23 October 1998

HSEleaflet covers confined spaces

NEW advice on avoiding dangers associated with confined spaces on farms, such as slurry pits or silage clamps, has been released by the Health and Safety Executive.

Pointing out that people have died in confined spaces because they failed to appreciate the risks, the HSE also highlight that some incidents have claimed more than one life when rescuers were ill-prepared or when proper rescue arrangements were not in place.

David Mattey, HSE chief agricultural inspector, said: "Now that farmers are beginning to think of the need to open up forage towers or moist grain silos, and prepare slurry stores for the winter months, they and their staff may need to enter confined spaces.

The information sheet explains how the regulations apply to agriculture and give advice on minimising the risks. Copies of the factsheet, Managing confined spaces on farms, are available free from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 6FS. Tel: 01787 881165.