Confined Space Entry - April 12, 2013
Greetings from Gemini Energy Services! Here is the latest issue of our Bi-Weekly Safety Newsletter, and thank you for taking the time to check it out.

The wind industry is filled with hazards and the purpose of this newsletter is to share useful information, refresher training and safe work practices to our subscribers so that we can raise the bar for safety throughout the industry.  This week's topic focuses on confined spaces.

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The Gemini Team
Confined Space Entry - Don't be a "Dead Hero"

 

You are standing at the entry acting as an attendant for a team of maintenance personnel who have entered a confined space that required an entry permit. It has been several minutes since you talked to the crew, but you can peer down into the space and see them. During your last few checks with them, everything was A-OK.

 

This time, however, when you yell down to check on them, you don't get a response. You look inside the hole and you notice that they are slumped over or leaning up against the wall like they are taking a nap.

 

You yell for help but know that it will be some time before a rescue team arrives. Those are your friends down there, and they need your help. They are real close to the entry, why you almost could just reach down and pull them up. Your pulse is beating and you are breathing hard from excitement. You're yelling at the workers, trying to arouse them. Something has to be done so you jump into the confined space.

 

The rescue team arrives in time to pull your lifeless body out with the rest. The record will show that you attempted to rescue your co-workers and gave your life doing so. Some would say you were a hero. Yes, but a dead one!

 

The moral of this scenario is that when you are an attendant watching over a confined space, your duty is to observe and assist from entry space. If you have a tag line on the person inside and can pull them out without entry, go ahead (but how much dead weight can you lift). If you have the proper rescue equipment, you can winch the victim out of the confined space. At no time do you enter the space to attempt rescue. You can wait until a new attendant arrives and after you put on the proper rescue equipment and enter (providing of course you have been trained in rescue procedures). But you must never abandon your duties as the attendant and attempt rescue on your own.

 

You have no idea what the hazards are that overcame your co-workers. And like the scenario described above, you might wide up as a DEAD HERO. 

Confined Space Safety

Confined spaces can be killers. Know what the risks are and take appropriate measures to control them.
  • Be sure that air samples are taken before entry, and as frequently as required by the activities being conducted.
  • Provide ventilation into the space if required.
  • Use all personal protective equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's directions.
  • Use your entry permit to log the sample results and the time of test.
  • Have a rescue plan established before it is needed.

Gemini Energy Services is the premier independent service provider to the wind industry.  Safety is not just a philosophy at Gemini; it's our defining characteristic.  Whether Gemini technicians are driving to the project site or working on energized equipment in the hub, we strive for zero injuries.  Our proactive safety initiatives, which incorporate safety indoctrination, tailgate safety meetings, ongoing Personal Qualification Standards (PQS), a safety incentive program and completion of thorough Job Site Assessments, have resulted in an unblemished safety record.  We are confident that our colleagues in the wind industry share our commitment to safety and a zero-injury workplace.  

 

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