When Do You Need a Confined Space Rescue Team?

Depending on the work being done by your team, a confined space rescue team may be necessary. Beyond just knowing when you need a confined space rescue team, working with an experienced one is critical. The need for proper rescue equipment and a knowledgeable team is doubled when dealing with confined spaces

Having the right people on-site will not only keep employees safe but it will also minimize worksite risk and lower the potential for litigation down the line.

Does The Site Have These Conditions?

Knowing if your job site is in need of a confined space rescue team is as simple as understanding what a confined space is. 

OSHA defines a confined space as one that has all three of these characteristics:

  • It is large enough for an employee to enter fully and perform assigned work
  • It is not designed for continuous occupancy by the employee; and
  • It has limited or restricted means of entry or exit

If any of these situations are met by your site, a confined space rescue team is almost certainly needed. Think about it this way, if an employee became unconscious due to an injury, environmental hazards, or other circumstances, could your team remove them safely without having to enter a tight, closed-off space? 

If the answer to that question is no, then having a confined space rescue team on-site or on standby is needed. Confined spaces create dangerous environments for employees to work in and must be taken seriously. The risk of falls, asphyxiation, injuries, and entanglements are just some hazards that workers deal with in confined spaces. 

Tanks, storage bins, pits, and silos are examples of confined spaces that teams should be aware of before starting any work. That way, you’ll already know if you need a rescue team at the ready and won’t be rushing to get one while the work is already in progress.

On-Site or Standby Confined Space Rescue

When it comes to confined space rescue, clients can hire them as on-site teams or as a standby service that can respond in a timely manner. If the jobsite has permit required confined spaces with IDHL atmospheres, they will need on-site confined space rescue teams at all times. 

Other sites that have a potential for entrapment may be able to use standby teams instead, but they must be close by so they can respond in a timely manner. Typically that means less than a 5 minute response time or being at the site for more difficult situations. 

The SITEX team has a deep knowledge of confined spaces. There are intangible benefits to having an on-site team such as being able to talk over rescue plans and assess risks in real-time versus just having a team at the ready if something goes wrong. Being proactive about confined space dangers is a great way to keep employees safe and comfortable that they are protected in dangerous situations. 

Our team also has extensive knowledge of the full EH&S space, enabling clients to take advantage of those learnings beyond just confined space. For example, if additional safety or industrial hygiene challenges arise on the site while our confined space team is there, they may be able to get clients in touch with other SITEX professionals who can help. This kind of knowledge base goes beyond the scope of confined space rescue and is something we are proud to offer all our clients.

Outsourced Teams Save Time and Money

While it’s possible to hire and train an in-house confined space rescue team, it can be costly and time consuming. Many of our employees have years of experience and on-the-job training in the rescue space that can’t be easily taught in a short period of time. Clients may also wish to use the budget required for such an internal team on other projects or equipment to make the lives of their employees easier. 

In this situation, outsourcing confined space rescue services is a great option. Working with SITEX will help clients avoid the six-figure OSHA fines that come with violating confined space requirements. We also offer equipment rentals and always pre-plan with our clients to make sure they have what they need to keep employees safe and costs down.

Contact us today to discuss any confined space rescue challenges you may have.