rescue in confined spaces
It is important that emergency measures are provided and implemented. It is useless to establish a rescue team if the individuals are not appointed, trained, and equipped. Key criteria include:
- Rescuers must ensure their own safety.
- The rescue must be quick, but not rushed or unsafe
- Injured parties must receive breathable air quickly.
- It must be determined if the injured need urgent medical assistance.
Various elements must also be made available:
- Stairs should have anchor lines for anti-fall devices.
- Tripods and davits with retractable fall arrest system devices.
- Fall arrest harnesses.
- Descenders or descent devices for self-rescue.
- Portable ladders or telescoping brackets attachable to the top of fixed staircases.
- Semi-autonomous breathing apparatus, preferably a coupled device with an extra mask for accident victims.
- Resuscitation masks, preferably with oxygen.
- Fire-fighting equipment (fire extinguishers, preferably multipurpose powder types A, B, C, and fire blankets.)
- First-aid kits (fracture splints, tourniquets, bandages, dressings, disinfectants, etc.).
The key aspects of Spanish legislation are the following: Article 20 of the Health and Safety at Work Act establishes the obligation to install the above measures; Article 7 of Royal Decree 374/2001 (6 April) regulates the use of chemical products; Annex IV Part A of 4 of Royal Decree 1627/97 regulates construction requirements; Annex II Point 2.7 of Royal Decree 681/2003 (12 June) regulates work in explosive environments; Articles 10 and Annex VI of Royal Decree 486/1997 regulate safety in workplaces. Guide to Inspecting Confined Spaces, Spanish Directorate-General for Work and Social Security.
The procedures following an accident are based on the following points: "gather information from the confined space and situation; signal the area; identify and control risks; test the atmosphere (gas detection, measurement procedure); assess ventilation, access, first aid, rescue requirements; then finalise the rescue.’ Confined Space Rescue, Delfin Delgado.”