When it comes to consideration of breathing apparatus training, it’s important to first be aware that there are two main types of self-contained breathing apparatus. They are used in a variety of conditions, but especially in the fire service. They are open circuit and closed-circuit.
The open-circuit SCBA is more commonly used than the closed. Open uses compressed air while closed uses liquid oxygen. Air that’s exhaled with an open circuit vents to the outside, while in the closed circuit it is reused. Regardless of which is used and for what purpose, training on the equipment is super important.
There are many sources from which a company in need can obtain open-circuit SCBA. The design and construction will vary, but as long as the equipment meets all safety standards then it will be perfect for both practice and use. Here are the most common types of breathing apparatus for training and use:
Backpack and harness assembly – The backpack and harness assembly typically goes on the back, is adjustable and should fit comfortably. Waist straps are important for weight distribution and effectiveness.
Air cylinder assembly- Comes in various sizes, capacities and carries many different features.
Regulator assembly – The regulator assembly can change pressure so low-pressure air can flow into the face portion. Control valves are present for various situations. There is less chance of failure due to bypass controls.
Face piece assembly – The face piece assembly can be mounted to harness or helmet, this type protects from burns and keeps air within cool. It’s made of clear plastic that is surrounded by a flexible and comfortable mask. It should fit securely and also has adjusted straps for comfort.
Fit is Important!
A face piece that doesn’t fit right willy typically create a clouded lens and can lead to a dangerous situation for the person wearing the mask, as they won’t be able to see clearly. With a good fit, the cool air from the cylinder of the assembly will remove condensation as it goes over the lens.
If the mask fogs on the outside, it can be wiped off easily without removal. Therefore, external fogging is never much of a problem. Other options include:
A nose cup – deflects exhalations
Antifogging chemicals – applied to the lens, this liquid keeps it from fogging.
Proper storage – store so as not to encourage distortion, in a special case, pouch or bag that usually comes along with the product.
Closed-circuit Breathing Apparatus
Closed-circuit breathing apparatus are not used as often as the aforementioned open-circuit breathing apparatus. Usually, they are used for hazardous materials accidents due to their longer supply of air. The closed-circuit SCBA are offered and include lengths of 30 minutes up to 4 hours. Another benefit to this type is that it usually weighs less than other units that are similar. They weigh less simply due to the smaller cylinder that has a supply of pure oxygen.
Who Should Conduct the Breathing Apparatus Training?
Both styles of breathing apparatus require careful and thorough training for anyone who will use them. This instruction can be provided from other workers that are knowledgeable to their operation, or a professional training company can be hired. While using an existing employee is more cost-effective in the short term, hiring a professional to train means that every aspect of training will be covered with ease.
In addition, there will be no extra time commitment from the employee that would take them away from their typical daily duties, and the entire process is seamless and likely less costly than one would imagine. It is worth looking into both options and the expenses associated.
Breathe Safety is a UK based company that is the top choice for all industries including healthcare, manufacturing, labs, builders, government and so many more when it comes to securing the necessary equipment to keep the lungs safe in a variety of environments. From assessment to set up, training and more they’ll handle every aspect necessary to ensure the workplace at hand is up to code and safe for every worker. Confined space and breathing apparatus training are just some of the services they offer, along with only top quality products that are industry approved.