Tundra Rescue was established in 2011 and we have now been providing confined space safety advice, support and rescue standby services for more than a decade.
Besides the moral argument for taking confined space safety seriously – the notion that businesses should care about the welfare of their workers and should therefore proactively take measures to mitigating the potential hazards associated with their workers and contractors entering confined spaces – it is a legal obligation in Ontario and other provinces in Canada for organisations that require their workers or contractors to enter confined spaces to adequately mitigate the potential hazards associated with this activity, including the provision of a rescue capability.
Despite, or perhaps even because of, these legislative requirements we are sometimes asked “with all of these measures in place aren’t serious confined space accidents a thing of the past in North America?”
Sadly, the answer is “no”, and despite increased regulation, enforcement and awareness, confined space safety incidents do still occur in Canada. For example from 2011 – 2015, there were 12,000 lost time injuries associated with confined space safety (source, ISHA Workpace Safety) and the following incidents involving fatalities in confined spaces have occured in Ontario alone in recent years:
- In 2017, a worker died cleaning a tank in Oakville (source, external media);
- In 2018, two workers died in an oil tank (source, external media);
- In December 2022, a worker drowned in a confined space in Mississauga (source, external media);
So although the adoption of confined space safety measures has reduced the frequency and severity of incidents, they nevertheless still certainly do occur.
We can support organisations that are concerned by their confined space safety obligations, needs and requirements by:
- reviewing your confined space safety policies and procedures (or helping you develop them if you don’t already have any);
- assisting with classification of your confined spaces and other types of hazard identification;
- providing appropriate confined space safety training to your staff; and if necessary,
- providing standby monitoring, safety and rescue teams to support confined space entries.
We are also particularly suited to assiting with situations where there are other access challenges as well as the confined space, including for example where heights are involved, and in this way we have supported organisations with an internal confined space capability but who need extra support on particularly difficult entries too.
We believe that with proper planning and preparation, confined space safety incidents can be reduced to very close to zero, so if you have questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Tundra Rescue is a leading provider of industrial support services involving confined spaces and vertical access challenges in Ontario. If you have any projects that involve confined space safety or access issues, whether these involves just one entry or multiple, complex entries over a longer period of time, or technical work with access implications, please do get in touch to see how we can assist.