The Importance of Customized Training in Ensuring Confined Space Safety

confined space safety

Every confined space is different due to its size, shape, location, and function, and therefore, no generic training package can ever cover every possible eventuality, risk, and action plan. Organizations that require personnel to enter confined spaces must provide them with customized training packages to ensure that they understand the risks they will face, their responsibilities, and the appropriate courses of action that they can take before they enter a confined space.

Why is customized training essential to enhance confined space safety?

While generic safety training will cover the main hazards associated with confined spaces and provide workers with facts and statistics, it cannot prepare them for every situation they will encounter and unprepared people can make poor choices, endangering themselves and others.

In sharp contrast, customized confined space safety training informs workers of the specific hazards that they will (or are highly likely to) encounter while performing their duties and prepares them to deal with them effectively. Customized training ensures that workers understand how to use the PPE that they are provided with and can follow the emergency procedures of their business and site.

Simulated training

Customized safety training can utilize technology to map the confined spaces that workers will enter, allowing them to explore the space safely within a virtual environment before they enter it for real. By becoming familiar with the confined space in a more relaxed setting, they can take time to consider how to handle the hazards they encounter, teaching them to identify and respond to risks proactively and logically.

Regulatory best practice

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety mandates that workers are provided with appropriate training and equipment to overcome the hazards that they are likely to encounter in the course of performing their duties, so customized training can help businesses comply with regulatory best practices. This not only mitigates legal risks but also demonstrates a commitment to workers’ well-being.

Continuous improvement

The conditions within a confined space can change and evolve, so the training that workers receive must reflect this. Incident and near-miss data must be captured from every entry and used to inform future training programs. Technological advancements should be utilized to their fullest potential to minimize human entry into these dangerous spaces and to support those who must enter to do so in the safest possible manner.

Why training is vital

Failing to adequately prepare workers for the risks that they may encounter when they enter a confined space can result in worker and rescuer deaths, financial liability, and severe reputational damage. Customized training mitigates these risks by preparing workers to navigate confined spaces safely, creates a proactive safety culture, and demonstrates the organization’s commitment to its workers’ well-being.


The cost of delivering customized training pales in comparison to the risk of worker death from inadequate preparation. By tailoring training programs to the specific hazards and conditions within an organization’s confined spaces, its personnel can develop a detailed understanding of their role and responsibilities, take ownership of their safety, and contribute to an effective safety culture.