Professionals working in many different industries are required to enter confined spaces on a regular basis. Employee safety is a top priority for most companies, so protecting employees against potential harm within these confined spaces is important.
In the event that someone does become trapped or injured while working in a confined space, you must have the ability to carry out a successful rescue if you want to save the person's life. Follow these guidelines to ensure your confined space entry and rescue efforts are successful.
1. Define the Rescue Category
Confined space rescues fall into one of two categories: time-sensitive or non-time sensitive.
A time-sensitive rescue is one that takes place in an environment where access to oxygen is limited. The individual in need of rescue may only have a matter of minutes before oxygen levels become dangerously depleted within the confined space. Immediate action must be taken to enter the space and perform the rescue.
A non-time sensitive rescue usually involves a worker who has become injured, but is not in immediate danger. These rescues allow for more time to evaluate the situation and formulate a rescue plan.
2. Use the Right Equipment
It's imperative that each member of the rescue team is fitted with the proper equipment before entering any confined space. The most important piece of equipment is a full-body harness.
This harness allows rescue crews outside of the confined space to maintain contact with rescuers inside the confined space at all times. A full-body harness also leaves all limbs free to help secure the person needing to be rescued to a back board or lift for extraction.
3. Rely on Experienced Rescuers
The best way to ensure any confined space entry and rescue is successful is to prepare for one in advance. A team of experienced rescuers should be on-site anytime a worker enters a confined space.
The rescue team should have completed advanced training in rescue tactics, and have participated in multiple practice rescue scenarios to hone their skills over time. An experienced rescue team can evaluate any emergency situation quickly and take decisive action to ensure the rescue is a success.
Rescues that require extraction from a confined space can be challenging. Make sure that you have a rescue team that is trained and ready to assist in confined space entry and rescue scenarios anytime your workers will be going into small areas to perform job-related tasks.
To learn more about confined space entry and rescue training, contact a consultant near you.