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Thread: Confined Space

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    Default Confined Space

    Gents,
    Looking for opinions as to when is it permissable to come off the main line within a confined space. Many different thoughts have been thrown out there. Anybody know if there is a NFPA standard that addresses this? Personally I am not an advocate for coming off the main line and expecting to be hauled out on the safety if something goes bad. Any ideas? JL


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    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    If you don't come off the main line, how do you haul a patient up, lower a second rescuer down or go searching for a person?
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    I believe that if the use of an entry/retrieval line would increase the overall risk of the entry you could go without. This has been a topic of discussion multiple times during classes and as a rescuer to send someone in without a line can be hard to accept.I recently dealt with this exact problem on the industry side of things. I could be wrong here so I'll be eager to hear everybody's thoughts on this topic.
    Great Post,
    Mike Donahue
    "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

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    Drew,
    Some depts will butterfly two rescuers together on the main. Some also butterfly the safety. Depending on the space we will sometimes rig a seperate main line for victim removal

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    Mike,
    Very true statement in the hot topic of discussion. In my experience as a rescuer we come off the main if the environment is safe. As an instructor many students ask if there are regulations that address this. As of today I haven't been able to find any which is why I posed this question to the group. I figured I would try to see how other areas of the country do it. I am in NYS where this topic is a grey area. JL

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    Moderator ProgressiveRescue's Avatar
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    You can always come off the main line. I think your question may be referring to a rescuers belay line. As long as your on belay you can come off the main line anytime. My original post was geared more towards the industry side where they usually only have one rope or cable attached to them.
    Mike
    "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

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    Default Immediate means of Retrieval

    OSHA 1910.146 states "Harnesses and retrieval lines
    Authorized entrants who enter a permit space must wear a chest
    or full body harness with a retrieval line attached to the center of
    their backs near shoulder level or above their heads. Wristlets may
    be used if the employer can demonstrate that the use of a chest
    or full body harness is not feasible or creates a greater hazard.
    Also, the employer must ensure that the other end of the
    retrieval line is attached to a mechanical device or a fixed point
    outside the permit space. A mechanical device must be available
    to retrieve someone from vertical type permit spaces more than
    five feet (1.524 meters) deep."
    Anytime someone breaks the plane, enters a confined space you must have a retrieval line attached. It states nothing of the mainline. In addition, anytime someone enters said space, YOU MUST HAVE a "means of immediate retrieval. So if I lower someone on the mainline and have a belay line attached as well I have to have a M/A anchored ready to go. That M/A could be anything. You could attach the M/A to the belay line if needed (mainline incapacitated) and haul.

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    Default Confined space

    This is the portion of the OSHA 1910.146 standard concerning retrieval systems. The first sentence is not discussed very often. Jl266 this may address your question. I agree that during a horizontal CS engagement, a retrieval line should be attached to all entrants, unless extreme conditions (entanglements etc.) create a greater hazard.

    1910.146(k)(3)

    1910.146(k)(3)
    To facilitate non-entry rescue, retrieval systems or methods shall be used whenever an authorized entrant enters a permit space, unless the retrieval equipment would increase the overall risk of entry or would not contribute to the rescue of the entrant. Retrieval systems shall meet the following requirements.
    1910.146(k)(3)(i)
    Each authorized entrant shall use a chest or full body harness, with a retrieval line attached at the center of the entrant's back near shoulder level, above the entrant's head, or at another point which the employer can establish presents a profile small enough for the successful removal of the entrant. Wristlets may be used in lieu of the chest or full body harness if the employer can demonstrate that the use of a chest or full body harness is infeasible or creates a greater hazard and that the use of wristlets is the safest and most effective alternative.
    1910.146(k)(3)(ii)
    The other end of the retrieval line shall be attached to a mechanical device or fixed point outside the permit space in such a manner that rescue can begin as soon as the rescuer becomes aware that rescue is necessary. A mechanical device shall be available to retrieve personnel from vertical type permit spaces more than 5 feet (1.52 m) deep

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    Forum Member bburton's Avatar
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    1910.146(k)(3)

    To facilitate non-entry rescue, retrieval systems or methods shall be used whenever an authorized entrant enters a permit space, unless the retrieval equipment would increase the overall risk of entry or would not contribute to the rescue of the entrant.

    This applies to your "retrieval line" that is used to maintain your tether to the outside attendant(s). If you are inquiring as to the haul system, then as long as you have this retrieval system you are in compliance excluding the portion above. Rsoup72's post is from this same section regarding retrieval systems.

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    This is much more arguable during trench ops... Conspace really should have the retrieval but I like to have the guys ride the retrieval line with a TWP so they move along the line independently and share the line. Keeps it a little cleaner. The big argument is during a deep trench you are actually supposed to have "fall protection" until you get to the bottom, then you can remove the line. Some teach retrieval lines some leave them completely out.

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    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmhinkle View Post
    This is much more arguable during trench ops... Conspace really should have the retrieval but I like to have the guys ride the retrieval line with a TWP so they move along the line independently and share the line. Keeps it a little cleaner. The big argument is during a deep trench you are actually supposed to have "fall protection" until you get to the bottom, then you can remove the line. Some teach retrieval lines some leave them completely out.
    Honestly in trench, the tag line is more so your team can find you if the worst happens anyways. Please don't try to pull me out with an MA if a ton of dirt falls on me!
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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