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Confined Space Rescue

SAS has dedicated confined space rescue teams who work alongside clients to ensure that confined space activities are fully covered by a bespoke rescue system.

What is Confined Space Rescue?

Confined Space Rescue is a specialised field of rescue operations that focuses on the safe retrieval of individuals from confined spaces. A confined space can be any area that is not designed for continuous human occupancy and has limited entries and exits, posing unique risks to those working within them.

Examples of confined spaces

Confined spaces can include a wide variety of environments such as silos, gasifiers, sewers, storage tanks, pipelines, mines, caves, and more. The complexities of these environments often pose unique challenges and risks, including restricted access, poor ventilation, hazardous substances, or the potential for collapse. As a result, ensuring the safety of personnel operating within such environments is critical.

With the inherent risks associated with confined spaces, it’s essential to have a designated Emergency Rescue Team (ERT) on standby during the duration of any confined space work. This provides reassurance that, in the event of an incident, a professional, swift, and safe response can be launched immediately.

Comprehensive Planning and Risk Assessment

Before any confined space work commences, we step in to assist with meticulous planning and risk assessments. Undertaking work in confined spaces necessitates both. This is a fundamental requirement stipulated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). By providing an Emergency Rescue Team (ERT), we take on the critical top man duties, enabling your team to focus on their core tasks.

As per the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997, it is necessary to identify the risks and prepare for potential emergencies when performing work in confined spaces. Specialised Access Solutions excels in assisting with this critical preparatory phase.

There is a legal obligation to have a designated Emergency Rescue Team (ERT) on standby, as relying solely on the 999 emergency services isn’t considered adequate provision under HSE guidelines. Our teams are able to step in to fulfil these top man duties, ensuring that your team can focus on their essential work, knowing a dedicated safety net is in place.

Total Health & Safety Executive Compliance

As an IRATA Operating Member company, we have a comprehensive understanding of HSE’s requirements for confined space work. We not only assist with compliance but also go above and beyond what’s required by the legislation to ensure the safety of all personnel involved. We’re familiar with the relevant sections of the legislation, including but not limited to Regulation 4 (Work in confined spaces) and Regulation 5 (Emergency arrangements).

Specifically, regulation 5 requires that:

“no one should enter or work in a confined space unless there are emergency arrangements in place that are appropriate for the level of risk involved in the task/space. These should include making provision for extracting workers from the confined space and making provision for first-aid equipment (including resuscitation equipment) where the need can be foreseen”

Our approach to risk assessment ensures all potential hazards are identified and addressed, and suitable measures are put in place to mitigate these risks. This includes the necessary rescue provisions as required under Regulation 5 of the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997.

The importance of Emergency Rescue Provision

It’s impossible to emphasise enough the importance of having an ERT during confined space work. The HSE clearly states that it is unacceptable to rely solely on the 999 emergency services for potential confined space rescues.

Specialised Access Solutions provide expertly trained ERTs who are not only well-versed in confined space work but also have specialised training in rescue procedures and years of experience. Our teams ensure that should an emergency arise, a quick, professional response is immediately at hand.

Round-the-clock Rescue Coverage

The nature of confined space work often requires continuous operation, which can span across day and night. Recognising this requirement, we offer round-the-clock rescue coverage, providing reassurance that safety measures are in place at all times.

Why is continuous rescue coverage required?

Confined space work does not always adhere to the conventional 9 to 5 working hours. There are situations where operations need to continue throughout the night, during weekends, or even on public holidays. Any interruption in the availability of an Emergency Rescue Team (ERT) during these times can potentially put lives at risk.

In line with the Health & Safety Executive’s guidelines, an ERT must be on standby for the entire duration of the confined space work. This is to ensure that if an emergency does arise, an immediate and professional confined space rescue response can be launched at any time.

Our Approach to Providing 24/7 Rescue Coverage

We ensure that our ERT services are not compromised due to shift changes or staff fatigue. We achieve this by having several sets of teams that work in shifts, providing seamless coverage.

As one team concludes their shift, another one, equally trained and ready, steps in. This system guarantees that a fresh team is always at hand, thereby maintaining our high safety and efficiency standards at all times.

Through this approach, we ensure uninterrupted safety coverage offering full peace of mind to our clients and demonstrating our total commitment to safety in confined space work.

Bespoke Rescue Systems

Given the varied and complex nature of confined spaces, a one-size-fits-all approach to rescue planning can be ineffective. We offer bespoke rescue systems tailored to each specific scenario.

Tailored Rescue Solutions

Every confined space work scenario is unique and brings with it distinct challenges. These can range from the physical layout of the confined space, the type of work being conducted, the number of personnel involved, to other potential risks identified during the planning and risk assessment phase.

Our teams take all these factors into account when designing a bespoke rescue system. By doing so, we ensure the rescue solutions are perfectly suited to your specific operation, minimising risk.

Rescue Systems Provision

We utilise a wide array of rescue systems, all designed to tackle different situations effectively. These can range from simple systems like tripods and winches for vertical confined spaces, to complex high-directional systems for horizontal or irregularly shaped confined spaces.

We also use a variety of specialised equipment such as stretchers and hauling systems for victim extraction, as well as fall arrest systems to ensure the safety of our rescuers. All these systems are meticulously selected and configured by our expertly trained technicians to best suit the rescue requirements of the job at hand.

As an IRATA Operating Member company, all of our equipment is regularly inspected, maintained and documented rigourously, giving total confidence that our kit will always perform as expected.

Continuous Training and Development

Our technicians are not only trained in using these rescue systems, but they also participate in continuous professional development. They are always updated with the latest techniques and equipment in the industry. This continuous learning ensures that we are always at the forefront of rescue solutions, ready to tackle any challenge that comes our way.

Multi-Disciplined Expertise

Confined space rescue operations require a wide range of skills and disciplines to ensure a swift, safe, and effective response to emergencies. We pride ourselves on having a multi-disciplinary team that is equipped to handle a wide range of scenarios.

Why it’s important to have a diverse team

Confined space rescue scenarios can vary greatly in their physical configurations, the tasks being carried out, and the potential risks involved.

From vertical rescues in silos or towers, to horizontal rescues in tunnels, pipelines or caves, different scenarios require different techniques and skills. Our teams are adept at handling a broad range of scenarios, ensuring a rapid, professional response regardless of the situation or configuration of the confined space.

Our Expertise

Our ERT personnel come from a variety of backgrounds, each bringing a unique set of skills to the table. Some of the disciplines we cover include:

  • Rope Access Technicians - Specialised in high angle and difficult-to-reach rescues, they possess IRATA certification and are highly skilled in the use of rope systems for rescue operations.
  • Confined Space Specialists - These team members have extensive training in operating within tight, enclosed spaces and are familiar with the unique challenges that such environments present.
  • First Aid Practitioners - All of our teams are trained in emergency medical response and can provide immediate first aid, stabilising victims until more comprehensive medical assistance arrives.

By having a team that’s comprised of so many different disciplines, we ensure a minimal-risk approach to confined space rescue, prepared for any eventuality. Coupled with our robust training programmes and total adherence to HSE guidelines, we provide a high-quality, professional service in every operation.

IRATA Operating Member

Specialised Access Solutions is proud to be an IRATA Operating Member company. This significant accreditation stands as a testament to our commitment to maintaining the highest standards in the industry and ensuring the utmost safety of our clients.

Assurance of Quality and Safety

IRATA, the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association, is a globally recognised body that sets the standard for rope access safety and efficiency worldwide. Its rigorous membership criteria demand that all member companies adhere to strict safety standards and work procedures, ensuring clients that they are entrusting their operations to a competent, reliable provider.

All IRATA Operating Members are subjected to regular audits to verify that they continue to meet the stringent safety and operational standards set by the association. These audits scrutinise everything from the safety procedures and training protocols of the company, to the condition and maintenance of the equipment used.

Choosing an IRATA Operating Member

When you choose an IRATA Operating Member like Specialised Access Solutions for your confined space rescue needs, you’re choosing a provider whose safety protocols, equipment, and training programmes are regularly evaluated and approved by a leading industry authority.

This membership provides our clients with the assurance that they are working with a company that prioritises safety and professionalism above all else. It gives them peace of mind knowing that they are partnering with a provider that not only talks about safety but has the accreditations to back it up.

Our IRATA membership is not just a badge we wear with pride, but a promise of quality, safety, and professional service that we deliver to all of our clients.

Looking for rope access Confined Space Rescue? Specialised Access Solutions have teams ready to mobilise now.

Give us a call on 0151 268 6182, E-Mail us at [email protected] or complete our contact form.

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