Confined Space Rescue: The Difference Between Life and Death

Confined spaces are dangerous. They require planning and preparation to prevent harm to the employees that enter them. Falls, asphyxiation, injuries, and entanglements are just a few of the hazards that workers deal with in confined spaces. Confined spaces include underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, vessels, silos, and similar locations.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), about 2.1M workers enter permit-confined spaces every year. Confined space incidents result in approximately 100 deaths per year. Out of 100 the deaths investigated by NIOSH, only 15% of the employees had any confined space training.

The main reason workers enter the confined space space is to perform routine maintenance. The most common hazards include atmospheric hazards and loose materials.

Confined Space Rescue Services

Having the right personnel at the right place at the right time is what SITEX Safety Rescue Services are all about. Our teams have the expertise to pre-plan confined space entry and the experience to oversee potentially dangerous work-place tasks. SITEX offers the personnel and equipment that it takes to mitigate the risks posed by confined spaces.

On-Site Rescue Services

  • Rescue team staffing for any rescue job, 2-10 person teams
  • Confined space & high angle technician
  • Minimum medical training of first aid, CPR & AED (EMT’s available)
  • Full-time, experienced rescue professionals
  • Evaluation, pre-planning and pre-rigging each rescue job
  • Confined Space Assessment and Rescue Plans
  • Complete inventory and classification of all confined spaces within your facility
  • Compliance with OSHA 1910.146 requirements
  • Pre-planning the most effective and efficient means of rescue in case of emergency

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Is Your Site Considered a Confined Space by OSHA 1910 Standards?​

Regulations change. It’s important to know whether or not your worksite is considered a confined space under current definitions. 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

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Safety Crew Overlooking Job Site

Confined Space Rescue Team Duties

Mitigate the risks of confined space entry by following proper protocols. All parties who work in confined spaces should be trained in confined space awareness. Protect employees from harm by ensuring that experienced confined space attendants or confined space rescue team are on-site

A confined space rescue team provides critical rescue services during work in a permit-required confined space. The team will evaluate a site before work commences, create rescue and contingency plans, and monitor job progress in case of an emergency.

Confined space rescue teams are trained to calculate response and rescue times, practice the necessary rescue procedures, and execute rescues when an emergency occurs. Duties for specific team members include:


These team members are authorized to enter confined spaces to perform rescue procedures. They know the hazards associated with the job. They are able to recognize signs of exposure and operate safely in hazardous environments.


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.


Supervisors represent the employer at the confined space. They have the same training as rescuers and rescue attendants. They know the hazards involved. They are responsible for validating safe entry conditions and verifying emergency plans. Tank entry supervisors have specific training relevant to the hazards posed by those environments. They are especially crucial for reducing risk and improving safety when tank entry is required.

There is No Substitute for a Dedicated Confined Space Rescue Team

Many companies rely on local emergency services for assistance.  OSHA has stated that not all emergency responders are trained or equipped to conduct confined space rescues.

OSHA has set up useful guidelines for employers and emergency service providers to follow for confined space rescue. Guidelines aren’t a substitute for a trained confined space rescue team.

With an experienced rescue team, you’ll know that your confined space entrants are protected.. SITEX’s confined space rescue technicians are experienced professionals. They have the training needed to provide a safe environment for workers.

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.

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

The SITEX Difference

SITEX has deep industry experience. We ensure safety compliance and reduce risk for our clients. We protect workers with certified experts, proven solutions, training, and the right equipment for any job in any industry.

When confined space rescue teams are made up of current employees, sub-contractors, or even local emergency responders, there’s no guarantee that they can offer the experience and training that SITEX confined space rescue teams have.

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

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