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There can be quite a range of equipment you may need to use when doing a confined space entry. We will just go through the most common items that are normally used: Harnesses and lanyards, carabiners, lifeline blocks, tripod and winch, gas monitors, some form of communications such as radios, and maybe the breathing apparatus escape sets. But ultimately, it is down to your risk assessment, as well as the sort of working environment, as to what equipment will work. But let us just consider for a moment the use of a harness. Now, it is recommended that we always wear a full-body rescue harness when doing a confined space entry. And this particular harness is a little bit different than the standard harness. Now, the full-body rescue harness has an additional D-link. And that is designed to ensure that when someone who collapses, particularly if they have to be taken out through a narrow opening, their head is maintained and they are able to get the person out fully. If we did not have that particular D-link and had only a standard harness where they are connected to the front or to the back, the body would lean forward or back and would not go through that tight opening.

The use of lanyards is also important. Now, there are two different types of lanyards that you would then connect to an anchor point. We have a fall restraint system or a fall arrest. Now, a restraint system ensures we do not fall down a hole, or down anywhere, because we are on a fixed point that has usually been worked out based upon where you were standing in relation to your anchor point. But a fall arrest is under the assumption that you will be falling. It then slows you down. That is what the energy absorber is. Now, with both your harness and with your lanyard, you need to do those proper physical checks to ensure there is no damage, the stitching is in good order, it is in date, there is no fluids or oils, it is clean and fit for use. Your carabiners, your connectors, also have to be checked. Make sure the gaiters, the springs, no rust. They are all marked up with a unique number, so log the number to ensure traceability.

Lifeline blocks can also be used. They are normally attached again to a fixed point above and have a de-accelerator device fitted to it. They allow you to walk around, but in the event of falling, they stop you. Then we have basic lifelines, lines that might run through a tunnel, for example, where people need to clip on and ensure they are in constant connection with that line. Then we have ropes and slings that might be useful. Making sure they are, again, in date, they have been tested, and fit for use. Other equipment, such as tools, may need to be checked. Now, in some working environments, the tools could be quite critical. So for example, if you are in an atmosphere where there is a risk of explosion, the tools themselves might need to be made out of brass. Radios and lighting may need to be ATEX certified, intrinsically safe. To prevent an electric shock, RCDs, low voltage equipment, may need to be purchased. Even static discharge, earthing of someone, would have to be considered.