LOS ALAMITOS, CA, UNITED STATES, November 15, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Depending on your industry, a confined space rescue plan may be something you need. If working in or around confined spaces, teams should be made aware of the risks involved.
Once the risks are known, competent confined space rescue plans can be developed. Too many people assume local emergency services can handle these dangers without really thinking about the timing and necessary preparation. This is avoided by setting up a plan that delivers a better chance of success in an emergency.
What is Confined Space Rescue?
Confined spaces can be storage tanks, ductwork, pits, or any other area that’s narrow and difficult to get to. One might not think twice about working near a small space like this, but one needs to think about the dangers of someone getting trapped in these places.
Unexpected things happen – even if a team isn’t working directly over the confined space, people who work around confined spaces are still putting themselves at risk.
For example, there’s the danger of injury if someone falls from a certain height into a confined space. While this danger might be present whether or not the space is narrow, confined spaces carry more risk because team members might not be able to assist the person until they can get them out safely.
Then there are other dangers, like loss of air, extreme temperatures, and the risk of being engulfed by a substance.
Confined space rescue is the operation of saving someone from an emergency in a confined space.
When To Think About Confined Space Rescue
Well, the short answer is: before it happens.
Put together a confined space rescue plan in most construction and civil infrastructure situations. One may not think of the project as “confined” if it’s a large public endeavor, but there may be confined spaces one does not identify until it is too late.
Keep in mind that these rescue plans are for emergency situations. Rather than thinking of what will likely take place, this is the time to think about what could possibly take place. Don’t wait for a team to be in need of a confined space rescue without having prepared a comprehensive plan.
Relying on Fire Departments for Confined Space Rescue Plans
It is common to think one can rely on first responders like the local fire department for confined space rescue. It’s a good instinct to think of these emergency services, but the facts are that these services often don’t come in time to make an effective confined space rescue.
If thinking about relying on a local fire department for a confined space rescue, at the very least, call them to ask whether they’re prepared and willing to respond to these kinds of situations. Ask the department members relevant questions like their expected response time and what equipment they have that could be used for a specific location.
OSHA guidelines may require a complete confined space rescue plan for a project. In this case, keep in mind that OSHA requires a rescue service that can respond in a timely manner.
Timing is extremely important when it comes to confined spaces. If a local fire department can’t respond in a crucial window of time, it will not adequately meet OSHA requirements and, more importantly, could put people in unnecessary danger.
The Timing of Rescue
Timing is everything when planning how to respond to future confined space rescue situations.
Carrying the weight of a person from a confined space is already difficult, but it’s not the most pressing part of the operation. The dangers of being trapped in confined spaces are high, meaning survival might be the first thing to think about.
For example, asphyxiation is one of the risks of getting trapped in a confined space. A rescue service might be able to get the victim out of the space, but they also need to do so before these health dangers set in. Every minute is precious.
When coming up with a rescue plan, make sure to ask: realistically, can this plan be carried out in enough time to save a life?
Establishing a Risk Profile
Before coming up with a rescue plan for confined spaces, it’s a good idea to put together a risk profile of the situation. This means taking the time to assess all possible dangers.
Start by doing an in-person walkthrough of the space and consulting the layout plans. Then think through how many workers are using the space and whether there will be a collaboration with a specialized rescue team.
Other important things to think about include training and communication. Knowing how a team will react to dangerous situations will help figure out what the rescue might look like.
Coming Up With a Solid Rescue Plan
The best plan is to build a relationship with an experienced rescue company.
Rescue teams specifically trained in confined space rescues know when and how to use ropes and other emergency equipment, allowing them to work with a variety of angles. They are also equipped for multiple kinds of locations, including water rescues.
Experienced Confined Space Rescue Teams build the risk profile into the planning itself. This is not a situation where one can call an emergency service to help out in a place they’ve never been before. Working with an experienced team means they start with an assessment of the space and keep that knowledge handy if danger arises.
Expand Rescue Plan Thinking
Take the time to consider all the risks involved at a work site. Confined space rescue plans shouldn’t be an afterthought. If teams understand the value of rescue planning, they will be much better prepared in an emergency.