Confined space entry rescue is a technical rescue operation performed within an area having limited accessibility and egress.
This may include storage tanks, silos, underground municipal infrastructure and process vessels in the refining, chemical and petrochemical industries.
In the event of an emergency, time is of the essence as most individuals have approximately 4 minutes without breathable air before they suffocate. In addition, two-thirds of all of deaths occurring in confined spaces are attributed to persons attempting to rescue someone else.1 This makes proper planning and execution by the rescue team one of the most important factors.
The confined space may vary by industry but generally, it is referred to as a confined space when:
Rescues in confined spaces are very challenging for a number of reasons including:
Confined space entry rescue can be split out into three categories including:
There is specific equipment used when rescuing individuals from confined spaces, this includes:
Most technicians performing work in confined spaces are using external breathing tanks and are wearing protective equipment.
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1. “Is It Safe to Enter a Confined Space?” (PDF). Cal-OSHA. 1998. Retrieved September 1, 2006.