When confined spaces are part of a project, the leading company, project manager and others involved all have a responsibility to ensure everyone is safe. If something should happen, those same parties also have to have a plan in place for rescue. Failing to do so can lead to loss of limbs or even life for the workers in peril, and it also exposes the company to legal liability.
Since confined space rescue might involve actual life-and-death situations, rescuers must have the knowledge and skills necessary to handle this all-important task. Understandably, because of this, many companies used third-party providers for these types of scenarios. However, even if you choose to leave your confined space rescues to professionals outside of your company, you should still have basic knowledge of the tools that might be required for the job.
Monitors for the air
In confined areas, certain gases can pose a danger for those trapped and rescuers alike. Because of this, gas monitors are used to detect the potential presence of gasses such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide and other dangerous and/or flammable gasses. Sometimes, special monitors may be needed for situations that are outside of the norm. A water park, for example, could require the use of a monitor for chlorine. In addition, the monitors will test the level of oxygen as this is also a crucial element for victims and rescuers.
Generally, all monitors used have visual and audible alarms so no one misses the presence of a hazard. If dangerous gasses are detected, the use of the proper ventilation equipment and the associated techniques will be required.
There are many different types of safety equipment for confined space rescues, including harnesses, basket stretchers, hooks, holsters, gears, and radio vests used by personnel who need to carry multiple radios during the rescue. Many factors impact what type of rescue equipment is needed, including what the situation is, what hazards are present at the rescue site, and the condition of the person or people who need to be rescued from the space.
Many different types of safety equipment can be part of a rescue, including gloves, masks, whistles, safe light sources, protective body gear such as special suits, helmets and knee pads, and more. The type of safety equipment needed for a rescuer will vary depending on the specifics of the rescue, the atmosphere and any other factors involved. A rescue professional will survey the situation, identify potential hazards and problems, and determine which safety equipment needs to be used.
In any petroleum project with confined spaces, there are inherent risks that need to be addressed and planned for. Regardless of who is ultimately responsible for your confined space rescue operations, it makes sense to know the potential tools involved so you can stay on top of any situation that might arise.