Breathing Apparatus: Maintenance

Self Contained Breathing Apparatus is potentially life saving equipment. RPE (Respiratory Protection Equipment) may be required to enter a contaminated environment to complete an emergency task or to complete a rescue operation from a confined space after an incident.

Whenever the operation of breathing apparatus is required, trained operators need to know that the equipment  is operating correctly and has been regularly serviced in line with the manufacturers guidelines.

Correct Operation

All users or operators of SCBA shall trained at least annually (AS1715:2009 2.4).

Prior to use, the user must inspect the equipment and undertake a series of pre-use checks which include:

  • Cylinder Contents Check
  • High Pressure Leak Test
  • Low Pressure Warning Whistle Test
  • Mask Leak Test

Maintenance & Service

Manufacturers of RPE state their requirements for the frequency and required level of service.

With most manufacturers, the requirement is that the equipment be serviced by the manufacturer or their authorised approved service agent at least annually, with further components requiring re-certification after a period of years, typically up to six.

This guidance is also found in Australian Standard AS1715:2009 9.1 where it states that any repairs or maintenance of RPE including "air supplied RPE, SCBA", complex parts such as "demand or reducing valves" should only be performed by "trained personnel authorized by the manufacturer".

Is your equipment being serviced correctly, by the appropriately trained and authorised personnel? If not, this could lead to a major non compliance or worse, a failure of the systems when in use, which could be tragic.

For more information on training and servicing requirements, dont hesitate to contact us.