We sell a variety of confined space retrieval devices and descent systems from DBI-SALA, FrenchCreek, Miller Fall Protection, MSA, Allegro, and Skylotec. From a simple manhole in the middle of a paved street to side entry in a metal process vessel, each brand has products with specific features made to answer your unique situation. We also offer other Confined Space Safety Equipment, like ventilation equipment and confined space radios, and feature confined space kits to help on the job.


FAQs About Confined Space Retrieval Devices:

What is a retrieval system for a confined space?

A confined space is defined as any area unfit for prolonged human occupancy. The space typically has limited ventilation with few escape routes. If workers detect a toxic gas, the ceiling caves in, or a flash fire were to occur, the team will need to quickly evacuate anyone inside the space using a retrieval system. 

A retrieval system may include a durable tripod for lowering employees in and out of the space. They are commonly used in manholes, utility lines, and other spaces with a vertical entry. The system will also come with a winch or mechanical device that can support the weight of the worker. The winch will deploy a retrieval line that slowly lowers the worker into the space. Those inside the confined space should wear a harness with a carabiner that then attaches to the line. 

What are the safety hazards for confined spaces?

Confined spaces can contain a range of potential hazards. These spaces are not designed for prolonged human occupancy, and anyone setting foot in these areas must take the proper precautions.

These spaces have limited options for entry and exit, which can limit the amount of oxygen in the air and make it difficult to breathe. Toxic gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and chlorine gas, may be present in the space. These are colorless, odorless gases that can be detected using a gas monitor. Any amount of exposure to hazardous gases is considered dangerous. If a gas is detected, the crew will need to leave the space as quickly as possible.  

Some gases are also extremely flammable. These gases increase the chances of a flash fire, especially if workers are using blowtorches and welding equipment that produces a spark. The fire can quickly spread throughout the space, forcing workers to evacuate.

Confined spaces may also be structurally unsound. Construction sites, utility tunnels, and even some basements can leave workers trapped inside the space if the exit is blocked. The ceiling may collapse at a moment’s notice. Pipes, beams, and other materials can easily shift in place as workers begin making changes to the space.

What equipment is required for confined spaces?

Workers must wear the proper safety equipment when occupying confined spaces. Depending on the gases present, workers may need to  wear a respirator that covers their nose and mouth. A multi-gas detector in the breathing zone can help to alert workers when harmful gases are present or if there’s a lack of oxygen. The detector should issue an audible, visual, and vibrating alarm to maximize employee awareness.

There should be trained workers standing outside the confined space in case their colleagues need to be retrieved. The crew may need to use a retrieval system to rescue the workers inside the space at a moment’s notice, so it’s important for everyone to stay alert. Some workers may even need to wear a helmet for fall protection.

Everyone on the team should know what to do in an emergency. Workers may need to be evacuated one by one. Workers should remain calm and adhere to the latest evacuation procedures. A permit may be required for confined space entry. Teams should also have a confined space communication system to maintain contact with those outside the space as conditions change.