Davit Hoists – How Do You Access Confined Spaces Safely? Book Your Site Survey

by | Jun 27, 2019 | Latest News

Working at height or entering confined spaces are considered a potentially high-risk activity resulting in the biggest cause of workplace fatalities. According to HSE published statistics, between 30 and 40 workers are fatally injured as a result of a fall from height at work each year. In the UK alone, there are over 3000 major injuries relating to falls at height each year. Don’t be the next statistic!

Confined spaces can be found on the majority of job sites. Each year, workers are injured because confined spaces have limited ways of entering and exiting which complicates their rescue in case of emergency. In confined space entry or rescue situations, an advanced davit hoist system can be the most practical way to lift and to descend workers or equipment safely.

What is a Davit Hoist?

Davit hoist systems are manufactured from high strength aluminium. This makes them lightweight enough to manoeuvre but strong enough to withstand the strain of supporting, raising, lateral moving, and lowering a worker and/or equipment into a confined space. The adjustable height eliminates the need for custom length masts and extensions.

davit hoist 5 piece system,









Confined spaces significantly vary in size, shape, and location. Before choosing a davit hoist system, you’ll need to consider:

• Maximum weight restrictions

• Clearance and reach

• Access points

• The product rating for your specific application


Before commencing with the use of a davit system, you should refer to the product specification to ensure that the maximum rated load of your lifting device is suitable. Activities include fall arrest, rescue situations, or handling materials. Consider the weight of people, rescue stretchers, and equipment. Davit hoists feature a 2268Kg anchorage point for fall arrest anchorage.

Clearance & Reach

Depending on your application, you need to think about which type of base is most practical, how much overhead and side clearance there is, and the reach needed to provide a safe and stable lift or descent manoeuvre.

Lower mast extensions allow the user to increase the length of the overall anchorage height of the system. Advanced portable and fixed bases work with a variety of davit arm and mast extensions.

Temporary locations

Temporary locations require a 3 point expandable portable base that can be easily moved from one location to another. These are ideal for frequent setup and take down.

Measure the area in which the base needs to be positioned to ensure that there’s enough clearance above and to the side of the davit. Once the davit arm is raised, it should be able to pivot 180o left or right.

Fixed locations

Fixed bases mount to permanent structures. More complex projects may require multi-piece davit systems with a permanent base and are capable of being adapted to numerous access challenges. For example, if a hazardous work area, such as a tank or a silo has to be accessed frequently, a davit system with a permanently mounted base is the recommended solution.

davit hoist horizontal entry








Access Points

Confined space safety systems are categorised into vertical and horizontal entry types. Entering a confined space, such as a manhole or a pit, may require vertical confined space safety equipment. Some confined spaces, such as a tank, allow only entry from a side. For these, you will need the side-entry or the horizontal type of equipment.

Product Rating

Davit hoists should be used with the approved bases rated to support a maximum davit reach that matches your application.

3M Advanced™ Davit Hoist System

davit hoist vertical system











The 3M Advanced™ series of davit hoist systems are designed for manhole and confined space entry/retrieval applications. These units are constructed of lightweight materials including high-strength aluminium. The davit pivots for ease-of-rescue and has an adjustment for overhead clearance restrictions. The lower base adjusts to fit most standard entries. Many other portable and fixed bases are available to suit any job site requirements.

When it comes to confined space entry/rescue, it is essential that equipment operates perfectly and quickly. DBI-SALA® has an extensive line of rescue and retrieval systems with decades of proven field service. Safety engineers and site directors trust DBI-SALA® for the type of high quality, rugged systems that will ensure top performance when it is needed the most.

View our Fall Protection Guide


a1-cbiss understand the challenges involved with Working at Height or Confined Space Entry and strive to offer high quality, innovative products that will keep you safe at work.
– Site survey carried out by specialists to identify all site risks
– Compliance with regulations
– Product advice
– Order the right products the first time
– Confidence in product use

We can advise you on our wide range of fall protection equipment such as davit hoists, body harnesses, lanyards, rescue devices, fall arrest, and safety products ensuring you are compliant with the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Confined Space Regulations 2009 or the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2016.

Book a Site Survey with a1-cbiss

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