Monitoring work in confined spaces: Is it better to train in-house employees or outsource the job?

Many organizations have to grapple with the risks associated with working in confined spaces. To ensure worker safety, companies have to analyze these risks and establish appropriate preventive measures and rescue plans. But what about emergency response? Managers must find an efficient, cost-effective solution without compromising safety. Is it better to train an in-house team or have access to an outside company to monitor your confined space jobs? There are a number of factors at play here, including the frequency and scope of emergency operations and their impact on the chain of production.


Let’s start by reviewing your options.


Option A :  Have an in-house team

You train an in-house team to use rescue equipment and they are onsite to monitor workers doing jobs in confined spaces.

Option B : Outsource the job

You outsource monitoring and rescue services so your employees are free to focus on specialized work. The emergency response team is already fully trained and has the necessary knowledge and equipment.

Option C : Combine options A and B

You have an in-house team but bring in outside resources to help out on challenging jobs.

Option D : We don’t need monitoring!

Yes, you do! Why? Because your workers’ lives are at stake. Please read the occupational health and safety regulations on work in confined spaces.

Now let’s consider options A and B in terms of cost versus time.

The startup costs to put together an in-house confined space monitoring team are high. You have to buy the equipment and train your team and then maintain that level of readiness.

Conversely, there are no startup costs associated with outsourcing confined space monitoring, but the costs add up faster the more hours worked.

What’s the best option for your organization?

As you can see, the more confined space jobs you do, the more it makes sense to train your own employees. On the other hand, if you only need confined space monitoring from time to time, outsourcing is a better option. It gives you flexibility while ensuring the safety of your workers. The outside team could even work in tandem with your in-house team.

But time and money aren’t everything—there are other pros and cons to be weighed before making a decision.

The table below compares the advantages of using an in-house team versus outsourcing confined space monitoring and rescue.



In-house team


Permanent team

Low startup costs

Knowledge of confined spaces and premises

Services tailored to your needs

In-house control

Works in tandem with the in-house team

Eligible for the 1% training law

Allows the business to focus on its core expertise


The choice of whether to train an in-house monitoring and rescue team or use an outsourcer really depends on your specific needs. No matter what, be sure to use a company that specializes in confined space training and rescue operations.

Still not sure which option is right for you? Give us a call!

Léo Charest

Léo Charest

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