With changes in confined space legislation, this research produced practical guidance for sewer system operators, managers and designers, specifically to consider alternatives to confined space entry.
The collaborative project involved 6 sewer system component manufacturers, specialist CCTV and Rodding contractors, a Local Authority Pest controller, WRc and a group of 5 Water Utilities. The research:
- Assessed all sewer operational activities that may require confined space entry. This enabled non-man entry alternatives to be identified, encouraged a greater use of non man-entry techniques and identified areas where a greater focus was required to develop "remote" techniques.
- Encouraged the emergence of new non-man entry techniques, including the transfer and adaptation of existing technologies from overseas and other industries.
- Assessed potentially available technologies that could be adapted for the avoidance of man-entry, in particular their practicability in sewer system maintenance. This included practical trials on prototype designs with routine maintenance like rodding and CCTV work to establish the practicality of the systems.
- Considered how sewer/pumping station design practice could be updated, to enable and encourage the greater use of non-man entry techniques.
The guidance will:
- Enable sewer system operators to assess the options for complying with the recent changes in confined space legislation.
- Help achieve a considerable reduction in the need for confined space entry in sewer systems with the practical advice given in the documentation.
- Enable operational functions to be undertaken more cost effectively.