A confined space is an area that has limited space and openings for entry and exit. In practical terms, they can be silos, tunnels, rail freight cars, and vats. These areas will make movement limited, and the risk of becoming trapped inside them is very high.
As a rope rescue technician, you will be expected to understand the nature of confined work and need the ability to respond quickly, carefully, and rationally. Here are a few essential topics you must keep in mind when undergoing confined space rescue training.
Hazard Recognition: Situational awareness will save lives. Before entering a confined space, you must recognize the myriad factors that affect your ability to work in them. Hazardous gases, liquids, and even physical barriers or structural characteristics all pose a threat. Being aware of your surroundings and what is in them makes a difference.
Equipment and Rescue: Preparedness and coordination are the foundations of successful rescue efforts. You will need the right personal protective equipment and proficiency in your tools. Likewise, each member of the rescue team should understand their roles in the operation.
Human Factors: There is no substitute for training. It builds skills, familiarity, and confidence. In exchange, it can also foster complacency. Part of your confined space rescue training should also factor in your headspace. In other words, you and your teammates must refine your sense of focus. By recognizing the possibility of complacency and how it can affect your work, you will take proactive steps in reducing the risk of a failed operation.
Rescue operations from confined spaces have different risks. When training for these types of operations, always remember to be aware of the ultimate goal: to save lives.