Make sure the right personnel are on-site to keep employees safe, minimize worksite risk, and provide peace of mind.

Confined Space Rescue: The Difference Between Life and Death

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.

A permit-required confined space meets these requirements, and also includes one or more of the following:

  • Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere;
  • Contains a material with the potential to engulf someone who enters the space;
  • Has an internal configuration that might cause an entrant to be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor that slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross section; and/or
  • Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazards.

Confined spaces are dangerous, requiring particular attention to prevent harm to the employees that encounter them. Falls, asphyxiation, injuries, and entanglements are just a few of the hazards that workers deal with when working in confined spaces. Typical confined spaces include underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, pits and diked areas, vessels, silos, and other similar locations. 

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), about 2.1M workers enter permit-confined spaces, resulting in approximately 100 deaths per year. Out of 100 deaths investigated by NIOSH, 95% were authorized by supervisors, 85% had a supervisor present, and only 15% of employees had any confined space training. The main reason workers entered the space was to perform routine maintenance, and the most common hazards included atmospheric hazards and loose materials.

Confined space entry can be made far safer when proper protocols are followed, and all parties work to improve confined space awareness. To protect employees from harm, a company may choose to employ a confined space attendant, or a confined space rescue team.

A confined space attendant is an individual that remains outside the confined space to monitor the employee within, guard against others entering the space without authorization, and calls in a rescue if necessary. An attendant keeps track of potential hazards, and is also responsible for record-keeping regarding confined space activities.

A different, but related option is the confined space rescue team. These teams are trained, providing critical rescue services during work conducted in a permit-required confined space. A confined space rescue team will evaluate a site before work commences, creating rescue and contingency plans in case of an emergency. They will note whether an employee at risk can exit the zone without assistance, or if they can be reached by an attendant. 

Confined space rescue teams will also calculate response and rescue times, practicing the necessary rescue procedures to avoid any additional stress or confusion when an emergency occurs. 

SITEX Confined Space Technicians offer:

  • At a minimum: medical training of first aid, CPR and AED (EMT’s also available)
  • Full-time, experienced rescue professionals
  • Nationwide availability
  • Evaluation, pre-planning and pre-rigging each rescue job for fast responses and safe work environments

Address Specific Confined Space Rescue Challenges

SITEX helps customers reduce risk and liability while keeping workers safe with in-depth expertise around confined space rescue.

No Rescue Training
Many local emergency services are not equipped for confined space rescue.
A Lack of Evaluation
Teams must not only evaluate their site but also their rescue team to be sure of everyone’s roles.
No Time to Practice
Having a written rescue plan is useless without ample amounts of practice.

No Substitute for a Dedicated Confined Space Rescue Team

Many worksites use local emergency services for assistance but even OSHA has stated that not all emergency responders are trained or equipped to conduct confined space rescues. And while OSHA has set up useful guidelines for employers and emergency service providers for confined space rescue, it’s not a complete substitute for a trained confined space rescue team.

With a rescue team at hand, there is no more worrying around if a team is fully equipped, trained, and ready to act in any situation. SITEX’s confined space rescue technicians are experienced professionals who not only have the training needed to provide a safe environment for workers, but they also stay up on the latest best practices through continuing education and practice. Remember, just because a rescue team can be part of your team or a local emergency response team, doesn’t mean they should be given the circumstances.

Never Second Guess Worker Safety

Businesses need to be prepared for increased OSHA inspections in 2021 and the addition of wearables and adaptable PPEs.
A 2021 executive order has been signed for COVID-19 prevention requirements on sites and will be enforced under OSHA regulations.
2021 will see an increase of projects as 2020 saw temporary halts but that work still needs to be completed in a timely and safe way.


The SITEX Difference

Confined space rescue teams can be made up of current employees, sub-contractors, or even local emergency responders. However, none of those options offer the experience and level of training that SITEX confined space rescue teams have. SITEX has deep industry experience ensuring safety compliance, reducing risk, and protecting workers with certified experts, proven solutions, training, and equipment for any industry.

SITEX is proud to offer our customers:

  • Trained and certified experts who bring deep understandings of confined space rescue as well as worksite safety and environmental safety
  • Access to a full team of experts and industry knowledge when you bring SITEX on board

A deep investment in personnel and technology so that our customers can save their own time and money

Reduce Risk and Liability While Keeping Employees Safe

Every job comes with safety and rescue requirements. Failing to meet those regulations can do more than cost companies time and money, it can also lead to injuries or fatalities. In this competitive industry, losing employees due to untrained or unequipped rescue teams is unacceptable.

No matter how unique the challenge may be, SITEX can help. We invest in certified personnel and advanced equipment so that our clients don’t have to. Clients that work with SITEX gain access to our entire team and the latest expertise around safety, rescue, hazmat, and environmental challenges.

See the full offering of services from SITEX including:

  • Safety and rescue services that make sure every employee is able to go home safe and sound
  • Environmental and Industrial Hygiene services to navigate any environmental circumstances and keep employees safe
  • Regulation expertise to help reduce risk and liability around state and federal regulations
  • Emergency services to identify areas that require specific preparation plans, training, and standby equipment for any situation