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How to Save Someone from a Confined Space

A confined space is someplace where people are not supposed to be in for any length of time, like a pipe, a water tank, or down in a well. Most times, people are down there for repair reasons and its normally a simple in and out procedure. However, when those same people end up getting stuck, it can turn into a major headache.

There is specialized confined space rescue training most employees of companies have to take, but if you don’t have it, then you can still effectively mount a rescue if you need too. It just takes a little extra know-how. First, if you are the one enclosed in a confined space, you should have an idea of how to perform self-rescue. Even if you never use it, you should know how to exit the space quickly in the case of an emergency. If you can save yourself, it will provide the fastest means of rescue for you.

However, if you cannot, or if you are outside of the space while someone else is inside, then you need to try another method. First, try to see if you can get something inside the confined space like a rope or a harness that the trapped person can use. Always try a non-entry rescue and exhaust all options before sending someone else inside.

Entry rescues, where someone goes inside the space to rescue an employee, is something that should only be done as a last resort. Send someone inside, preferably attached to a rope or harness, and then have them locate the trapped individual. Then they can hopefully get the trapped person free. The addition of another person into the space should be treated with caution to ensure the problem doesn’t get bigger, but once both people are out, the risk should be worth it.