Things to Know in a Rescue With a Confined Space. What to know about rescuing someone from a confined space.Working in a confined space poses its own set of unique challenges and hazards. Should the unthinkable happen and someone becomes trapped, here’s what you need to know.
Follow the plan
For every confined space entry, there should be a plan for confined space rescue. This can be developed in-house with the assistance of a rescue service provider, whose services you can also use if the unexpected happens or you don’t have staff with specialized training to deal with these types of situations.
In the event that a person becomes trapped in a confined space, the first thing you need to determine is whether it is time-sensitive, as this can inform your next steps and indicate which plan to follow. A time-sensitive rescue situation occurs when the person is in danger of serious injury or death within a relatively short time span, such as when someone is stuck in a space that is losing oxygen. If you have any doubts about the company plans or the rescue, contact a rescue service provider as soon as possible.
Use personal protective equipment (PPE) as needed
PPE is a requirement in just about all confined spaces, and staff should be trained on how to properly use it. Anyone who is going into the space or working with someone in it should know how to use all the various types of relative PPE, including harnesses, protective gloves and gear, and respirators. Training given to staff should also cover systems with davit arms, tripods and winches in addition to other equipment. A rescue services provider should have training available so staff can learn how to use the tools that are available to keep them safe in the event of an incident.
The same type of training should be given to the person who is monitoring the situation from the outside, who is also known as a standby or safety watch. If this individual has access to PPE but can’t remember or never learned how to use it, the safety of everyone in the space is at risk. Proper training will allow the standby to address an emergency in a safe and timely manner, giving people in the space a better chance of getting out of a dangerous situation unharmed. Having a person outside isn’t useful if they are not trained on what to do.
Be ready to act
Should a rescue from a confined space become necessary, it is imperative that people in the position to help are ready to do so. This can including taking several different types of actions, such as using PPE and contacting a rescue service provider if needed. Delays when someone is stuck in a confined space and needs assistance can be the cause of serious injury and even death, so it’s crucial that everyone involved takes immediate action if an unexpected situation develops.