Confined Spaces Fact Sheet Specifies Procedures for Employers Using Rescue, Emergency Services

Published May 11, 2016

​A new OSHA fact sheet highlights a provision of the agency’s Confined Spaces in Construction standard specifying procedures for employers that rely on local rescue and emergency services to help workers in confined spaces. The fact sheet explains how employers can ensure that emergency response services are prepared to properly protect employees.

According to the fact sheet, employers should pre-plan to ensure that the selected emergency response service is available, prepared, and capable of protecting employees. The emergency responder should have the proper rescue equipment and the ability to conduct a rescue in potential hazardous spaces and in a timely manner based on site conditions. In addition, the emergency response team should notify the employer if they become unavailable and should be capable of visiting the employer’s site for a joint training. Employers should provide the rescue team with access to all permit-required confined spaces, inform them of potential hazards when they are summoned, and ensure that contact information for the emergency service is readily available.

Emergency service providers are encouraged to work closely with employers who need their assistance with emergencies in permit-required confined spaces. The fact sheet poses a list of questions that emergency responders should be able to answer when an employer reaches out for their help.

For more information, view the fact sheet on OSHA’s website.