Whether an existing facility or new construction, OSHA requires that a confined space rescue team be available when confined space work is being performed. Facility managers should always be proactive in validating internal and external (supplemental) rescue capabilities.
Have you thoroughly vetted your site-bound rescue capabilities? Are they properly aligned with site contingencies? If you look outside for emergency support, have you confirmed the qualifications and capabilities of your designated resource? Will they perform as an extension of your on site safety group, or stay in the trailer until called? These may seem like simple points, but finding out the answers in the middle of a confined-space rescue emergency is not the time for unanswered questions.
- As a minimum, rescue teams need to be trained to meet the intent of OSHA 1910.146. Additional training to meet the intent of NFPA 350 Guide for the Safe Confined Space Entry and Work, and NFPA 1670: Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Rescue Teams should also be considered.
- Is equipment provided by an outside Team aligned with the characteristics of your site should a rescue be necessary? Will this equipment be readily deployed in your facility – possibly in tandem with your personnel? Familiarity is critical to rescue efficiency.
- Are personnel on the Team trained and experienced in providing emergency medical care?
- Can rescue team members function as part of the Safety Group providing atmospheric testing, safety walks, Job Safety Analysis and other services that will contribute to an injury free project?
- Will the team be able to support any other emergencies on site such as fire and hazardous materials releases?
IES personnel are professional industrial emergency response personnel who are trained not only in Confined Space and High Angle Rescue, but also Emergency Medical Response, Industrial Fire Fighting, and Hazardous Materials Response. Additional training and capabilities include atmospheric testing, work permits, safety walks, job safety analysis and other related duties.
When selecting a confined space rescue team, safety management must Monitor and Verify proper training, equipment applications, and cohesion amongst internal and external team members to effectively execute onsite response operations … ALL critical factors in life safety.