Cloud 9 Services, Inc. Announces Critical Capability When Performing World’s Most Dangerous Job

Nov 13, 2012

Work safety

Rick Fender, Vice President of Cloud 9 Services, Inc. claims that even the Ice Road Truckers and Alaskan Crab fisherman would agree that the world’s most dangerous job is the challenge faced when Underground Utility Contractors enter Confined Spaces as required to perform an underground pipe repair, manhole repair or lift station repair.

Fender stated "contending with the perils of volatile and toxic gases or the dangers posed by using pneumatic plugs to hold back water flow in an underground structure are just some of the problems faced by today's C.S.E (Confined Space Entry) technician. Fender explained "Cloud 9 Services, Inc. is a Florida Underground Utility and Excavation Contractor performing pipe repair, manhole repair and lift station cleaning and repair".

Fender explained "working in this field, I have heard many a tale of near tragic manhole, lift station or structure entry. Every one crediting the three man, confined space entry crew with averting catastrophe, mainly by good observation & communication between team members."

"A long time employee having entered a lift station after placing a 24" pneumatic plug was working on the pumps, suddenly hearing a noise behind him, he found himself pinned to the pump with the plug which had come out of the pipe forcefully holding him and the wet well was quickly filling the structure with raw sewage water", said Fender. Fender contributed the alert member of the crew at the ground level who quickly extricated the technician from the well, winching him to safety with the tripod mounted hoist.

Fender told us of another story whereAnother tech, a friend in the industry told me a story about pipe repair where he was part of a 3 man entry team into a 54" RCP pipe. They had placed a pneumatic plug in the upstream pipe and were stopping the leakage in the pipe joints and installing internal joint seals. They had worked in the pipe for an hour or so when my friend heard some noise at the pipe plug. He alerted the rest of the team who were unaware of any danger. They all made their way to the manhole & up the ladder to exit. As the last man cleared the manhole, they heard a pop and the plug released quickly filling the pipe. The force of the plug propelled by the rushing water slammed into the ladder, breaking it in half & pushing it down the pipe to the next structure.

Testing for volatile and toxic gases is certainly one of the most important steps before entry into any confined space. My personal experience with gas detection has been thankfully very uneventful. Seldom if ever do we find any dangerous gases or conditions. But, going back to my training, I am constantly reminded that most of the people that succumb to toxic gases do so because they entered the structure to rescue a fallen comrade.

While the gases found in confined spaces can certainly dangerous, the work required there brings its own ricks, use of paints, solvents, lubricants, adhesives are just some of the perils we introduce to the space ourselves. When testing for gases, these introduced factors must be figured into the plan for safe confined space entry. Use of the MSDS (material safety data sheet) is essential for any products used in the confined space and should be reviewed any time these products are used.

Entering and exiting confined spaces is a step not to be overlooked. Getting in and out quickly and effectively can mean the difference between life and death. The tripod and winch system coupled with an approved harness, tended by an alert and certified crew are your most important tools.

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Cloud 9 Services, Inc.

Rick Fender

1201 W. Jackson St.

32805 Orlando, FL

United States


+1 (407) 481-2750


+1 (407) 481-8850



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