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Pre-Entry (Planning) » Establishing Rescue Teams


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(s). Therefore, it is literally a matter of life and death for workers to know how and when to attempt a rescue.

The following are rescue options and recommendations:


Shipyard Rescue Team
  • Must be trained in PPE use, first aid, CPR, rescue equipment, and duties of rescue, and informed of hazards in rescue at the employer's facility. [29 CFR 1915.12(e)(1)]
  • Must practice drills at least annually. [29 CFR 1915.12(e)(1)]
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Outside Rescue Team
Figure 1: Outside rescue team
Figure 1: 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.
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Maritime/Labor Industry Recommendations
  • The employer should ensure that either a visual or audio communication method is established between workers in these spaces and assigned person(s) outside these spaces.
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