As a business owner or manager of a facility or worksite with a confined space, you have many obligations, particularly when it comes to safety. It’s up to you to make sure everyone entering and exiting that space is safe at all times. Reach out to an experienced confined space rescue provider to ensure that you have a rescue team and plan in place for the common hazard scenarios below and any other emergencies that may arise.
Heat stress event
It can get hot very quickly in a small space for many different reasons. The lack of airflow, the temperature of the space in general, and even the high humidity levels can be extremely dangerous to anyone inside. When an individual is exposed to extreme heat, they can soon become unwell and pass out. Naturally, in a heat stress situation, you must have a plan in place for a quick and safe rescue so that the individual suffering from heat exhaustion may be evacuated from the situation and given necessary medical attention.
A person has fallen
Fall hazards can go undetected before entry, even in a well-vetted space. Something unexpected may occur inside the space, resulting in a worker’s fall. A person who has fallen can be seriously injured and even rendered unconscious, so time is of the essence when it comes to a fall rescue.
An entrapment or engulfment accident
Entrapment occurs when an individual is trapped or suffocated within a confined space. Walls that converge inward or a floor that slopes into a smaller cross-section, for example, can cause entrapment. Mechanical hazards, like an auger, can also injure or entrap someone within the confined space. Naturally, you should have any entrapment hazards eliminated or isolated before a worker enters the space, but just in case, always have a crew ready to respond to any entrapment incident.
A person who is being trapped by liquid or a flowing, solid substance in a confined space is said to be engulfed. In this scenario, a person can be suffocated, crushed, strangled or constricted by the force of the engulfing substance. There are similar dangers to entrapment in this situation, and any engulfment hazards should not be ignored before workers enter the confined space. In addition, a confined space rescue team should be on standby.
Atmospheric hazard requiring a confined space rescue
Some atmospheric hazards can pose a serious threat to a person’s safety in a confined space, including noxious gases and low oxygen levels. Before anyone enters the space, it is necessary to test the air. Additionally, a team should be prepared to rescue someone if necessary, when an unforeseen event occurs after someone has already tested and entered the space.
Safety must be the priority when you have workers in a small space. Contact an experienced rescue team, so you are never caught off-guard when there is an emergency within your confined space. Delays in rescues from confined spaces can mean injury or even death, so you must be fully prepared before any worker enters a space on your premises.