Confined Space Introduction

It is important the fire and rescue personnel be familiar with the requirements for confined space rescue as outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the techniques and equipment used to execute the rescue.

Downloadable Instructor's Guides

 

 

Session Reference:

 

Topic: Confined Space Introduction

Time Required: 3 Hours

Materials:

 

  • Appropriate audio/visual materials and equipment
  • Video "Confined Space Rescue", Media Resources

 

References:

 

  • OSHA Regulation 29 CFR 1910.146, U.S. Department of Labor;
  • Rescue Technician Operational Readiness for Rescue Providers, Mosby

Preparation:

 

Motivation: In many cases, commercial establishments where confined space entry is part of the regular work routine will have personnel on-site to perform emergency rescues. In those cases where on-site personnel may not be available, the fire and rescue service will be called upon to make the rescue. It is important the fire and rescue personnel be familiar with the requirements for confined space rescue as outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the techniques and equipment used to execute the rescue.

Objective (SPO): The student will be able to define what is considered a confined space and describe the hazards, monitoring requirements, equipment and procedures for entering a confined space and effecting a rescue.

Overview: Confined Space Introduction

 

  • Definitions
  • Hazards
  • Monitoring
  • Harnesses
  • Preparation
  • Rescue

 

Instructors Notes: N/A


Confined Space Introduction

 

 

SPO 1-1

 

EO 1-1
Define what a confined space is and give examples of confined spaces.

EO 1-2
Describe the hazards associated with a confined space.

EO 1-3
Describe how to monitor and ventilate a confined space.

EO 1-4
Identify the different types of harnesses and their use in a confined space.

EO 1-5
Describe the procedure to prepare for entering a confined space.

EO 1-6
Describe how to rescue a victim from a confined space.


Instructional Guide

 

 

  • DEFINITIONS (1-1)
    • What precisely are confined spaces?
      • By OSHA definition, a space that
        • Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work
        • Has limited or restricted means of entry or exit
        • Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy
      • Examples of confined spaces
        • Tanks
        • Vessels
        • Silos
        • Storage bins
        • Hoppers
        • Vaults
        • Pits
      • Confined spaces are found in all industries and occupations
      • Confined spaces have inherent hazards that can injure or kill individuals working in them or rescuers attempting to effect a rescue
      • It is important that all persons entering confined spaces recognize hazards associated before entering space
    • Confined spaces are referred to as "permit required spaces" or "non permit spaces"
      • Permit required spaces meet the OSHA definition and require special modifications of work procedures to prevent injury or death
      • Permit-required spaces have one or more of the following characteristics:
        • Contains or has the potential to contain hazardous atmosphere
        • Contains material that has the potential for engulfing entrant
        • Has the internal configuration such that the entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or a floor which slopes downward and tapers to smaller cross section
        • Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard
    • Non-permit space requires no special modifications of work procedures for safe entry
    • Federal standard which applies to employee safety and confined space is 29 CFR 1910.146, Permit-Required Confined Spaces for General Industry
      • Final rule, which was issued by OSHA on January 14, 1993, and corrected on June 29, 1993, is performance based and sets minimum qualifications for training of individuals and quality of equipment used
      • Maryland adopted the Federal standard as its own
      • According to OSHA regulations, the employer shall provide training so that employees acquire the understanding, knowledge, and skills necessary for safe performance of duties assigned
        • Training shall be provided to affected employees
        • Before an employee is first assigned the duties
          • Before a change in assigned duties
          • Whenever a change in permit space operations that presents hazard about which employee is not previously trained
          • Whenever the employer has reason to believe either that there are deviations from required permit space entry procedures or inadequacies in employee's knowledge or use of established procedures
        • Training shall establish proficiency in the duties required and introduce new or revised procedures
        • Employer shall certify that the training required accomplished with a certification containing employee's name, signature(s) or initials of trainer(s), and dates of training
        • Certifications shall be available for inspection by employees and authorized representatives
          • For purposes of the standard, fire and rescue personnel are considered employees of fire or rescue department, whether career or volunteer
    • In almost all accidents that involve confined spaces, the victims failed to recognize and evaluate the hazards associated with working in confined spaces
      • Due to lack of written entry procedures and training
      • Failing to follow safety procedures set forth by employers
      • Untrained, would be rescuers account for more than 60% of all fatalities in confined spaces
      • Most accidents are only reported when there is a fatality
      • Accidents that result in injuries (referred to as "close calls") are seldom reported
  • HAZARDS (1-2)
    • OSHA has identified that atmospheric hazards account for the majority of injuries and fatalities
    • Most could have been avoided if proper planning, training and work procedures were in place and followed
      • Employers must develop a written confined space entry programs to allow compliance by workers
      • Fire departments need to establish SOP's for operations involving confined space incidents, including provision for hazard recognition
    • Specific hazards are divided into five basic groups
      • Atmospheric hazards
        • Air contains approximately 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and small percentage of various inert gases
        • Oxygen levels fluctuate due to ongoing chemical or biological processes, displacement by other gases or simply due to lack of naturally occurring ventilation
        • Oxygen deficient when the level drops below 19.5%
        • 14-16%, breathing and pulse rates increase
          • 10-14%, respiration becomes more difficult, and persons become emotional and exhibit abnormal fatigue with minimum amount of exertion
          • 6-10%, persons experience nausea and vomiting and lose consciousness, without being aware of changes in atmosphere
        • Oxygen enriched when the level is above 23.5%
      • Fire and explosion hazards
        • Defined as presenting hazards to workers due to the presence of flammable vapors, dusts or gases
        • Vapors or dusts accumulate due to lack of natural ventilation
          • Flammable or explosive vapors originate from flammable liquids stored
          • Other flammable vapors introduced into spaces as the result of underground storage tanks that develop leaks
          • Other sources of flammable vapors such as methane or hydrogen sulfide are by-products of biological processes
        • Considered to have flammable atmosphere when vapors exceed 10% of (lower flammable limit (LFL)
      • Toxic substance hazards
        • Defined as having gases, vapors or fumes that present poisonous physiological effects
        • Presence of poisonous vapors independent of other condition such as oxygen content
        • Results of exposure to poisonous or toxic vapor can be immediate or delayed for years
        • Some poisonous vapors accumulate until harmful or lethal concentration reached
          • Toxic atmospheres result from variety of sources, including by-products of combustion, biological processes or vapors emitted by liquids
      • Physical hazards
        • Limited Entry or Egress - by definition difficult to enter and exit
        • Narrow openings often prevent natural ventilation from occurring
          • Location of openings can add to hazard
        • Excessive Depths and Heights - By construction and purpose, located underground, on ground or above ground
        • Location can be associated with potential for falls
          • Hazard increased by presence of wet and slippery surfaces
        • Poor Visibility - have limited openings for entry and exit
        • Severely limits available light from entering
          • Some equipped with auxiliary lighting while other spaces require use of portable lighting
          • Some lighting can provide ignition source for flammable vapors
        • Poor Communications
        • Conventional radio communication sometimes potential ignition source for flammable vapors
          • Materials used in construction such as reinforced concrete and steel can prevent/limit use of radios
          • Some spaces have acoustic problems such as echoes due to shape and construction
          • Use of SCBA can limit use of conventional radio equipment
        • Important to have some means of communicating in event conditions change
          • Cable intercoms
          • Rope signals
          • Public address systems
        • Wet and Slippery Surfaces
        • Surfaces can have potential of being slippery
          • Combined with hazard of excessive depths and heights, slippery surfaces can become likely cause of injury
        • Mechanical Hazards
        • Some exist exclusively to house mechanical equipment such as compressors, agitators, mixers, augers and conveyors
          • Devices usually turn on and off in response to level of product, pressure loss, timers and other automatic switches
          • Do not have the ability to know when worker in close proximity to mechanical equipment
          • Such equipment known to trap, crush, injure and kill persons
        • Mechanical devices must be isolated from energy sources before personnel enter a confined space
        • Unstable Materials
        • Materials have tendency to crust over on top level, leaving layer that sometimes will support weight of person
          • When layer will not support weight, personnel can fall through into lower layers of material and become engulfed
          • Can lead to asphyxiation if person becomes partially or fully covered by material
      • Medical hazards
        • Harmful Materials (Aside from Contents)
        • In wastewater treatment facilities, sewage contain viral agents and bacteria that cause illness and even death
          • Storm sewers become habitat for reptiles and insects whose stings and bites cause discomfort or even death
          • Persons must be prepared to remove harmful agents or prevent exposure
        • Lack of Specialized Equipment/Training
        • Personnel must be trained to identify potential hazards and techniques to mitigate those hazard
          • Businesses must have written procedures for workers to include policies and procedures for rescue when injuries and illnesses occur
          • Workers must be trained in use and maintenance of specialized equipment such as SCBA and atmospheric test equipment
        • Personnel Failures
        • More demanding than performing identical work outside space
          • Must be evaluated for confined space work by undergoing thorough medical examination
          • Special consideration given to cardiovascular and respiratory systems due stress while using protective equipment
          • Not all medical conditions screened with use of physical examinations
        • Only through completion of training program that includes practical evolutions can potential problems be spotted
  • MONITORING (1-3)
    • Prior to entering space for rescue, one should attempt to evaluate presence of hazards
    • Atmospheric hazards classified in three ways
      • Toxic
      • Asphyxiating
      • Flammable
    • Only way to ensure proper atmospheric conditions is to monitor atmosphere with meter
    • To properly use meters and interpret information, one must have basic understanding of matter and how it behaves
    • Three stages of matter
      • Solids - rarely pose any atmospheric hazards but can create serious engulfment hazards
      • Liquids and gases can create atmospheric hazards when in vapor state
        • Value by which we predict where vapor will collect called vapor density
        • Vapor density derived by comparing amounts of vapor to equal amount of air at same temperature and pressure
        • Vapor density of air given value of one
        • If vapor density greater than one, vapor heavier than air and collects in low areas
        • If vapor density less than one, vapor lighter than air and collects in high areas
        • Liquids can produce vapors
      • Temperature at which liquid gives off vapors called boiling point
        • Liquids boil when vapor pressures greater than atmospheric pressure
        • Boiling point and vapor pressure inversely proportional
    • When monitoring confined spaces, first check for adequate level of oxygen
      • Oxygen levels can change due to variety of reasons
        • Some gases can force oxygen from spaces
        • Some reactor vessels purged with gases such as nitrogen to cleanse of harmful by-products
        • Some work performed such as welding or brazing can alter oxygen level in air
      • Only safe and accurate method to measure oxygen content is with meter
    • Next hazard to monitor is presence of flammable vapors
      • Flammable vapors accumulate for many reasons
        • Flammable liquids stored give off flammable vapors
        • Types of work performed, such as painting, cause flammable vapors to accumulate
        • Chemical reactions that occur in reactor vessels release flammable vapors
        • Most flammable liquids only burn in vapor state
      • Temperature at which flammable liquid gives off enough vapors to develop mixture with air that will burn called flash point
        • Limits to concentrations of vapors that burn
        • Each flammable vapor has limits, both low and high
        • Low point called lower flammable limit (LFL) and vapors with concentrations below LFL too lean to burn
          • High point called upper flammable limit (UFL) and vapors with concentrations above UFL too rich to burn
        • Concentrations between LFL and UFL in flammable range and burn
      • Meters that measure flammable vapors register percent of LFL; that is, percentage of percentage
        • Most meters set to alarm at 10% of LFL
        • When flammable vapor concentrations exceed alarm level, no entry should be made until concentration lowered by ventilation or other means
    • Last hazard class is presence of toxic substances
      • Toxic substances refers to extensive list of materials that cause adverse health effects in individuals exposed to them
      • Exposure by inhalation, ingestion, injection or absorption
      • Exposure can produce instantaneous or delayed health effects
      • Factors that determine toxicity of material
        • Concentration of material
        • Route of exposure
        • Amount of time exposed
        • Health condition
    • NIOSH has researched and formulated exposure limits for over four hundred different potentially dangerous substances; American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) published exposure limits
      • Values product specific and rely on proper identification and monitoring of substance
      • Three values used to describe recommended safe levels of exposure
        • Threshold limit values (TLV) - established by ACGIH pertain to 40 hour work weeks with 8 hour days (TLV time weighted average), 15 minute exposures (TLV short term exposure limits) and absolute limits for exposures (TLV ceiling)
        • Permissible exposure limits (PEL) - refers to level of exposure as determined by OSHA for 40-hour workweek with 8-hour days
        • Immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) - maximum levels that a person could escape from within 30 minutes, should their respiratory protection fail, without impairing the escape or causing irreversible health effects
      • Meters should be capable of monitoring flammable vapors and oxygen concentrations simultaneously
        • Should be capable of calibration in field by user
        • Should be intrinsically safe and capable of being operated at least eight hours on single battery charge
        • Should be capable of sampling from outside space
        • Should be capable of having alarm point set in field by user
      • Regardless of manufacturer or style, there are basic instructions and precautions for using meters
        • Remember gases have different vapor densities and are found at different levels
        • Important to slowly monitor all levels prior to entry
        • If meter has sample pump, care must be used to prevent liquids from being drawn into meter if the probe lowered into liquid
        • Meters sensitive instruments that require care, attention and periodic maintenance
        • Make sure that batteries charged
        • Know how instrument operates and how reading obtained
        • Use proper instrument for tests required, and understand particular limitations
      • Monitoring for some toxic compounds can require use of colorimetric tubes
        • Glass tubes contain material that changes color when sample drawn through tube to indicate presence of compound
        • Extent of color change can indicate concentration of compound when set volume of sample drawn through tube
        • Tubes relatively expensive and have shelf life
        • Majority of tubes must be refrigerated to remain useful for extent of shelf life
        • Some materials cause false positive measurements when different substance will change color in tube in same manner as material being monitored
        • Since product specific, can be used in identification of unknown materials that produce vapors
  • HARNESSES (1-4)
    • All persons entering confined spaces must wear life safety harness and retrieval line
      • Life safety harnesses constructed in accordance with two different safety standards
        • NFPA 1983, Standard on Fire Service Life Safety Rope. Harnesses and Hardware
        • ANSI A10.14, Requirement for Safety Belts. Harnesses. Lanyards. Lifelines and Drop Lines for Construction and Industrial Use
      • Harnesses constructed from continuous filament nylon fibers and adjustable over variety of individual sizes
    • Harnesses broken into three classes: Class One, Class Two and Class Three
      • Only ANSI class two and class three harnesses should be used for confined space rescue
      • ANSI Class Two harness referred to as chest harness
        • Composed of waist strap and two shoulder straps
        • Designed for use where little or no possibility of falls
        • Used where retrieval or removal of persons needed
        • NFPA Class Two harness not acceptable for confined space rescue
      • Class Three harnesses referred to as full body harnesses
        • Composed of two shoulder straps, waist strap and two leg straps
        • Designed to arrest falls in line with wearer's spine to minimize injury
    • Harnesses and associated hardware must be cared for and maintained in same manner as lifelines
      • All harnesses should be inspected prior to use for wear and damage
      • Should be stored in cool, dry areas out of direct sunlight
      • Metal hardware on harnesses damaged if dropped onto hard surfaces
      • Rescuers should follow manufacturer's recommendations
  • PREPARATION (1-5)
    • Meter confined space
      • Ensure space has atmosphere with sufficient oxygen level, free of flammable and toxic vapors
      • Only positive method of ensuring suitable atmosphere for entry is use of meter
      • Before entering space, internal atmosphere shall be tested, with calibrated direct-reading instrument
        • Oxygen content
        • Flammable vapors
        • Potential toxic air contaminants
      • Metering space must be done not only before entry, but at all levels and continuously during entry procedures
    • Equipment
      • Following equipment must be maintained and provided for entry
        • Testing and metering equipment
        • Ventilation equipment needed to obtain acceptable entry conditions
        • Communications equipment
        • Personal protective equipment insofar as feasible engineering and work practice controls do not adequately protect employees
        • Lighting equipment
        • Barriers and shields
        • Equipment needed for safe ingress and egress
        • Rescue and emergency equipment
        • Any other equipment necessary for safe entry and rescue
      • Employer must ensure that employees use equipment properly
    • Isolating confined space
      • Whenever entering confined space, efforts must be made to ensure that space is and will remain free of any products that could be introduced while persons are in space
        • First and simplest means is to empty space of its contents
        • Considerations should include where contents will go when emptied and what effect moving product will have on victim
      • In fixed location (manholes, stationary tanks, etc.), isolation is accomplished by double block and bleed or blanking
        • First identify any feed lines that empty into space
        • Upstream of the space, at least two valves should be closed to prevent any product from entering space and valve between two closed valves should be opened to allow any product that could pass should first valve fail
        • Opened valve should be at least same size as feed line into space
      • Blanking space refers to breaking pipe flange and inserting impervious blank into flange
        • Upstream side of flange connected to blank in case leak would occur and any product would leak out of and not into space
        • In isolating, emphasis is on redundancy of system
        • System should take into account possibility of failure of some part of system
          • Some fatalities attributed to failure of air bags used to stem flow of sewage in sewers while workers attempted repairs
    • Lockout and tagout
      • Some spaces exist because they house mechanical devices such as compressors, pumps, agitators and such
        • Most devices turn on in response to some type of automatic switch such as flow switch, float switch, timer or even thermometer
        • Equipment does not sense when person is in space and continue to operate mechanical devices
        • All mechanical equipment must be isolated from power sources so as to render inoperable
      • First step in locking out mechanical equipment to identify power source for equipment
        • Once identified, appropriate lockout device must be applied to power source
        • Ideal lockout device allows for several locks applied at once
        • If each lock keyed differently and each person takes key, prevents possibility of re-energizing mechanical equipment prior to all persons being clear
        • In addition to applying lockout device, corresponding tag should be placed on power sources to identify importance of lockout in preventing injury
    • Secure covers
      • Appropriate measures must be taken to ensure that hatches, lids and covers cannot close while persons are in spaces
      • Outside attendant must be in place whenever entry made
        • Person can be used to monitor atmosphere
        • Attendant remains outside to call for assistance should accident occur
        • Should rescue be necessary, outside attendant should not enter space until another person is at space to act as his/her attendant
    • Ventilation
      • When atmospheric conditions do not meet limits for oxygen, flammability and toxic vapors, space must be ventilated to bring atmosphere into limits
      • To properly ventilate, fan with blower tube should be used
        • Care must be exercised in preventing introduction of ignition sources or toxic gases when ventilating
        • Air flow should be introduced into space and blower tube should be at level at which persons will be working
        • When fan directed to exhaust air from space, create a slight vacuum that can draw other contaminants into space
        • By directing air flow into space, positive pressure created and contaminants diluted by addition of fresh air
        • Ventilation fan should be allowed to operate for time period long enough to exchange air content of space several times
        • If necessary, fan should be left to operate during entry

        NOTE: Fan intake positioned upwind of manhole. This is done to prevent exhausted vapors from being reintroduced into space.

  • Buddy system
    • Whenever entry must be made, adequate trained personnel should be at space
      • If at all possible, persons entering spaces should work in teams of two
      • Backup persons should be ready to assist as necessary and outside attendants should monitor conditions with monitors
    • Specialized equipment should be at location of confined space and persons should be trained in its use
    • Persons should be trained in CPR and have some means of summoning assistance if necessary
  • Respiratory protection
    • Rescuers should use positive pressure SCBA
    • Other option for rescuers is use of airline apparatus
      • Airline apparatus similar to positive pressure SCBA, except air supplied through long, small diameter hose from large compressed air cylinders outside space
      • Small air cylinder for emergency escape (five minutes) provided on such units, in case air line cut or obstructed
      • Only positive pressure airline apparatus employed for rescue work in spaces immediately dangerous to life and health
      • Airline restricts movement and makes it necessary to exit by same path used to enter area
    • When entry made through small opening, rescuer may be required to remove backpack assembly of SCBA so they can pass through opening
      • May require passing backpack through opening before entry or having attached to lowering rope on which rescuer being lowered
      • Caution must be exercised to avoid facepiece from becoming dislodged during evolution
  • Employer responsibility
    • Employer responsible for providing at least one attendant outside permit space into which entry authorized for duration of entry operations
    • Employer responsible for designating persons who have active roles in entry operations, identify duties of each, and provide each with training required to function in position
  • Standard operating procedures
    • Fire departments need to develop written SOP's to handle accidents involving confined spaces
    • Emergency services providers fail to recognize hazards associated with confined spaces and rush into dangerous situations
  • Entry permits
    • Entry permits provide step by step instructions for preparing space and personnel for entry
    • Entry permits contain areas pertaining to identity of space, purpose for entry, names of authorized entrants and backup attendant personnel, atmospheric monitoring, space isolation from contents, lockout and tagout of mechanical equipment and provisions for summoning assistance and self rescue
    • Entry permits greatly reduce incidence of injury and fatality
    • Following items must be contained in entry permit:
      • Permit space to be entered
      • Purpose of entry
      • Date and authorized duration of entry permit
      • Authorized entrants within permit space, by name or by such other means as will enable attendant to determine quickly and accurately, which authorized entrants are inside permit space
      • Personnel, by name, currently serving as attendants
      • Individual, by name, currently serving as entry supervisor, with space for the signature or initials of entry supervisor who originally authorized entry
      • Hazards of permit space to be entered
      • Measures used to isolate permit space and eliminate or control permit space hazards before entry
      • Acceptable entry conditions
      • Results of initial and periodic tests performed, accompanied by names or initials of testers and indication of when tests were performed
      • Rescue and emergency services that can be summoned and means for summoning those services
      • Communication procedures used by authorized entrants and attendants to maintain contact during entry
      • Equipment, such as personal protective equipment, testing equipment, communications equipment, alarm systems, and rescue equipment, to be provided
      • Any other information whose inclusion is necessary, given circumstances of particular space, in order to ensure employee safety
      • Any additional permits, such as hot work, issued to authorize work in permit space
  • Rescue staffing
    • Rescues involving confined space requires specific positions staffed to insure compliance with OSHA regulations
    • Following is listing of duties for each position required for entry into permit space
      • Authorized Entrants:
      • Know hazards that may be faced during entry, including information on mode, signs or symptoms, and consequences of exposure
        • Properly use equipment
        • Communicate with attendant as necessary to enable attendant to monitor entrant status and enable attendant to alert entrants of need to evacuate space
        • Alert attendant whenever entrant recognizes any warning sign or symptom of exposure to dangerous situation or entrant detects prohibited condition
      • Exit from permit space as quickly as possible whenever order to evacuate given by attendant or entry supervisor, entrant recognizes any warning sign or symptom of exposure to dangerous situation, entrant detects prohibited condition, or evacuation alarm activated
      • Attendants:
      • Knows hazards that may be faced during entry, including information on mode, signs or symptoms, and consequences of exposure
        • Aware of possible behavioral effects of hazard exposure in authorized entrants
        • Continuously maintains accurate count of authorized entrants in permit space and ensures that means used to identify authorized entrants accurately identifies who is in permit space
        • Remains outside permit space during entry operations until relieved by another attendant
      • Communicates with authorized entrants as necessary to monitor entrant status and alert entrants of need to evacuate
        • Monitors activities inside and outside space to determine if safe for entrants to remain in space and orders authorized entrants to evacuate permit space immediately when attendant detects prohibited condition, attendant detects behavioral effects of hazards exposure in authorized entrant, attendant detects situation outside space that could endanger authorized, or attendant cannot effectively and safely perform all duties of position
        • Summon rescue and other emergency services as soon as attendant determines that authorized entrants may need assistance to escape from permit space hazards
        • Takes following actions when unauthorized persons approach or enter a permit space while entry underway:
        • Warn unauthorized persons they must stay away from permit space
        • Advise unauthorized persons they must exit immediately if they have entered permit space
        • Inform authorized entrants and entry supervisor if unauthorized persons have entered permit space
        • Performs non-entry rescues as specified by employer's rescue procedures
      • Performs no duties that might interfere with attendant's primary duty to monitor and protect authorized entrants
      • Entry Supervisors:
      • Knows hazards that may be faced during entry, including information on mode, signs or symptoms, and consequences of exposure
        • Verifies, by checking that appropriate entries have been made on permit, that all tests specified by permit have been conducted and that all procedures and equipment specified by permit are in place before endorsing permit and allowing entry to begin
        • Terminates entry and cancels permit
        • Verifies that rescue services are available and that means for summoning them operable
      • Removes unauthorized individuals who enter or who attempt to enter permit space during entry operations
        • Determines, whenever responsibility for permit space entry operation transferred and at intervals dictated by hazards and operations performed within space, that entry operations remain consistent with terms of entry permit and that acceptable entry conditions maintained

  • Following requirements apply to employers who have employees enter permit spaces to perform rescue services:
    • Employer shall ensure that each member of rescue service provided with, and trained to use properly, personal protective equipment and rescue equipment necessary for making rescues from permit spaces
    • Each member of rescue service trained to perform assigned rescue duties
    • Each member of rescue service received training required of authorized entrants
    • Each member of rescue service practices making permit space rescues at least once every 12 months
      • By means of simulated rescue operations in which they remove dummies, manikins, or actual persons from actual permit spaces or from representative permit spaces
      • Representative permit space shall, with respect to opening size, configuration, and accessibility, simulate the types of permit spaces from which rescue to be performed
    • Each member of rescue service shall be trained in basic first-aid and CPR at a minimum
  • When employer arranges to have persons other than host employer's employees perform permit space rescue, host employer shall:
    • Inform rescue service of hazards they may find when called on to perform rescue at host employer's facility
    • Provide rescue service with access to all permit spaces from which rescue may be necessary so that rescue service can develop appropriate rescue plans and practice rescue operations
  • When recovering victim from vertical space, rescuers require some type of mechanical advantage system and elevated anchor point from which to apply mechanical advantage to lift victim
    • When selecting mechanical advantage system to rescue victims, remember that time critical element in successful rescue
    • System that can only be used to lift but cannot be used to lower will require separate system if rescuers must be lowered into confined space
    • If system can apply mechanical advantage to both lift and lower, precious time can be saved in recovery of victim
    • Commercially available winches and hoists can be used to recover victims
    • Several ways of applying mechanical advantage to rope systems such as the Z-rig and piggyback systems
    • Block and tackle can be used to apply mechanical advantage
  • Elevated anchor point must be selected to anchor whatever mechanical advantage system selected when recovering victim in vertical space
    • Anchor points in interior spaces such as tanks and pits can sometimes be found in ceilings of buildings
    • Elevated anchor points can be constructed from ground ladders such as ladder gin and ladder sheerlegs
    • Aerial apparatus can be utilized as anchor points for exterior rescues
    • Tripods commercially available for confined space entry
      • When selecting tripod for rescue and recovery use, look for tripod that is lightweight, adjustable over variety of heights, has multiple points for anchoring mechanical advantage systems, has non slip footing on legs and whose legs lock in open position
      • When using tripod, the strongest point of triangle is where two of sides meet
      • Strongest points in tripod are legs
      • When using tripod apply mechanical advantage in line with one of legs of tripod
  • Retrieval systems shall meet following requirements:
    • Each authorized entrant shall use chest or full body harness, with retrieval line attached at center of entrant's back near shoulder level, or above entrant's head
    • Wristlets may be used in lieu of chest or full body harness if employer can demonstrate that use of a chest or fully body harness not feasible or creates greater hazards and that use of wristlets safest and most effective alternate
    • Other end of retrieval line attached to mechanical device or fixed point outside permit space in such manner that rescue can begin as soon as rescuer becomes aware that rescue necessary
  • Whenever lifting victim where potential for falls exists, second lifeline should be attached to victim
    • Belay line would hold victim from falling should mechanical advantage system fail
    • Belay line should be attached to suitable anchor and belay device and kept free of slack in case of fall
  • When recovering victims, sometimes necessary to reduce dimensions of victim by raising arms above head
    • If victim suspected to have suffered a spinal injury, care must be exercised not to worsen condition by moving victim's limbs
    • In vertical confined space, wristlets used to raise victim's arms
      • Attach separate line, such as tag line or utility line, to wristlets to lift victim
      • Wristlets can be used to maneuver victim in opening while being lifted
    • SKED stretcher, Reeves Sleeve, or similar full or partial body packaging device can be used for vertical rescue of injured persons
    • When recovering victim from horizontal space using the SKED stretcher, victim's arms can be raised over head while being placed in SKED to reduce victim's dimensions

 

Optional: Aerial device vertical and/or horizontal raise and lower if equipment is available.

NOTE: All students are expected to perform all the practical skills to the satisfaction of the evaluators. Assistance should be provided when required.

 


Summary

 

Review:

Confined Space Introduction

 

  • Definitions
  • Hazards
  • Monitoring
  • Harnesses
  • Preparation
  • Rescue

 

Remotivation: Being properly trained and prepared to a confined space rescue, will affect the positive outcome of the emergency. It is important that fire and rescue know not only how the use the equipment to accomplish the rescue but also be familiar with the applicable OSHA regulations. Precaution must also be taken to avoid rescuers becoming victims due to unsafe atmospheres that may be encountered.

Assignment:

 


 

Evaluation

Copyright - 2002 Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute. All rights reserved.

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