Company Name __________________________ Job Name __________________________ Date________
CONFINED SPACE ENTRY - DON'T BE A "DEAD" HERO
You are standing at the top of an open manhole
acting as an attendant for a team of maintenance personnel who have entered a
confined space that required an entry permit. It has been several minutes since
you talked to the crew, but you can peer down into the space and see them.
During your last few checks with them, everything was A-OK.
This time, however, when you yell down to
check on them, you don't get a response. You look inside the hole and you notice
that they are slumped over or leaning up against the wall like they are taking a
You yell for help but know that it will be
some time before a rescue team arrives. Those are your friends down there, and
they need your help. They are real close to the top, why you almost could just
reach down and pull them up. Your pulse is beating and you are breathing hard
from excitement. You're yelling at the workers, trying to arouse them. Something
has to be done . . . so . . . you jump down into the hole.
The rescue team arrives in time to pull your
lifeless body out with the rest. The record will show that you attempted to
rescue your friends and gave your life doing so. Some would say you were a hero.
Yes, but a dead one!
The moral of this scenario is that when you
are an attendant watching over a confined space, your duty is to observe and
assist from above. If you have a tag line on the person inside and can pull them
out without entry, go ahead (but how much dead weight can you lift from below
your feet). If you have the proper rescue tripod, you can winch the victim to
the surface. At no time do you enter the space to attempt rescue. You can wait
until a new attendant arrives, and after you put on the proper rescue equipment
and enter (providing of course you have been trained in rescue procedures). But
you must never .. never .. never abandon your duties as the attendant and
attempt rescue on your own.
You have no idea what the hazards are that
overcame your co-workers. And like the scenario described above, you might wind
up as a DEAD HERO.
Confined spaces can be killers. Know what the
risks are and take appropriate measures to control them. Be sure that air
samples are taken before entry, and as frequently as required by the activities
being conducted. Provide ventilation into the space if required. Use all
personal protective equipment in accordance with the manufacturers directions.
Use your entry permit to log the sample results and the time of test. Have a
rescue plan established before it is needed.
We want you to walk away from all confined
space entry situations. We don't want to carry you away in a body bag. Think
SAFETY and stay ALIVE.
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