From: Paul Harrison <pharriso**At_Symbol_Here**UNIVMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] SCBA Flow Testing
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 23:14:10 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: web-480165110**At_Symbol_Here**

Hi, at McMaster we used to use the tanks for annual training and fit-testing, then sent them off for testing and re-filling. However, the tanks raised a bunch of issues about how to decide when it is "safe" to enter an environment using SCBA when that environment clearly may contain a noxious substance. I argued that they would only be used in a "man down" situation, where instant reaction from co-workers on the spot might save a life that would be lost if one waited for the fire department. Further, it would be the choice of the rescuer to enter, and that choice would be made based on chemical knowledge. For example, in a lab with a known carbon monoxide cylinder, then it would be reasonable to assume that the unconscious person had been exposed to that agent, and since skin absorption is not a problem then an airpack is appropriate. Clearly these are NOT for use in routine spills, etc.. However, I lost my argument to the lawyers and others of that ilk who sympathize !
with lawyers for whatever reason. We no longer have airpacks.


On Thu, 24 Oct 2013 17:13:04 +0000
"Brandon S. Chance" wrote:
> EHSers,
> I recently inherited our SCBA program and had a few questions. While not mentioned in OSHA's respiratory protection program, NFPA does require flow-testing for all SCBA units. Since NFPA and the manufacturer both require this, I am reasonably assuming that it then falls under the OSHA general duty clause.
> I was just curious as to how many of my sister institutions are annually flow testing their SCBA units and if they purchased the equipment to do so in-house or use outside companies? I am already using outside companies to hydrostatically test my cylinders to get them up to date and I am using the cascade system at our fire house to fill them.
> We currently have Survivair Puma/Cougar units.
> Thanks for your input.
> Brandon S. Chance, M.S., CCHO
> Program Manager, Chemical Safety
> Environmental Health and Safety
> Princeton University
> 262 Alexander Street
> Princeton, NJ 08540
> 609-258-7882 (office)
> 609-955-1289 (mobile)
> 609-258-1804 (fax)
> "The second I feel like I made it, the second I feel like I've arrived, that's the second someone will take my spot. And I like my spot." J.J. Watt ? Houston Texans

Paul Harrison
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
McMaster University
1280 Main St. W., Hamilton, ON, L8S 4M1, Canada
Phone: (905)525-9140 ext. 27290; FAX: (905)522-2509

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