Unit of competency details

PUADEFOH012B - Identify confined space (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 09/Feb/2011

Usage recommendation:
The Deleted usage recommendation was implemented on 13 June 2017 to describe training components that have no replacement. Enrolments in training components and statements of attainment or qualifications issued before 13 June 2017 are valid. For any components marked as deleted after 13 June 2017, the applicable transition/teach-out periods apply. For specific questions regarding the enrolment, delivery or issuance of a statement of attainment/qualification, please contact your training regulator.
DeletedDeleted from PUA00 Public Safety Training Package16/Aug/2012

Training packages that include this unit

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
PUA42010 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Explosive Ordnance Proof and Experimental)Certificate IV in Public Safety (Explosive Ordnance Proof and Experimental) 
PUA40906 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Defence Safety Coordination)Certificate IV in Public Safety (Defence Safety Coordination) 
PUA32609 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Field Petroleum Operations)Certificate III in Public Safety (Field Petroleum Operations) 
PUA32006 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Military Engineering)Certificate III in Public Safety (Military Engineering) 
PUA31906 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Infantry Operations)Certificate III in Public Safety (Infantry Operations) 
PUA31606 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Artillery Operations)Certificate III in Public Safety (Artillery Operations) 
PUA31506 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Armoured Operations)Certificate III in Public Safety (Armoured Operations) 
PUA21210 - Certificate II in Public Safety (Explosive Ordnance Manufacture)Certificate II in Public Safety (Explosive Ordnance Manufacture) 
DEF32612 - Certificate III in Field Petroleum OperationsCertificate III in Field Petroleum Operations 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  03/Sep/2012 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit Descriptor 

This unit covers the competency required to identify actual or potential confined spaces  prior to entering a confined space for work purposes.

The unit includes recognising actual and potential confined spaces in one's work environment and understanding the broad limitations they impose on work practices.

It also covers identifying potential occupational health and safety (OH&S) concerns and seeking further advice and/or applying appropriate/relevant procedures when dealing with OH&S issues.

Application of the Unit

Application of the Unit 

The application of this unit in the workplace - the environments, complexities and situations involved - will be written during Phase II of the Review of the PUA00 Public Safety Training Package.

This text will be useful for the purposes of job descriptions, recruitment advice or job analysis; where possible, it will not be too job specific to allow other industries to import it into other Training Packages, where feasible.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite Unit /


Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a Unit of Competency.

Performance Criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the Required Skills and Knowledge and/or the Range Statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the Evidence Guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Recognise a confined space 

1.1 Personal protective equipment  (PPE) required to identify a confined space is donned

1.2 Nature of the possible work space and its characteristics  are reviewed

1.3 Possible work space is assessed for its potential to be a confined space 

1.4 Precautions to be taken in the presence of a harmful atmosphere  are determined in accordance with legislative and organisational requirements

1.5 Other hazards and factors  associated with the possible work space are identified and assessed to determine the level of risk associated with that space

1.6 Where uncertainty exists about the possible work space's confined space potential, identification is referred to appropriate personnel /authority  for further investigation and analysis in accordance with organisational procedures

1.7 Safety of possible work space is confirmed 

2. Carry out appropriate action after identifying a confined space 

2.1 Organisational instructions  are reviewed for the appropriate action in relation to work activities involving confined spaces

2.2 Potential occupational health and safety (OH&S) issues are identified and documented

2.3 Risk assessment is undertaken, documented and revised whenever there is evidence to indicate that it is no longer valid

2.4 Broad limitations the confined space may impose on work practices are documented

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

Required Skills 

  • access, read, interpret and apply information on confined spaces
  • communicate effectively
  • identify and report hazards
  • implement workplace OH&S procedures relevant to the work being undertaken

Required Knowledge 

  • appropriate signage, symbols, labels and warning devices
  • legislation, organisational polices and procedures relevant to confined spaces
  • location of applicable organisational procedures and documents
  • preferred order of ways to control OH&S risk - hierarchy of controls
  • rights and responsibilities of workplace parties under OH&S legislation

Evidence Guide


Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Assessment must confirm the ability to observe and respond to changing circumstances and unusual situations in the workplace; to review relevant workplace documentation; to conduct a quality assurance check against previous recommendations; and to identify changes in workplace configurations.

Consistency in performance 

Competency should be demonstrated identifying a range of confined spaces that could be expected in the workplace.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Context of assessment 

Competency should be assessed in the workplace or in a simulated workplace environment.

Specific resources for assessment 

Access to relevant legislation, codes of practice, guidance material, policies/procedures and relevant equipment (including PPE required to identify a confined space).

Guidance information for assessment 

Information that will assist or guide assessment will be written during Phase II of the Review of the PUA00 Public Safety Training Package.

Range Statement


The Range Statement relates to the Unit of Competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised  wording in the Performance Criteria is detailed below.

Confined spaces may include 

Any compartment or area with limited opening for access either no escape route or very restricted means of escape, and with limited natural ventilation or an atmosphere containing more than 23.5% or less than 19.5% oxygen, and the capability of accumulating a toxic, flammable or explosive atmosphere, or of being flooded

Examples of confined spaces may include:

  • fuel tanks (diesoline, gasoline, kerosene, AVCAT) or any other liquid or gaseous fuel
  • water tanks (feed, fresh, ballast), void spaces, cofferdams, double bottoms/wing compartments, sewage
  • treatment tanks, combined holding tanks (CHT)
  • oil tanks (sludge oil, lubricating, hydraulic), cable lockers (anchor cable stowage)
  • open-topped spaces such as pits or degreasers, pipes, sewers, shafts, ducts and similar structures
  • boiler drums, steam turbine casing, main condensers, gas turbine rotor casing, piston engine enclosed
  • crankcase, main circulating water inlet and discharge pipes, pressure vessels

Personal protective equipment may include 

Breathing apparatus



Protective clothing

Protective footwear

Nature of the possible work space and its characteristics may include 

Biological hazards (viruses and bacteria, insects, snakes and vermin)

Characteristics of the environment/atmosphere and its potential impact on equipment or the health of a worker operating in that space

Electrical hazards

Environmental hazards


Presence of hazardous substances, flammable contaminants

Presence of materials which may result in engulfment, mechanical hazards (augers, agitators, conveyors)

Ignition hazards (sources of heat, static or friction, non intrinsically safe plant, welding and cutting, electronic equipment, activities such as grinding chipping and sandblasting)

Presence of unsafe oxygen levels


Size of entry space, availability of exit route, size of space

Structure of the confined space and the limitations such a structure imposes on work practices

Assessing a possible work space for its potential to be a confined space may include 

Continuous effective communication

Emergency response procedures

Hazards involved and associated risks involved with the actual method selected and equipment proposed to be used

Nature and inherent hazards of the confined space

Range of methods by which the work can be done

Work required to be undertaken including the need to enter the confined space

Provision of standby person/s where indicated by risk assessment

Revising risk assessments whenever there is evidence to indicate that they are no longer valid

Training and competence of the persons to undertake the work

Precautions to be taken in the presence of a harmful atmosphere may include 

Appropriate signage warning of the dangers and special precautions to be taken when operating in that environment

Climbing equipment or ladders


Obstructions that limit access to or from areas within the confined space

Requirements for special breathing apparatus

Restrictions on activities that may be undertaken without specific action such as exhausting volatile gases before welding

Special clothing

Special equipment/clothing to counter slippery surfaces, protect exposed skin, hearing or sparks

Time limit on exposure necessitating rotation of personnel through confined space in order to complete the task that initiated the entry requirement

Other hazards and factors may include 

Contaminants encountered such as in the manufacturing process, stored substances and their by-products and/or biological hazards such as bacteria, viruses, fungi

Excessive noise or other radiation levels when equipment is operated in the confined space environment or from adjacent activities

Falls, trips and slips

Inability to observe safe distance from some operating equipments

Inadequate lighting

Inappropriate manual handling

Restrictions on entry and egress which could also severely limit contingency planning

Restrictions on gas or electrical welding, use of pneumatic equipment

Restrictions on operating equipment in the confined space due to physical restrictions to the normal operation/manoeuvre of the equipment

Appropriate personnel /authority may include 

OH&S representative


Confirming the safety of a possible work space includes confirming that the work space is either 

Confirmed as not safe for work or

Confirmed as an actual confined space or

Confirmed as a potential confined space and monitored for any change in its status

Organisational instructions may include 

Australian or international standards

Exposure standards

Job safety analysis (JSA)

Legislation, including state/territory/commonwealth

OH&S Acts, regulations, codes of practice and guidance material relating to hazards present in the workplace and industry, and associated with entry to confined spaces including legislation specific to confined space work

Manufacturers' specifications

Organisational policies and procedures

Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Task analysis

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Corequisite Unit/s

Co-requisite Unit /


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