How to Choose Portable Confined Space Rescue Equipment

Worker setting up a Pelsue Davit arm.

Fall protection is better when it travels with you.

Don’t get us wrong, there is absolutely a role for fixed or permanent fall protection systems (we, in fact, highlighted these situations in a previous post). We stand by our Permanent Base Davit System, but many circumstances demand more.

Our customers have jobs that take them all over the map. Whether you’re working in the middle of a bustling city street, labyrinthine industrial zone, or remote mountainside, fall protection remains as crucial as ever.

For this reason, effective, trusted, and easy-to-use portable confined space rescue equipment is worth its weight in gold. As much as you can plan for falls and rescues, you can never predict when they will take place.

To help you find the right portable confined space rescue equipment for you and your team, we prepared this guide outlining our different portable options, what sets them apart, and what might make it the right option for you.

But first, let’s take a minute to answer the most basic question here. 

Do I Need Portable Confined Space Rescue Equipment?

In all likelihood, portable confined space rescue equipment is a vital addition to your inventory. 

In fact, it’s easier to list the situations where a mobile fall protection system is not the right choice for you. 

As we’ve discussed previously, OSHA requires some form of fall protection to be in place when workers are four feet or higher above the surface. While rails and toe guards can be effective, a system must be in place in the presence of fall hazards.

If you work in a facility with a fixed fall protection hazard, then a Permanent Base Davit System is likely a better choice for you. Even if you have a handful of known hazards, you can set up multiple bases for your davit arm to ensure all trouble areas are covered. 

Of course, permanent and portable Davit bases aren’t mutually exclusive. The Davit pole, elbow, and arm will attach to either base to allow you to adapt to the rescue situations you confront. 

But if you’re traveling to jobs in the field, a permanently installed fall protection system isn’t going to do you much good. To meet regulations and protect your workers, you need to turn to transportable solutions.

Portable Base Davit System

The Portable Base Davit System in use.

The versatile Portable Davit System sets up in minutes when you’re in the field.

Let’s start with the confined space safety system with “portable” right in the name.

The Portable Davit Fall Protection System is built to offer you and your crews maximum versatility when you need rescue. Even in a facility suited for a permanent system, this davit can do the job (especially since we strongly advise you to have your safety system fully set up before anyone even enters the confined space).

Where the portable davit system really shines is in the field. Made from structural aluminum to be ultra-manageable, the entire system—base and all—is easy to pack when your crew heads out to a job.

All portable confined space rescue equipment we make is designed to save precious time when critical rescue situations arise. The davit is engineered to be set up in about five minutes, and then wheeled over the confined space entrance.

The base of the portable davit features four adjustable feet, which allow you to level and steady the davit on uneven terrain. While the next solution we’ll mention is better suited to rugged conditions, the davit gives you a great deal of flexibility in different terrain.

With a universal bracket that allows you to mount any Pelsue hoiststandard self-retracting lifeline (SRL), or 3-way SRL (and an additional mount for dual systems), everything about the portable davit is designed to deploy quickly and easily.

Vehicle Hitch Mounted Davit System

The Pelsue Vehicle Hitch Mount Davit in use.

When terrain limits your mobility, the Vehicle Hitch-Mount Davit System allows you to conduct rescue operations you couldn’t otherwise.

A close cousin of the Portable Base Davit System, the Vehicle Davit Hitch Mount System goes where even that versatile device can’t.

Essentially, this mounting system allows you to turn your work truck or van into the davit base.

Our hitch mount is compatible with 2” square vehicle receivers, common on work trucks across the country. An adjustable vertical pole allows your crew to adjust the height of the base to fit your surroundings.

The rest of the system includes the same Davit parts that are used across all our other assemblies that you can quickly and easily deploy in the vehicle mount. 

Accidents don’t care about making things convenient for you. They can take place any time, anywhere, and to anyone. As flexible as our Portable Davit System is, we’re the first to recognize that some environments make it impractical or unsafe to carry in.

But if you are able to overcome those obstacles by simply backing your work truck up to the confined space, that’s better for everyone. It minimizes the risk to rescuers, and it gets reliable help to trapped workers quickly.

If you often work in rough environments or have to cross rocky ground to get to the job site, having the ability to negate those hazards will make everyone safer in the long run.

LifeGuard 3-in-1 Fall Protection System

A worker carrying a folded Pelsue LifeGuard.

How your rescue equipment carries and stores is a crucial factor in its overall portability.

The other marquee mobile confined space safety equipment we want to highlight is not part of the davit family, but rather a multitasking workhorse that combines high functionality with portability and ease-of-use.

The Pelsue LifeGuard is designed to work for both fall prevention, rescue operations, and as a barrier to guard confined space entrances. 

Engineered with an easy-to-deploy, easy-to-store two-piece assembly, the LifeGuard shows off what it does best when examined from top to bottom.

First, the upper assembly features dual anchor points, which means you can simultaneously attach both an SRL to arrest falls and a personnel hoist to rescue and recover workers who may experience a fall.

The lower assembly forms a barricade which prevents accidents and stumbles that can have disastrous consequences in confined space work. The structural aluminum rails which form the barricade run on three sides of the LifeGuard, while the fourth features a chain to allow approved entry and exit.

When we designed the LifeGuard, we made sure to take the time to engineer a system that a single person can set up easily, even in a stressful, fast-moving situation. Working by yourself, you can set up the LifeGuard in mere minutes.

This combination of functionality and speedy deployment is boosted by the systems unbeatable portability. With just two components (excluding hoists, lines, and SRLs), the system is easy to manage, track, and store.

In a way, the LifeGuard is the mission statement for what we try to do when designing portable confined space safety equipment. Always pushing the limits of our technology while remaining grounded in lifesaving fundamentals.

Part of that mission is making tested, trustworthy tools that do one of the key things you need them to do: they travel with you.

No matter what conditions or location you find your next job in, there is a Pelsue fall protection system that will fit your needs and keep you and all your workers safe.

Have a question you'd like answered? Please call us at 800-525-8460 or