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Developed and maintained by the NFCC

Control measure

Have an effective recovery system

Control measure knowledge

The regulations state that no person at work shall enter or carry out work in a confined space unless there are suitable and sufficient arrangements for their rescue in an emergency, whether or not that arises from a specified risk. As a result, a recovery system should be in place for all personnel entering the area of risk.

Fire and rescue service personnel will encounter organisations working in confined spaces with recovery systems that range from simple and immediate systems to more extensive recovery and rescue provision. The water industry, for example, has simple two-person working systems through to full rescue teams on standby at main construction centres.

Depending on the level of access, recovery systems may involve using rope rescue equipment or dedicated confined space winching systems. An emergency team wearing appropriate respiratory protective equipment and associated equipment should also be available at all incidents except those with good access, adequate ventilation and low risks of a hazardous atmosphere.

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Establish what recovery systems have been employed before the fire and rescue service arrived
  • Establish a recovery system for personnel deployed into confined space environments and ensure it is in place at all times
  • Ensure that emergency arrangements are maintained and resourced for the duration of the incident