netcurmudgeon (netcurmudgeon) wrote,

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Criminal Minds muttering

'Cause the TV crack is even better when everyone is doing it!

I have a bitch about this week's episode of Criminal Minds (2x17 - Distress). For a show to that gets so much right about how the world works, this was a surprising gaffe. It has to do with the fourth victim -- the construction worker killed when he climbed down a manhole into the unsub's hiding place.
No one just climbs down into a manhole anymore.

In the past fifteen years OSHA has gotten very strict about confined space entry procedures. Too many people were getting killed in manholes and other tight spaces by either toxic gasses or depleted oxygen levels. And half of the dead were would-be rescuers who went into the space to save the first man down and were overcome themselves.

confined space entry procedure Now there are standards and procedures before anyone enters a manhole. You have to test the air in the manhole for toxic and explosive gasses, as well as oxygen content. If there problems, you have to ventilate the hole with a portable blower for a certain number of minutes. Then you have to retest the air. Even if everything is good you still don't just clamber down. You have to have a rescue plan established and a surface rescue team with you topside. The photo on the right shows how it's usually done these days. The worker descending into the hole has on a rescue harness and his support man is handling the winch on the rescue tripod.

There's nothing here to prevent the killing as depicted. In fact, you could have the extra-nasty scene of the dead man's co-workers winching his limp broken-necked body back up to the surface. Oh my God! Chet! Someone call 911!

Morgan go down the hole This scene with Morgan in the hole? That coughing in the crappy storm-sewer air? That's why there are OSHA-mandated confined space entry procedures. Morgan should have been in a harness, there should have been a rescue tripod and crew above him, and a ventilator hose dangling down with him.

They get so much right that the fumbles really stick out.
Tags: confined space, criminal minds, osha

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