Confine space rescue is always necessary in-case something goes wrong as work progresses inside the confine space.
OSHA qualifies a space as a confine space if it has the following characteristics:
- Has restricted access and egress
- Not meant for continuous occupancy
- If the space is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and performed assigned work.
In general terms, a confine space is a fully or partially enclosed space that is not primarily designed or intended for continuous human occupancy, has limited or restricted entrance or exit, and can represent a risk for the for the health and safety of anyone who enters.
Working inside a confine space is rated as a high risk task requiring a well planned safe system of work. Aside from other measures taken to ensure safe completion of job inside the confine space like training, gas testing, risk assessment, workers health assessment, etc – an emergency plan should be in place in case something goes wrong and the entrant needs evacuation.
This act of retrieving an entrant from the confine space is what we call “Confine Space Rescue”.
Some things which should be considered when planning for confine space rescue are:
- Communication: There should be constant communication between the rescuing team inside the confine space with people outside.
- Capability of rescuer: The rescuers should be capable of carrying out the rescue both physically and in skill.
- First aid measures/CPR: First aiders should be on standby to render first aid/CPR to the victim.
- Fire safety procedures: Fire safety procedure should be in place in-case of fire incident.
- Emergency services: Emergency services should also be on standby to support the internal rescue team.
Confine space rescue should be well-arranged, planned, and practiced. Confine space rescue is time dependent, so it needs to be done as fast as possible in order not to lose the worker trapped inside.
See OSHA confine space rescue regulation here