Working in confined spaces presents significant hazards, including the risk of toxic fumes, lack of breathable air and the risk of fire. Therefore, the Health and Safety Executive rightly recommend that work in confined spaces should be avoided if possible. Pumping station maintenance can often involve entry into confined spaces to perform maintenance on the installed pumps. Entering into pumping stations presents safety challenges as the gasses present can be highly toxic and the risk of infection is high. Those undertaking work in confined spaces must meet a number of stringent criteria including:
  • Must be qualified to enter confined spaces
  • Must carry a gas alarm, which should be regularly tested
  • Must carry breathing apparatus, which must also be regularly tested
Because entry into confined spaces should be avoided if at all possible, it is the responsibility of specifiers to endeavour to design this requirement out of sewage pumping stations. Recent best practice in pumping station design includes the mounting of pumps on guide rails. This method leads to a dramatic reduction in the number of confined entries into sewage chambers. Meeting these criteria does not eliminate the inherent risks involved in confined space entry. When guide rail systems are implemented, the pumps can simply be raised from the base of the chamber with the simple use of a hoist as there is no requirement for the pump to be mechanically fixed to the pipework at the bottom of the chamber. At we have taken the decision to no longer supply sewage pumping stations with freestanding pumps. We will only supply pumping stations equipped with guide rail systems. Despite the increased cost, as a company it is our opinion that this is the only responsible way forward for us and the rest of our industry. If you would like to discuss this, please call our team  who will be very happy to assist in specifying pumping stations. Call us on FREEPHONE 0808 250 0669 or Buy online from