Recovery and Rescue in Confined Spaces

confined space safety

If your property or business has a confined space, it is imperative you have a set plan for confined space rescue and recovery missions. A confined space is any small, tight area that can only fit one or two people. It may have only one entrance, and there may be issues with the air quality within the space. A confined space rescue could be needed if there are any accidents or emergencies in the space. Even if you think your confined space is fully taken care of and as safe as it can be, it is still important to check your rescue and recovery plan as often as possible, including having emergency drills and full training for all employees.

Confined space rescue planning

There are varying levels of rescues that could be required depending on the situation that arises in a confined space. Of course, the best course of action is avoiding the need for any rescue or recovery at all, but it is important to be fully prepared for any potential situation.

Having a set plan is important so that everyone is on the same page regarding what to do in each potential situation. Having confined space professionals go over your plan and make any necessary adjustments can only benefit you in the long run. Confined space professionals will also be able to offer an on-call rescue team to help in larger emergency situations.

A plan for each situation

If a person in a confined space runs into a little bit of trouble but is able to get themselves out, this is considered self-recovery. The person will have had the necessary training to attempt to get themselves out as safely as possible and will be able to assess the situation and know to ask for help should they not be able to get themselves out safely.

If there is any reason that it is unsafe for the individual to get themselves out of the confined space on their own, the rescue plan will need to be enacted. To know which part of the plan to go ahead with, a quick and accurate assessment of the situation will need to be carried out. After assessing all risks, a decision will be made by those on site regarding whether the individual can be rescued by another trained staff member or if any machinery will need to be used. Should the emergency require more manpower, an on-call rescue and recovery team may need to come in and assist.

When creating any confined space rescue plan, preparation should be the emphasis. Being in a rescue and recovery situation for confined space can happen in the blink of an eye. Having a rescue team in place that you can call on is essential, as is having the necessary training for all employees who are on the site on a regular basis and even those who just visit the site from time to time. Check your plan on a regular basis and carry out important drills to keep everyone on the premises safe, so that there is never any need for a rescue and recovery mission.