Monday, March 7, 2011
Preparing for Confined Spaces
Confined space fatalities are totally preventable. Over the last three years, the annual average fatality rate is over 100 deaths. If these deaths are preventable, then why are there still people dying in confined spaces? I believe that there are several key factors as to why. First, there is a "mentality" of the would be rescuer. Believing that one can save another persons life under any condition is naive. Professional rescuers train continuously on a wide range of equipment and potential scenarios. It is unlikely that a "layman" rescuer has the equipment, training or ability to conduct a rescue requiring vessel entry. It is hard to stand by and do nothing, but that is what it takes to save your own life. Your family and friends depend on it. Second, some facilities do not have proper policies or procedures to instruct the worker as to what are acceptable actions. Without guidance, a person will do what he or she believes is the best course of action. Finally, do the workers have the proper training on the procedures and equipment that they are being asked to use. Any loss of life or injury involving confined spaces is tragic; these incidents are totally preventable.