Confined space rescue
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Confined Space Rescue. Most confined space fatalities are poorly trained rescuers…. OSHA’s 3 levels of protection for confined space entrants:. 1) Permitting procedure identifies hazards and addresses protective measures 2) Retrieval equipment for external rescue

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Confined Space Rescue

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Confined Space Rescue


Most confined space fatalities are poorly trained rescuers…


OSHA’s 3 levels of protection for confined space entrants:

  • 1) Permitting procedure identifies hazards and addresses protective measures

  • 2) Retrieval equipment for external rescue

  • 3) Rescue services required for internal rescue


Permit Required Confined Space

  • 1) Hazardous Atmosphere

    -Exists or has the potential to exist

  • 2) Engulfment Hazard

    -Water, sludge, grain, etc....…

  • (3) Entrapment Hazard

    -Hoppers, converging pipe, etc.......

  • 4) Any other Health or Safety Hazard

    -Fall, heat, trip, varmints, etc........


What emergency rescue options does the site have?

  • 1.Employers have three options under 29CFR 1910.146(k):

  • a. Utilize their own employees to enter confined spaces to perform rescue

    • b.Arrange to have an outside service perform confined space rescues

    • c.Combination response


Emergency response options

  • Because there is a need for quick response, on-site rescue teams are usually preferred.


Evaluation & Verification...

  • Employers must evaluate and verify that the rescue service’s needed capabilities are present.

    • Documented average response times

    • Training records

    • Graded performance evaluations


What is timely response?

  • “…permit space hazards vary in their capacity to kill or permanently injure employees and that what constitutes ‘timely’ will vary accordingly.”


Response Vs Rescue Time...

  • (1) React Time:

    Attendant recognizes that the Entrant has a problem.

  • (2) Contact Time:

    Attendant contacts the Rescue Service.

  • (3) Response Time:

    Rescue Service arrives at the scene.


Rescue Vs Response Time...

  • (4) Assessment Time:

    Size-up and strategy determination.

  • (5) Preparation Time:

    Rescue equipment set-up.

  • (6) Rescue Time:

    Reaching, treating, packaging, and evacuation of the victim.


Rescue Stand-by

  • Goal: 4-Minute Rescue Response

    Possible only if rescuers are rigged and ready while the entry is taking place. This is defined as Rescue Stand-by.


Rescue Available

Appropriate (and Approximate!) Goals: Respond To Confined Space Scene / 10 Minutes

Reach The Victim(s) / 5-10 Minutes Later

Case law update….10 minute response held to be not timely in a Nov. 1997 case!


Rescue Available - Supervisor’s Role

  • Verifies the rescue service is available and the means to summon them is operable….

  • Administrative Ruling:

    Regardless of whether the employer thinks it is unreasonable to call the service for every entry - the employer must comply!


Evaluation Milestones

  • Rescue Stand-by establishes a GOAL of reaching the victim in 2-4 minutes.

  • Rescue Available establishes a GOAL of responding to the scene within 10 minutes and reaching the victim within 15 minutes.

  • Goals are to be strived for - not required…. they should serve as comparative milestones for judging team competency.


Choosing the Appropriate Response

Decision: Stand-by Vs. Available

  • Each entry must be evaluated to determine the appropriate response mode.

  • The evaluation must be done by a qualified person (rescuer and/or entry supervisor).

  • Factors to be considered include the severity of the hazard, required PPE, and the ability of the entrant to self-rescue.


Cat I - Available

-Hazard (Potential) is not IDLH

-Supplied breathing air is not required

-No anticipated difficulty for entrant to self-rescue

Cat II – Stand-by

-Hazard (Potential) is IDLH

-Supplied breathing air is required

-Anticipated difficulty for entrant to self-rescue

Categorizing PRCS


Categorizing Spaces

  • Category must be determined prior to entry

  • Entrant Supervisor must have authority to make the call….

  • Common sense approach to compliance:

    - Document intent to make a “timely rescue”

    - Establishes training goal & evaluation criteria


Timely Response, Training,and Equipment

  • Rescue

  • Retrieval

  • Ventilation & Atmospheric Monitoring

  • Barriers

  • Access/Egress (ladders, etc...)

  • Lighting

  • Communication


Timely Response,Training, and Equipment

  • Documented training by each team member via simulated rescues in every type of confined space (Rescue training)

  • Authorized Entrant/Attendant

  • First Aid & CPR (Blood-borne pathogens)

  • Haz Com, PPE, Respiratory, Lockout, PSM

  • Equipment training (Fall Protection)


Rescue Training:

  • Each rescue team member must be trained to safely perform all assigned rescue duties.

    - Rigging

    - Entry

    - PPE utilized outside the space

    - Equipment maintenance

    - Individual skills


Hands-on Rescue Training:

  • Each member must practice simulated rescue operations at least once every 12 months in the actual PRCS or representative spaces that simulate the types of spaces based on opening size, configuration, and accessibility….


What are the requirements for practice rescue exercises?

  • 1.Practice exercise must involve the actual removal of dummies or persons from the actual permit spaces or from representative spaces.

  • 2.Representative spaces need to simulate the types of permit spaces from which rescues may be performed with respect to:

    • ·Opening size

    • ·Configuration

    • ·Accessibility


Hands-on Rescue Training:

  • Each member must practice simulated rescue operations at least once every 12 months in the actual PRCS or representative spaces that simulate the types of spaces….

    - Identify the number of types

    - Design a training matrix for the year

    - Practice worst case scenarios


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