60% of all deaths in Confined Spaces are Rescuers, Including Firefighters!!!!
Why? Most are due to hazardous materials inhalation or asphyxiation. Most so-called Con-Space Rescues are body recoveries. OSHA will come on-site and investigate. The desire to rush in and help must be tempered by an appreciation of the hazards.
What is a confined space? Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; and Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy
What is a “permit-required” confined space? Contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; Contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant;
What is a “permit-required” confined space? (cont’d) Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section; or Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.
What does a confined space look like? silos tanks bins vaults tunnels trenches storm sewers sanitary sewers
Trenching results in confined spaces. A trench is a narrow excavation below the ground. Trenches are typically deeper than they are wide; however, the width of a trench is less than 15 feet. Employees must follow all the requirements associated with confined spaces when working within trenches. (OSHA Directive)
Hazards Engulfment Chemical Atmospheric Temperature Electrical Mechanical Hydraulic Diverging/Converging walls Entrapment Entanglement Gravity
Case Studies A 41-year-old male painter (the victim) suffered burn injuries from an explosion which occurred while he was painting the inside of a 1,300-gallon tank. He died 5 days later. A 32-year-old male painter (co-worker) stationed outside the tank suffered burns and a broken arm.
Case Studies An industrial meter reader employed by a mid-sized city in Ohio began his workday as usual at 7:30 a.m. He did not return to the garage at quitting time (4:00 p.m.) and was found face down in a meter vault at 6:45 p.m.
Case Studies A 31-year-old male assistant construction supervisor (victim) entered an oxygen-deficient manhole to close a valve and collapsed at the bottom. In a rescue attempt a labor foreman (male, age 34) and the victim's supervisor (male, age 36) entered the manhole and also collapsed. All three workers were pronounced dead at the scene by the county coroner.
Case Studies A father and son inspection team, under contract to a petroleum company, were inspecting the seals between the internal panels of a floating roof and the sides of a 150,000 barrel storage tank containing regular gasoline. At 12:30 p.m. the victim's father contacted the yard office and reported that his son was 7 minutes overdue. At 2:30 p.m. the victim's body was located on the opposite side of the tank on top of the floating roof. By 4:30 p.m. a rescue team removed the victim from inside the tank. He was pronounced dead at the scene
Case Studies One police officer and two sewer workers died in an attempt to rescue a third sewer worker, who had been overcome by sewer gas at the bottom of an underground pumping station. All four persons were pronounced dead upon removal from the station.
Ask Yourself - Is this a rescue or recovery? What went wrong? If they knew what they were doing, why are you here? Is entry necessary? Can the task be completed from the outside?
Ask Yourself - Has a confined space safe entry permit been issued by the company? Have I been trained for confined space entry & rescue? Do I have any idea what to do?
Ask Yourself - If entry is to be made, has the air quality in the confined space been tested for safety based on the following criteria: Flammable range less than 10% of the lower explosive limit Absence of toxic air contaminants. Oxygen supply at least 19.5%
Ask Yourself - Have I been trained in the selection and use of: protective clothing respiratory protection air monitoring retrieval systems lifelines ventilation systems
Ask Yourself - Has the space been isolated from these hazards: electrical thermal mechanical pneumatic hydraulic chemical engulfment falls
Initial Actions Identify number and location of victims Summon additional resources Isolate the outside area Drain, clean or purge any HazMat In case of collapse, stop vibrations Isolate all energy sources Use PPE Ventilate
Initial Actions Ventilate Isolate engulfment hazards Ventilate Attempt Non-Entry Rescue/Recovery Did I mention ventilate? Consider Decon If successful, you now have an EMS scene. If not, a possible crime scene.