Confined Space Rescue Systems for Water Treatment Facilities and Industrial Applications

01 / 31 / 2014 | Safety Articles | Ryan Michels


You never know when you might have an emergency, when you might need dependable confined space rescue systems.

On January 22nd, a city worker in Lake Pleasant, Arizona experienced something many of us have experienced:  he threw his back out.  To make matters worse, he threw it out at work.  But what makes this man’s story different is that he threw his back out when he was 12 feet straight down inside of a concrete tank.

The 44-year-old male worker was vacuuming out an open-air concrete tank when his back locked up.  He was unable to climb out of the tank himself and the city was forced to send around 2 dozen firefighters to his rescue.

The man was lucky that rescue teams had been available and that they possessed proper rescue equipment.  But what if he had been in a more isolated area without such a well-equipped team available?  Or if his injury had been even more time-sensitive?

With water treatment facilities (both clean water and wastewater), it is essential to provide dependable and durable confined space rescue systems that can handle being exposed to diverse conditions.  Davit bases — either galvanized or stainless steel — that can handle such conditions, should be installed.  The design of the system allows for confined space retrieval equipment such as Davit arms and winches to be removed from brackets and stored in clean and dry environments when not in use.  A proper design results in quick and easy installation, meaning that you’ll always be prepared in the event that you need to make a rescue in a water treatment facility.

Confined space rescue equipment is also very important for industrial applications.  This equipment is just as thoughtfully designed with either a Davit arm system or a more complex system that uses custom fabricated winch mounts and pulley systems.

Whatever your potential confined space rescue needs might be, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can work without the proper equipment — you never know when a safety hazard will rear it’s ugly head.


About the author

Ryan Michels Ryan has been involved in the design and installation of custom fall protection systems with W.S. Safety Technologies since 2005. Ryan is a specialist in the different types of products, applications, and regulatory codes governing proper design and use of fall protection systems.

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