A standby person should be assigned to remain on the outside of the confined space and be in constant contact (visual or speech) with the workers inside. The standby person should not have any other duties but to serve as standby and know who should be notified in case of emergency. Standby personnel should not enter a confined space until help arrives, and then only with proper protective equipment, life lines, and respirators.

Over 50% of the workers who die in confined spaces are attempting to rescue other workers. Rescuers must be trained in and follow established emergency procedures and use appropriate equipment and techniques (liftines, respiratory protection, standby persons, etc.). Steps for safe rescue should be included in all confined space entry procedures. Rescue should be well planned and drills should be frequently conducted on emergency procedures. Unplanned rescue, such as when someone instinctively rushes in to help a downed co-worker, can easily result in a double fatality, or even multiple fatalities if there are more than one would-be rescuers.







Will there be a standby person on the outside for constant visual or auditory communication with the person inside?


Will the standby person be able to see and/or hear the person inside at all times?


Has the standby person(s) been trained in rescue procedures?


Will safety lines and harness be required to remove a person?


Are company rescue procedures available to be followed in the event of an emergency?


Are you familiar with emergency rescue procedures?


Do you know who in to notify and how in the event of an emergency?





Has a confined space entry permit been issued?


Does the permit include a list of emergency telephone numbers?

The permit is an authorization in writing that states that the space has been tested by a qualified person, that the space is safe for entry; what precautions, equipment, etc. are required ; and what work is to be done.


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