06 Bijzondere werkzaamheden
 >  Enclosed spaces
Discussion > Talk with your colleagues about it!
  • I do not always use a safety transformer when I am briefly working in a crawl space.
  • I think taking extra breaks when working in a crawl space is a bit excessive.

A crawl space is a work place that is difficult to enter and hard to ventilate. It is tight, often dark and difficult to flee out of in case of an emergency.

The required size of a crawl space is:

  • Minimum height 80 cm
  • Free passage (under beams and pipes) 60 cm
  • Minimum size access hole 62 x 100 cm

In a crawl space of this size, you are allowed to work no longer than one and a half hours, followed by a 15-minute break. If a crawl space is smaller than this, you are allowed to work a maximum of one hour followed by a 15-minute break.

Risks > What can happen?
  • It is almost impossible to get help when working alone
  • Presence of hazardous gases
  • Suffocation
  • Fire and explosion hazard
  • Intoxication or contamination
  • Flooded crawl space
  • Electrocution
  • Entrapment
  • Injury due to protruding parts
  • Falling through hatch
  • Absence of day light
  • Difficulty to escape
Measures > What must you do?
  • Conduct the LMRA
  • Ensure that the manhole which you will need to exit, is not obstructed by i.e. clutter and hoses.
  • Check if the gas detection meter is working properly.
  • Check the area for gases (gas detection meter).
  • In case of flooding, pump the crawl space to dry it out.
  • Place a small fence to cordon off the open latch.
  • Properly secure the latch when it is opened.
  • Always work in pairs.
  • The other person is on watch and raises the alarm in case of an emergency.
  • The person on watch never enters the space when there is an emergency.
  • Maintain contact via a walkie talkie or mobile phone.
  • Regularly report in by phone to a colleague or the line manager.
  • Use a safe voltage.
  • Place a safety transformer outside of the crawl space.
  • Use PPE

Gas detection meter
Red-white fences to cordon areas off

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