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Construction sites can be a dangerous workplace, and after decades of trial and error, we have established parameters and guidelines to keep workers safe in these hazardous conditions. Unfortunately, the one area that still presents problems for workers are confined spaces. The primary reason for this is that confined spaces present many challenges that require intense knowledge and specialization to rescue trapped workers.
This article will examine why you need a professional confined space rescue team and the common situations you would call on them.
What is a Confined Space
Simply put, a confined space is a closed-off area that usually only has one entry and exit point. This limited access makes a confined space so dangerous to work in as a single mistake or accident can leave workers trapped inside. Additionally, a lot of the time, these confined spaces have toxic and hazardous materials inside, exponentially increasing the danger.
When a worker is trapped in a confined space, it poses several dilemmas that make rescuing them a challenge.
- The entry point is clogged, making entering and retrieving workers difficult.
- The environment may be unstable, and efforts to create an entryway can further trap or injure your workers.
- Depending on the distance between you and the trapped workers, you may have no visual or audio cues about their status if they are hurt and in significant need of medical assistance.
- Confined spaces typically have hazardous materials inside them, requiring rescue workers to have the equipment to enter safely and the knowledge to ventilate the area to keep their workers safe properly.
- The potential for flooding is very high in a confined space, especially if it is being done under sea level.
Typically companies will avoid sending their workers into a confined space, but sometimes maintenance or construction work requires your workers to enter these hazardous areas. In these cases having professional confined space rescue teams on hand can ensure your workers are protected to the fullest extent.
Common Examples of Confined Spaces
These underwater tunnels often contain numerous hazardous materials that can be dangerous. If your workers become trapped, the water alone can be hazardous as there is a high risk of flooding. A confined space rescue team will be trained in flooding situations.
Another confined space is prone to flooding. Wells are designed to go deep underground to reach groundwater making trapped workers very hard to access.
Basements of houses and buildings typically only have one entrance and exit; workers can be trapped if the entrance is blocked by accident.
Manholes are usually just wide enough to fit one person, meaning any small obstruction the manhole cover could lead to trapped workers. Additionally, manholes typically lead to areas with hazardous materials that could prove to be dangerous or even fatal to your workers if exposed for too long.
Confined Space Rescue Teams Can Ensure Maximum Safety
Confined spaces have many hazardous variables that require training to handle correctly, such as proper communication, ventilation, applying first aid in uncomfortable positions, stabilizing an environment before entering, etc. With a confined space rescue team, you can be guaranteed you are protecting your workers to the best of your ability