MEMBER NEWS: MRS Training & Rescue’s report highlights complexity around confined space entry

May 7, 2024
MEMBER NEWS: MRS Training & Rescue’s report highlights complexity around confined space entry

Clarity and change urgently needed to save lives, safety and training leader says

A leader in employee safety and training, which has a key base in Aberdeen, is urgently calling for changes and clarity around confined space training to save the lives of workers.

Approximately 15 people in the UK are killed while working in confined spaces, according to the most recent information shared by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) – with reasons ranging from asphyxiation and fires to explosions or becoming trapped.

MRS Training & Rescue, which has as a state-of-the-art training centre in Bridge of Don, has over 120 years of delivering specialist skills, experience, and knowledge of working in confined, difficult, and potentially dangerous environments.

Today, the company has released a new report – No Room for Error – which states the solution is not more training, but “doing the correct, relevant, and appropriate training” for the identified risks.

CEO Stuart Hoult explained that information around confined space entry can often be complex and confusing for employers to navigate and fully understand. There is a need for greater clarity and simplicity about their responsibilities and options to ensure their workers are not only trained, but competent to work safely in these spaces.

He said: “Many employers recognise the dangers of working in confined spaces and take steps to mitigate the risk, however there is more to be done to support and give them the correct information.

“Employers have a legal duty of care and responsibility to their workers should an incident happen in a confined space. Dangers can escalate very quickly, and pleading ignorance in the aftermath is not a valid excuse in any enquiry.

“We hope the publication of this report will raise awareness of the risks currently facing the market and serve as a call to improvement, as well as make employers aware where they could be at risk.”

Despite the introduction of Confined Spaces Regulations in 1997, there remain a number of accidents, injuries and fatalities every year.

Several factors can lead to a death or injury in confined spaces, such as poor training, inadequate personal protective equipment, or a lack of a rescue plan. Some workers may be uninformed about potential hazards, while some employers may not recognise that a space in the workplace is classified as confined.

But these risks can be mitigated and brought to an acceptable level.

Andrew Watson, Special Technical Advisor with MRS Training & Rescue, explains: “It’s important to remember that the principles of keeping people safe remain the same regardless of sector. The differences lie in how you keep them safe according to the environment they’re working in – and whether they’re trained or competent.

“Training is just one of the essential building blocks of competence.”

MRS Training & Rescue is working with employers across the UK to pass on their years of experience to managers, to guide them in understanding the hazards, the risk they create and to explain to them why they need the control measures in place and the impact these will have in keeping people safe.

The confined spaces report produced by MRS Training & Rescue – No Room for Error – is available for download now.

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise