emergency arrangements, procedures and communications systems are in place and working properly
  • Make the emergency arrangements known to all the work team. Support personnel and off-site staff
  • Get all rescue equipment on site as specified in the emergency procedures
  • Set up exclusion zones to prevent unauthorised people following emergency situations
  • Arrange for rescue equipment to be in place before allowing entry into the confined space
  • Start emergency procedures immediately a dangerous situation arises
  • Supervise exit procedures
  • Maintain control over work team members during an emergency
  • Supervise the use of emergency equipment
  • Follow and maintain emergency procedures throughout the incident
  • Record and report the emergency incident and its circumstances
  • Arrange for basic first aid to be available to the recovered surface casualties
  • Maintain emergency communications
  • Hand-over to emergency services
  • Secure and maintain the site for post-rescue investigations

You work in a manner which:

Is vigilant to possible risks and hazards

Knowledge and understanding

You must know and understand the following:


  • An appreciation of the main principles of health and safety and environmental legislation and regulations
  • Industrial standards
  • Working knowledge of approved codes of practice and guidance for working safely in confined spaces
  • Definition of confined spaces and their nature and characteristics
  • Definitions of hazardous situations and different types and categories of hazards
  • Awareness of how emergency situations can arise in confined spaces
  • Manufacturer’s instructions relating to use of equipment
  • Manufacturer’s instructions relating to the use of CABA
  • Manufacturer’s instructions relating to the use of PPE
  • Legislation and approved codes of practice and guidelines for the safe use of breathing apparatus
  • Limitations of using rescue equipment
  • Working as a member of a team
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Injuries to personnel and the general public
  • Dealing with irregularities and abnormal situations
  • Types and categories of emergency situations
  • Implications of drink and drugs policies


  • Classification schemes and how to identify the confined space classification
  • Hazards, substances, and situations associated with medium risk confined spaces
  • Entry procedures for different types and risk levels of confined space environments
  • Carry out real-time assessment of risks and hazards
  • Using work authorisation and permits
  • Procedures and methods of working suitable to the confined space classification and local conditions
  • Minimising the risks and hazards for the work to be carried out
  • Using ventilation systems
  • Reducing the risk to an acceptable level for the work to be carried out
  • Understanding and using local site procedures
  • Monitoring of conditions and work activity
  • Decontamination procedures
  • Communication methods which are suitable for use in medium risk confined spaces
  • Resolving problems speedily and with the designated personnel where other people or organisations are involved
  • Preparing and checking equipment and tools
  • Following manufacturer’s instructions for using equipment and tools
  • Ensuring equipment and tools are fit-for-purpose and how to use them safely
  • Methods and techniques for using and wearing PPE
  • Preparing and using escape breathing apparatus
  • Preparing and using CABA
  • Reporting systems for routine and non-routine work activities and resolving problems
  • Responsibilities of managing work teams
  • Reporting systems for routine work activities and resolving problems
  • Procedures for dealing with emergencies
  • Rescue and recovery procedures
  • Communications and reporting systems for emergency situations