Why hire a private rescue provider?
In many jurisdictions local legislation prohibits or limits the employer from relying solely on publicly funded emergency first responders as the “employers obligation to provide rescue services” specific to confined space work.
If local first responders can provide such services, a written and signed rescue agreement is required to be in place between the first responders and the company.
Some items to consider when hiring a private rescue provider (PRP):
- Insurance – does the PRP have valid and adequate coverage? Do they have Errors & Omissions as well as Third Party General Liability coverage? Automobile coverage?
- Incorporation – Is the PRP a registered company? If something goes wrong, will the company still be there?
- Workers Compensation Coverage – Does the PRP have valid Workers Compensation coverage?
- Training – Are the PRP’s workers adequately trained? Is the training ongoing and documented? Have they received training from third party organizations? What recognized designations do they hold?
- Equipment – Is the equipment the PRP using, approved for the task they are performing? Does the PRP know what is acceptable for use in your industry? Are there records pertaining to the use of equipment and it’s serviceability?
- Health & Safety Programs – Does the PRP have a health and safety program? Specifically, do they have fall protection, respiratory protection and confined space programs?
- Program Obligations – Does the PRP fulfill its program obligations? An example would be annual documented fit testing for respiratory protection.
- First Aid – Does the PRP have adequate, current, licensed first aid qualified staff? Are the first aid qualifications valid in your jurisdiction?
- Rescue Procedures – Does the PRP have the ability to produce applicable rescue procedures?
- Contracts – Does the PRP have a rescue agreement or service contract detailing the services provided by the PRP?
- References –Is the PRP able and willing to provide you with references from previous clients?
- Mock Drill – Is the PRP able and willing to demonstrate it’s abilities to rescue a worker from a representative space?
These are all points that you as the client, looking to hire a private rescue provider, can and should consider.