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Old 12-13-2011, 08:47 PM
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Default Sleepless Nights Ahead - Confined Space

I had an incident at work today, while at a job in Poughkeepsie. I was welding on the burner housing, in the boiler furnace, when I got stuck in the access port, when I tried to get out. At this point my claustrophobia, reared its ugly head, a step below a full blown panic attack. luckily for me my outside man, Joe, calmly helped me through it and I got out. Apparently my portly 225#, 5' 8" frame, doesn't like the 16-1/2"diameter x 10" deep, access port. Went in okay, but coming out was a bitch.

The confined space program worked as required, I'm safe, no one was hurt, but I'm a bit shaken. Its going to be a while before I go inside again, if ever.

I sat and shook for about an hour, having a hard time catching my breathe. I can see some sleepless nights ahead, as I know it will cause nightmares. Maybe this is a sign, for me to get out of this business.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by platypus20 View Post
i had an incident at work today, while at a job in poughkeepsie. I was welding on the burner housing, in the boiler furnace, when i got stuck in the access port, when i tried to get out. At this point my claustrophobia, reared its ugly head, a step below a full blown panic attack. Luckily for me my outside man, joe, calmly helped me through it and i got out. Apparently my portly 225#, 5' 8" frame, doesn't like the 16-1/2"diameter x 10" deep, access port. Went in okay, but coming out was a bitch.

The confined space program worked as required, i'm safe, no one was hurt, but i'm a bit shaken. Its going to be a while before i go inside again, if ever.

I sat and shook for about an hour, having a hard time catching my breathe. I can see some sleepless nights ahead, as i know it will cause nightmares. Maybe this is a sign, for me to get out of this business.
maybe??????????????
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:14 PM
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Sorry to hear it Jack....I've only done some confined space work a few times, fortunately it's all worked okay for me, but I can see how it would easily get rather upsetting.

A couple close friends suffer from anxiety, and having seen a few anxiety attacks, they are not something I would want to go through.

Hope you're feeling better, and that you get over it as quick as you can. Whether it's time to retire or what, well, that's something only you know at this point.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by platypus20 View Post
I had an incident at work today, while at a job in Poughkeepsie. I was welding on the burner housing, in the boiler furnace, when I got stuck in the access port, when I tried to get out. At this point my claustrophobia, reared its ugly head, a step below a full blown panic attack. luckily for me my outside man, Joe, calmly helped me through it and I got out. Apparently my portly 225#, 5' 8" frame, doesn't like the 16-1/2"diameter x 10" deep, access port. Went in okay, but coming out was a bitch.

The confined space program worked as required, I'm safe, no one was hurt, but I'm a bit shaken. Its going to be a while before I go inside again, if ever.

I sat and shook for about an hour, having a hard time catching my breathe. I can see some sleepless nights ahead, as I know it will cause nightmares. Maybe this is a sign, for me to get out of this business.
Oh crap, I about had a panic attack just reading your story. I have nightmares about being lowered into a 16" well casing head first. Just thinking about that will damn near make me sweat blood.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:33 PM
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Jack, That's why they have confined space rules and I'm glad to see you are using them.
I think you love your job way too much to quit, but your manly physic is about like mine, except you are a bit shorter, and I sure would think hard about trying to get into a hole like that....never mind getting out of it again.
At your age some things have to be set aside, like chasing women, partying all night, and crawling into somewhere you don't belong.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:38 PM
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Fortunately, confined spaces and me get along just fine, at least where I fit...

Now on the other hand, I live in a Ranch style house with a 4/12 pitch for
a reason. And have never used nor ever will use all 24' of my extention
ladder.

So I do understand.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:08 PM
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I know the feeling I have been in some situations where I was close to panic. A friend of mine had the same situation in a boiler and had to strip down and smear grease on himself up to get out,
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:24 PM
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I'm glad you're alright.

Where were you in P'town? (not that I'd be able to recognize a lot of it) one of the hospitals, or?

Poughkeepsie is a great place to be from.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:48 PM
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Jack, they are going to revoke your membership in the National Speleological Society. I used to fit through a 12" square opening, or a 10" keyhole solution tube. I doubt you would enjoy that type of recreation. Particularly if it is 200' down in a cave. I wish there were some way to help you, but I'm in the wrong place with probably the wrong skill set. Just weld up the access opening small enough that you won't fit and tell them they either need bigger access openings or a small helper.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
Fortunately, confined spaces and me get along just fine, at least where I fit...

Now on the other hand, I live in a Ranch style house with a 4/12 pitch for
a reason. And have never used nor ever will use all 24' of my extention
ladder.

So I do understand.
That is now one of my issues now too. Never had a problem with heights of any kind until I climbed a 100' fir to top it off back in WA. Had to wait about 1/2 hour after the panic hit me before I could let go of the tree to top it off. Now I just stay away from that type of heights. Roofs are OK but that is as far as I go now.
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