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Pre-Entry (Planning) » Establishing Rescue Teams


Figure 1: Rescue Team
Figure 1: Rescue Team.

OSHA requires employers to establish a rescue team or arrange
for an outside rescue team (typically a local fire department). [29 CFR 1915.12(e)]

Many confined or enclosed space incidents result in multiple fatalities: the original victim and the would-be rescuer or rescuers. Workers must know how and when to attempt a rescue; it could be a matter of life and death.

The following are rescue options and recommendations:



Shipyard Rescue Team
Figure 2: Rescue Team
Figure 2: Rescue Team.

A shipyard Rescue Team must:
  • Be trained in PPE use, first aid, CPR, rescue equipment, and duties of rescue, and informed of hazards associated with rescue at the employer's facility. [29 CFR 1915.12(e)(1)]
  • Practice drills at least annually. [29 CFR 1915.12(e)(1)]
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Outside Rescue Team
Figure 3: Outside rescue team
Figure 3: Outside rescue team.

An Outside Rescue Team must:
  • Be informed of hazards the team may encounter so the team may be trained and equipped. [29 CFR 1915.12(e)(2)]

Note: The criteria for an in-house rescue can be used to evaluate the outside rescue services.

  • The employer should ensure that either a visual or audio communication method is established between workers in these spaces and the assigned person or persons outside these spaces.
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