You've probably seen news reports of various individuals trapped in tight spaces like collapsed mines, wells, or buildings suffering earthquake damage. Unfortunately, these stories are all too common in a modern world where we spend as much time underground or in concrete structures as we do outside. If you're ever unfortunate enough to find yourself trapped in such a confined space, there is a device that could very well save your life - despite the fact that it doesn't look like much.
The device we're talking about is known as a confined space rescue davit. It is a piece of equipment usually consisting of a cantilever arm, a winch, a motorized or mechanical crank, rope, and a lanyard or other harness. The device allows rescue apparatus to be lowered into a confined space in order to pull the victim out as safely as possible. Confined space rescue davits are sometimes the only way to extract a victim from an extremely tight space.
The Nature of Confined Space Rescues
Using a strict definition, confined space rescue is a specific set of techniques and protocols used by trained individuals to rescue victims trapped in tight spaces. It is a highly technical area of rescue training that requires attention to detail, patience, and the ability to adapt to ever-changing environments. When rescuing a victim from a potentially life-threatening situation the last thing a rescue team needs is a piece of equipment that is either unreliable or altogether not up to the task.
That's why it's extremely important for rescue operations to have dependable confined space rescue davits. They need equipment that will always perform as it was intended; in some cases it might need to over perform. If rescuers are depending on a davit to save a life, and it fails, the consequences could be devastating. Thankfully, technology has come a long way since davits were first invented at the turn of the 20th century. Today's equipment is much stronger and more dependable than ever before.
The Davit Principle
Confined space rescue davits work on a very simple principle: suspending the pivot point of a rescue rope over the centre of an access hole in order to provide a friction-free lift. In other words, without a rescue davit you might need to pull someone from an abandoned well by standing outside the well and heaving. Yet all the way up your rope will be making contact with the sides of the well preventing you from making a clean extraction. The davit solves that problem entirely.
Sometimes you'll see such them employed in helicopter rescues as well. In order to keep rescue ropes from contacting and tangling with landing gear, the davit suspends the pivot point of the rope out of harm's way. It is a brilliant concept originally invented to help with the deployment of life boats on ocean going vessels. Thanks to some very inventive minds the technology was adapted and developed to create the confined space rescue davits of today.
Author: Steph Blundred
Safety Gear Store - Confined Space Rescue Davit Equipment & Supply
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