High Angle & Confined Spaces


Issue 5 and Volume 148.

BREATHING AIR SYSTEMS FOR CONFINED SPACE RESCUE BY MICHAEL DUNN A recent study released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) indicates that asphyxiation was the cause of death in 45 percent of 670 fatalities that occurred in confined spaces over a recent 10-year period. Forty-one percent of the deaths were due to gas poisonings and 14 percent to drowning.1 If proper respiratory protection equipment had been worn by the victims and rescuers involved in these confined space incidents, many of these fatalities could have been avoided. An atmosphere that is oxygen-deficient, flammable, or toxic often displays no outward signs of an impending tragedy. Proper selection, knowledge, and use of the appropriate respiratory protection equipment are vital to the rescuer`s safety. Knowledge of the applicable regulations concerning respiratory protection equipment are also valuable to the rescuer. One rule must always hold true when dealing with confined space…

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