Confined Space Rescue


Confined space is a subset of technical rescue operations that involves the rescue and recovery of victims trapped in a confined space or in a place only accessible through confined spaces, such as underground vaults, storage tanks or sewers.

Confined space rescues can be technically challenging due to the environment in which they occur. Confined spaces are often narrow and constricting preventing easy access by rescuers. They are usually either unlit or poorly lit so rescuers must provide their own light source. Finally, confined spaces often contain hazardous materials in liquid or gas form which can be harmful to humans.

These hazards are dangerous as they create a limited window in which to perform a rescue. The general rule is that after four minutes without oxygen, a person in a confined space will likely suffer asphyxia resulting in either brain damage or death. The urgent need to rescue someone from a confined space often leads to ill-prepared rescue attempts. Two-thirds of all deaths occurring in confined spaces are attributed to persons attempting to rescue someone else. Not using the proper procedures in a confined space project could lead to a $500,000 fine per offense for corporations.

Using a well trained rescue team with the welfare of the company and the entrant as its primary goal is the best line of defense.

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