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The business of getting out of tight spaces

NATT Safety Services permanent location in Lively teaches everything from confined space training to heavy equipment driving instruction

Safety in confined spaces of all kinds is critical to heavy industry.

One company that makes it their business to show people how to get into, and out of, tight spaces safely has set up shop in Lively to teach others how to conduct themselves in tight spaces, as well as rescue others from dangerous situations.

NATT Safety Services is part of a group of companies offering safety and rescue training. They include Total Personnel Solutions and Transport Help.

They officially made their Lively location the main base in October of last year.

Mark Arnold, general manager for NATT Safety Services and TPS, explained the location is perfect, as it was the original main office for TPS and remained at the location for various reasons.

“We became comfortable with the industrial park itself, and had access to Vale on a daily basis,” he said. “We had an opportunity to purchase the building, and the vision was to take part of it and turn it into a training centre which would support our NATT Safety Services brand.”

He explained there are two main components of the location: they are a confined space rescue services business, which is manned out of the building all year, the second is the training they provide, as well as confined space rescue services.

What they supply is the equipment and the people trained to use it. They provide rescue plans, as well as permits.
“There is a whole process, and we do that on a daily basis,” he said.

To him, he said safety is like a pie chart, as it has so many facets. They have many services, but their core is confined space rescue.

They have many trainers that provide instruction in rescue, as well as training in operating heavy equipment, like Genie lifts and sky lifts, transporting dangerous goods, all the way to WHIMIS training for workplaces.

“We train anywhere in the province,” he said. “We also supply rescue services as far as Atikokan and Dryden.”

Jennifer Roy, divisional manager of industrial safety training, explained that while she oversees all training programs, her specialty is in confined spaces. She goes to the site to inspect it, determine safety hazards using what she called the hierarchy of controls, and help devise escape and rescue plans

The term confined space often conjures up images of deep mine shafts, or windowless rooms. Arnold explained those spaces also include open tranches, closed transport containers, any place where mobility could be limited, hazardous materials could be stored or transported or toxic gasses could build up.

“We need to ensure the safety of the person going in working is there, if it is considered a confined space, which it would be if the contents were there and atmospheric change, we are there standing on guard to implement rescue if necessary,” she said.

“I've seen us do 100-foot diameter tanks open to atmosphere, but because of the scope of work being performed, the contents in the space that could change the atmosphere, it's deemed a confined space. It's not just structure, it's everything inherent to it.”

Arnold explained NATT has been in business for 10 years, and TPS for 16 years. The partnership works well, he said, as they offer many complementary services.