Working in High Risk Confined Spaces: Water (6150-03)

City & Guilds, 6150-03 Training Courses in Northern Ireland

National Occupational Standards

Unit 6150-03 Description

Working in High Risk Confined Spaces: Water

Area of competence

This unit is about working in confined spaces which have non-standard entries and which, in consequence, makes rescue difficult. It is likely that a hazard will be present at some time during the entry. Entry may involve complex entry procedures and there will be work-specific controls and rescue arrangements. It will entail the use of self-contained compressed air (open circuit) breathing apparatus, specialist detection equipment and resuscitation equipment. It will require the presence of personnel who have designated responsibilities for dealing with emergencies (see national occupational standards units for overseeing work in confined spaces or emergency rescue and recovery of casualties from confined spaces).

Skills and competencies which demonstrate effective performance

  • Prepare to work safely in high risk confined spaces
  • Enter and exit confined spaces safely
  • Prepare and use self-contained compressed air (open circuit) breathing apparatus in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications
  • Use equipment and tools safely and in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications
  • Follow procedures and work safely
  • Deal with emergencies
  • Prepare and check all equipment is in good order and electrical equipment is fully charged before    entering the work site
  • Obtain authorisation for entry and relevant health & safety information from designated personnel
  • Carry out real-time risk assessment before starting work
  • Put into place and confirm isolation of any connecting services
  • Set up and put monitoring equipment in place, and confirm it is working before entering the confined space
  • Set up, test, and confirm communications systems are working before moving away from the entry point
  • Set up and maintain a safety zone around the work site
  • Confirm team members are in place before entry begins
  • Check atmospheric conditions are safe
  • Set up and inspect access equipment to make sure it is safe before using it
  • Resolve any problems of work or team members with the designated personnel
  • Use special hoists and safety lines as set down in procedures
  • Enter and exit the space in line with procedures for working in a high risk confined space
  • Adhere to all procedures regarding the carrying and use of CABA
  • Confirm the suitability of the CABA for the job
  • Carry out pre-use safety and user tests to confirm CABA and its fit complies with current legislation, manufacturer’s specifications and approved codes of practice
  • Examine the breathing apparatus prior to starting work and replace it if it is defective
  • Resolve any problems with the CABA and report non-conformities
  • Fit and adjust the designated CABA
  • Wear the designated CABA to carry out the wor
  • Continuously monitor the CABA during operational us
  • Carry out after use checks on the CABA after a safe exit and confirm it conforms to specification before storing it in the designated area ready for the next job
  • Take steps to maintain or report faulty CABA
  • Check and confirm all equipment and tools are suitable for the job before using them
  • Check and confirm all personal protective equipment (PPE) is suitable and compatible with CABA to be worn before using it
  • Resolve any problems with equipment and tools before and during their use
  • Use specified method to introduce equipment and tools into the confined space
  • Recover and remove equipment and tools when work is finished
  • Follow manufacturer’s and employers instructions for after-use checks and storage
  • Use different methods of communication which suit the work situation
  • Control access of people and vehicles around the entry point
  • Resolve any problems connected to the work with the designated personnel
  • Follow employers safe working procedures and equipment manufacturer’s instructions
  • Act immediately to remedy any unsafe activity, equipment and environmental conditions
  • Regularly monitor atmospheric conditions within the confined space
  • Control risks adequately which arise during working task
  • Use PPE specified for the job
  • Respond to information from monitoring equipment
  • Communicate regularly with the work team at all stages of the work
  • Close down and make safe when work is finished
  • Make reports and complete all documentation and deposit them with the designated personnel
  • Start emergency exit procedures immediately a dangerous situation arises
  • Exit self safely
  • 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 for recovered surface casualties
  • Maintain emergency communications

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
  • 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
  • Manufacturers instructions relating to use of equipment
  • Manufacturer’s instructions relating to the use of CABA
  • Legislation and approved codes of practice and guidelines for the safe use of breathing apparatus
  • Working as a member of a team
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Injuries to personnel and the general public
  • Referring irregularities and abnormal situations
  • Types and categories of emergency situations


  • Classification schemes and how to identify the confined space classification
  • Hazards, substances, and situations associated with medium risk confined spaces
  • Entry procedures for medium risk confined spaces
  • 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 CABA
  • Reporting systems for routine and non-routine work activities and resolving problems
  • Procedures for dealing with emergencies
  • Communications and reporting systems for emergency situations