Emergency Procedures and First Aid for Confined Spaces

It is extremely important that when workers enter a confined space, that emergency procedures and first aid are established prior to that entry.

Watch the video below to hear Laurie discuss this topic:


When things go wrong in a confined space, people may be exposed to serious and immediate danger, so it is important that we have procedures in place and practiced prior to that entry.

Effective arrangements for raising the alarm and carrying out the rescue operations must be established and are essential.

In developing emergency procedures, it is important that we consider each of the following.

1. Location

What's it's geographical location? Is a close to ambulances? is it close to fire brigade? Are first aid facilities available? All of these needs to be considered.


2. Communications

How do they communicate from within the space to a standby person if an emergency situation occurs? How does an individual raise the alarm with a standby person if they're in the confined space on their own?


3. Raising the alarm

If there is an emergency out of hours on site can emergency services such as the fire brigade access the site?

What sort of emergencies can occur in the confined space? Can a person collapse?  Is it possible for a contaminated atmosphere?


4. Rescue and Resuscitation Equipment

Does the individual need to wear self-contained breathing apparatus? Does the rescue person need to have access to self-contained breathing apparatus? Do we need to have a tripod in place? Does the worker need to be attached to a harness?


5. Training and Capabilities of Workers

What training has been provided to the rescuers? Have they been trained in all of the rescue equipment? Do they know how to use the harnesses? Do they know how to use tripods? Do they know how to use their self-contained breathing apparatus?


6. First Aid

What first aid responses are available? Are all the rescuers trained in first aid? Do they know how to use the AED's? are AED's available?


7. Emergency Services

Have the local emergency services been advised of the type of confined spaces you have in your workplace? Have they got the capabilities of recovering somebody from a confined space? Are they going to be able to provide you with assistance? Or do you need to have your own emergency procedures without dependence on emergency services?


All of these things must be considered when creating the emergency procedures related to confined spaces.


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