Working in Medium Risk Confined Spaces: Water (6150-02)

City & Guilds, 6150-02 Training Courses in Northern Ireland

National Occupational Standards

Unit 6150-02 Description

Working in Medium Risk Confined Spaces: Water

Area of competence

This unit is about working in environments where there is a medium risk that a specified hazard may be present. It will require the use of escape breathing apparatus. It will involve the presence of one or more people – positioned outside the confined space – who have designated responsibilities for controlling the entry and dealing with emergencies (see national occupational standards units for overseeing work in confined spaces or emergency rescue and recovery of casualties from confined spaces).

Entry to the confined space may involve:

  • Vertical entry normally using a ladder or man-riding winch, both requiring fall protection and means of assisted rescue such as a rescue winch.
  • Horizontal entry such as walking or climbing into the confined space or working away from the bottom of a vertical entry, with limited use of a rescue line. Such types of entry may involve more than one person entering the confined space.

Skills and competencies which demonstrate effective performance

  • Prepare to work safely in medium risk confined spaces
  • Enter and exit confined spaces safely
  • Prepare and use escape 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
  • 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 medium risk confined space
  • Adhere to all procedures regarding the carrying and use of escape breathing apparatus
  • Confirm the suitability of the escape breathing apparatus for the job
  • Examine the breathing apparatus prior to starting work and replace it if it is defective
  • Resolve any problems with the escape breathing apparatus and report non-conformities
  • Don the escape breathing apparatus to escape in an emergency
  • Carry out after use checks on the apparatus after a safe exit and confirm it conforms to specification before storing it in the designated area ready for the next job
  • Check all equipment and tools are suitable for the job before using them
  • Check all personal protective equipment (PPE) is suitable 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
  • Record and report the emergency incident and its circumstances
  • 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 escape breathing apparatus
  • 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


  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Reporting systems for routine and non-routine work activities and resolving problems
  • Procedures for dealing with emergencies
  • Communications and reporting systems for emergency situations