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Do I need a Confined Space Rescue Team?

Having a confined space rescue team present at every confined space entry is not a legal requirement. However, it is a requirement to have suitable and sufficient emergency arrangements in place and this may include the provision of an on-site rescue team.

“no person at work shall enter or carry out work in a confined space unless there have been prepared in respect of that confined space suitable and sufficient arrangements for the rescue of persons in the event of an emergency”

One must not underestimate the hazards associated with confined space working. This is emphasised by the Emergency Arrangements requirements outlined in the Confined Spaces Regulations.

Whether you are an outage coordinator, utilities manager or contractor working in confined space environments, you will know the risks associated with this type of work. A robust risk assessment process with suitable control measures should be put in place to safeguard the workforce, remain compliant with legislation and show commitment to health and safety practices. 

Confined space working and indeed the need for dedicated on-site safety and rescue provision can be difficult to understand. It often falls at the furthest points of the proverbial pendulum swing! Often being either not enough qualified and experienced personnel with little or no equipment through to overcompensation due to poor third party advice.

The key is to engage with all key players at an early stage and look at the real associated risks. Looking at whether the space is substantially (though not always entirely enclosed) and there are one or more specified risks, or that they are “reasonably foreseeable”.

The risks may include Gases, Fluids, Heat, Chemicals, Fire and explosion, free flowing solids, oxygen deficiency and more. A significant number of deaths in confined spaces occur when individuals attempt to rescue others. This is predominately because of poorly prepared rescue arrangements.

When considering emergency arrangements, and if the need for on-site safety and rescue is necessary, you should consider numerous factors. These include physical environment, difficult access and egress and indeed difficult rescue. What about Contractor welfare? Fitness assessment? Medical on-site screening? Hydration and medical conditions?

Our Confined Space Safety and Technical Rescue Service will provide you with peace of mind. Your employees and contractors will work in the safest environment when making a confined space entry. Should an emergency situation arise, Rescue 2 will be there to manage and execute the emergency and rescue arrangements.

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