Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and pressure-demand supplied air respirators (PD-SAR) with emergency self-contained breathing apparatus (eSCBA) are used for many types of operations or for emergency situations. Because air is supplied to the wearer, and when the respirator assembly includes an eSCBA, these may be used when atmospheric contaminants are unknown, or concentrations are potentially unstable.
Confined space work requires careful consideration of both known and unknown hazards. If an atmospheric hazard is anticipated, workers should utilize supplied air respirators with an escape cylinder, such as the 3M™ Scott™ Ska-Pak Respirator or an SCBA for short duration work. If atmospheric hazards are not expected and workers are breathing ambient air, worker should have an escape only respirator available.
Responding to emergencies often presents unpredictable challenges. Whether that task is rescue or exterior structural firefighting, be prepared by selecting an SCBA that is designed for potential emergencies. Consider an SCBA such as the 3M™ Scott™ Air-Pak 75i SCBA with redundant safety features to protect the emergency response team.
A dedicated SCBA for escaping a hazardous environment may not be used regularly. While training employees on the use of the escape respirators is critical, infrequent use can be anticipated. Consider SCBA systems that are easy to use, have the appropriate cylinder duration for escape, and are streamlined to include only the features you need. For escape only, also consider the use of emergency escape devices.
In some chemical manufacturing processes, routine applications such as taking air samples or checking gauges may involve brief exposure to contaminants. A comfortable and reliable SCBA offers worker mobility for this task and is often the protection of choice.
There are several hazardous jobs that also require getting dirty. As an example, cleaning or slopping out storage tanks requires a respiratory protection solution that is going to be easier to clean. Consider two options – the 3M™ Scott™ ISCBA (wire frame SCBA) or the 3M Scott Ska-Pak Respirator (supplied air respirator). Both offer simple systems without padded harnesses, making them easier to clean than fully padded systems.
Respiratory protection while wearing an encapsulating suit (Level A protection) requires maximum air capacity and safety. An SCBA with the most air afforded could be considered crucial, such as the 3M Scott Air Pak 75i SCBA with a 75-minute air cylinder. For longer duration work consider a supplied air respirator that will automatically transfer to the escape cylinder if the primary air is disrupted, such as the 3M Scott Ska-Pak AT Respirator. 3M™ Scott™ Fire & Safety also offers communication solutions for all SCBA and airline systems while wearing fully encapsulating (Level A) or chemically protective (Level B) suits.
Environmental remediation work requires careful risk assessment for consideration of all potential hazards and federal regulations. Applications where stringent medical surveillance should be applied can include working with asbestos, heavy metals, respiratory sensitizers, ionising radiation and certain biological materials. If an atmospheric hazard is anticipated that is known to cause occupational diseases such as asthma or cancer, use of respiratory protection that offers the highest level of protection as demonstrated by the Assigned Protection Factor (APF).
Having multiple models of SCBA or airline systems for different applications can present a challenge relating to training, maintenance and product use. Consider one SCBA with versatility for use in multiple applications such as the 3M Scott Air-Pak 75i SCBA, or one supplied air respirator such as the 3M Scott Ska-Pak AT Respirator, for use throughout the plant. If multiple SCBA and airline systems are necessary, consider one model facepiece that is NIOSH approved across multiple platforms to simplify training and fit testing requirements such as the 3M™ Scott™ AV-3000 SureSeal Facepiece.
Choosing the right respirator for your work environment is highly dependent upon your application, the duration of use, and the hazards you may encounter. 3M™ Scott ™ Air-Supplied Respirators have top-down convertibility.
These systems can be used to work in, or escape from, hazards including those that are immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH). SCBA offer the greatest user mobility and can be used for work duration up to 75 minutes.
Supplied air respirators can be either constant flow or pressure demand. 3M Scott systems are pressure demand and include Ska-Pak respirators with an escape cylinder and the E-Z Airline respirator without an escape cylinder. Respirators that include a cylinder that include a cylinder can be used in environments that are immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH). SAR users can work up to 300 feet away from the air source, and for extended periods of time.