Does my worksite need a confined space rescue team?

While even 1 on the job death is too many, nearly 14 American workers die at work every single day, according to statistics from the United States Department of Labor. Unfortunately, many of these deaths occur in new construction areas or confined spaces. For this reason, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) updated its safety guidance for the construction and repair of confined spaces requiring companies who do this type of work to have confined space rescue teams in place.

Confined space rescue teams may seem like a new concept, but the new rules have been in place since 2015. Some companies utilize safety compliance professionals to ensure compliance with federal guidelines and reduce the risk for their workers.

If this leaves you wondering whether your company should be utilizing confined space rescue teams, then it probably should. Here’s what you need to know.

What risks are associated with working in confined spaces?

The risks associated with working in confined spaces are many and they aren’t always obvious. While workers getting stuck is certainly one of the greater risks, it isn’t the only one. Many risks aren’t always apparent and that is when workers can get into trouble.

Working in tight, cramped spaces means workers run the risk of running out of oxygen. Many times, workers may enter a confined space to complete work. By the time they realize that their oxygen levels are inadequate they don’t have enough strength to get out. The risk of asphyxiation and death dramatically increases and is sometimes unavoidable.

Poisonous gasses are another unforeseen danger in confined spaces. Toxic gasses, such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide, are virtually undetectable. By the time workers figure out one of their teammates may be suffering from exposure to toxic fumes, it is often too late.

Safety Compliance Consulting

When deciding whether your company needs confined space rescue teams, it may help to consult with a safety compliance consultant. They will help you map out your worksite, risk areas, and exits to create a worthy risk profile for workers in certain areas or the entire jobsite.

Once a risk profile is created for your company, then you can consider how confined space rescue teams may access trapped workers and help remove them from hazardous areas. You’ll consider the possible equipment needed, controls, anchor points, and many other factors which may possibly be utilized by confined space rescue teams.

Confined Space Rescue Teams

You never know when work in a confined space can turn deadly. Once you have confined space rescue teams in place, you’ll need to run drills to ensure your team can conduct a rescue quickly and safely. Many different types of companies can benefit from confined space rescue teams which are put in place for the safety of workers who may be at risk.

If you aren’t sure whether your company needs confined space rescue teams, then you probably do. You can contract with a safety compliance consultant to find out if you’re right and ensure compliance with federal law. Once you’ve put confined space rescue teams in place, conduct drills and enforce the utilization of safety equipment. This is the best way to ensure the safety of your team, your employees, and your company.

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