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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Safe Confined Space Training FAQs

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Safe Confined Space Training

We are pleased to be running all our confined space training including practical training and assessments and City and Guilds certification.

We take our training responsibility very seriously and have carried out detailed risk assessments put in place a wide range of enhanced health and safety, social distancing, hygiene, and other control measures too. We also have new protocols for our staff and customers, ensuring all training is conducted safely and in line with government guidelines.

We are sure you will have lots of questions about how we are keeping everyone safe in these unprecedented times. So, we have attempted to answer as many as we can think of below relating to the practical elements of our confined space courses.

We have also answered general questions about training course safety in a separate COVID-19 training course FAQ page.

As part of practical confined space training, I will have to wear breathing apparatus (BA). How can I be sure the BA is not contaminated?

Breathing apparatus (BA) will never be shared amongst delegates and all BA sets are fully sanitised before re-use. We have increased the amount of equipment available to eliminate the need to share. All delegates will be given their own personal escape set during practical exercises.

MRS Training & Rescue trainer with breathing apparatus which is not shared
No sharing of escape sets

What happens to the BA or PPE you have provided for me to use? Is it safe for the next person?

We have reinforced our sanitation processes to reduce the risk of transfer. At the end of each day, each item of BA and PPE is repacked into its own bag by the wearer which is then placed into a further disposable bag and tied off. Likewise, if we have issued any other PPE, the trainer, wearing disposable gloves, will place it into disposable bags. All are then thoroughly deep cleaned following our strict cleaning regime.  

A social distance safe area for repacking breathing apparatus (BA)
Example of a safe area to repack BA

What social distancing measures are in place for practical exercises?

Social distancing will always be carried out where practicable. We have introduced a one-way system in our confined space training tunnels and marked out 2m safe distancing areas where candidates can safely remove their facemasks after entering and fit their escape sets.

However, we accept that for some of the confined space practical exercises, 2m social distancing is not always possible. To ensure the safety of everyone involved we have adopted the following measures:

  • Medical face masks must be worn by all candidates and the trainer/assessor, including during the entry into the simulated confined space for low risk, medium risk, and non-BA rescue courses
  • For high risk courses, open circuit BA should be donned before entry into the simulated confined space and not doffed until out of the space and where social distancing can be achieved
  • Eye protection must be worn by all candidates when breathing apparatus is not donned and by the trainer/assessor
  • Face to face contact to be avoided where practicable
  • Skin to skin contact must be avoided

Confined spaces training area with 2 metre social distancing floor markings
2m safe distancing marked in confined spaces 

I do not have a facemask – will you provide one?

Yes, the instructor will provide you with a packaged medical facemask and information on safe fitting, wearing, removal, and disposal. If you prefer you may wear one supplied by your employer as part of their risk assessment.

Do I need to wear gloves? I have heard they can cause the virus to spread.

Disposable nitrile gloves will be provided to each candidate and will also be worn by the trainer during practical exercises. We encourage candidates to change the gloves regularly as required (we have a large stock of them). These gloves are for hygiene purposes and are for specific parts of the practical training only. They can be discarded into lined bins as required. Wearing of gloves should be supplemented by other hand protection using our hand sanitisation points in every room. Before and after any practical exercise, candidates are also asked to wash or sanitise their hands.

Nitrile (powder free) disposable gloves on a desk
Disposable nitrile gloves are provided

Is there any other PPE I need to bring?

As most of our confined space training courses include practical training outside the classroom, candidates will need to bring their own, clean PPE including safety helmet, full length overalls, hand protection and eye protection.

Are you offering City & Guilds certification now?

Yes – but to minimise the risk of exposure, the trainer can assess where normally a separate City & Guilds assessor would be required.

My City & Guilds certificate expired during lockdown. Has there been any extension given before I must renew?

City & Guilds understands that you may not be able to renew your qualification as required during these uncertain times. Therefore, they will allow certificates that expired after the 1 March 2020 to continue to be valid until September 2020 to allow you the opportunity to requalify once you are back at work.

Can you run confined space training courses at my place of work?

We are happy to come to your place of work to run confined space and other courses if the minimum number of delegates is achievable and we have the necessary reassurances that the site in question has controls applied to coronavirus management to ensure the safety of our teams and delegates.

However, we are unable to run training in live confined spaces so if you do not have a suitable training area, we can provide our mobile confined space training unit to conduct the practical exercises in. If our trailer is used, it will be thoroughly cleaned each day.

Have you run any courses yet under these new guidelines?

Throughout the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we continued to provide training to safety critical industries and have applied what we have learnt during that time, to ensure our training courses offer the best protection for both our teams and customers.

We have had some positive feedback from delegates too and here is one example from a recent course.

“Nigel (MRS Training & Rescue Trainer) arrived on site well before me, and he had already gone about assessing the site and how he was going to deliver training safely, and to the general guidance around COVID-19. Nigel had spare masks, gloves and anti-microbial cleaning gels which he had set out in a considered manner, along with the training room itself. I know that everyone is more aware of hygiene and safety during this pandemic, but it was clear to see today that Nigel really is fully tuned in to good H&S practice. Great to see that degree of care being taken.” Patrick F Ryan, Technical Trainer, Severn Trent PLC

If you have specific questions about the courses we offer we have written additional FAQs for:

Find and book your course online here

Or call 01623 423 777

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