Amerisafe Group’s Confined Space Rescue Services provide confined space stand-by and rescue services executed by emergency service response personnel. All staff are specifically trained in technical rescue (meeting both The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and NFPA requirements) and trained in emergency services (EMT and/or Paramedic certification).
What is a Confined Space?
In many different workplace settings, there are areas referred to as “confined.” These confined spaces are labeled for many different reasons, but most commonly due to their physical configurations. Any workspace that contains but is not limited to storage bins, manholes, silos, vessels, underground vaults and more would be considered confined. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or (OSHA) defines a confined space as “any space which, by design, has limited openings for entry and exit; unfavorable natural ventilation, which could contain or produce dangerous air contaminants, and one which is not intended for continuous occupancy.”
What are Examples of Confined Spaces?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states the proper oxygen level should fall within the range of 19.5% to 23.5% oxygen.
Exposure to toxic substances
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, many substances, such as mists, dusts, gases, liquids, and solid material, can become hazards in permit required confined spaces if not appropriately handled. These toxic substances can come from many types of matter.
Presence of combustible or explosive gases or materials
Atmospheres in which oxygen is in the air and also a flammable material is also present are considered to be potentially explosive, and thus labeled as flammable atmospheres. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that different types of gases have different flammability ranges, which in turn creates a broad range as to what is considered a flammable atmosphere. In severe cases, an explosion can occur if certain conditions are met.
Awareness of possible falling objects is necessary for workers that perform their duties in permit required confined spaces. Falling objects are significantly more common in spaces with topside openings, with work being done above the opening.
Confined Space Rescue Requirements Includes:
It is the responsibility of the employer to:
- Evaluate the ability of the combined space rescue services teams response time (depending on what the hazard may be) and also the ability of the rescue team to rescue employees in a timely manner
- Select a rescue operations team that can reach the space in the appropriate time frame, can be equipped for and proficient in the needed rescue, and also that will notify the employer immediately if the service becomes unavailable
The employer is also responsible for informing the rescue service team of hazards they may face during any rescue attempt.
Also, they are to provide the rescue team access to all permit required confined spaces to develop realistic and accurate rescue plans and practice rescues that meet the standards of The Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The employer is required to provide all equipment and training at no cost to the employee. The employer must provide each individual employee with the personal protective equipment, also known as PPE. PPE is necessary to perform rescues and training to the fullest extent properly. Rescue service team members are required to be trained as authorized entrants and trained and certified in basic first aid and CPR. At least one active member of the rescue service team must be first-aid and CPR certified.