Survivair Recalls Mark I As NIOSH Issues Advisory
An advisory urging that Survivair Mark I pressure-demand breathing apparatus be taken out of service until they have been inspected by the manufacturer has been issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
In response, Survivair, a division of U.S. Divers Company, immediately halted sales and distribution of the Mark I until corrective action could be taken and instituted a recall program and factory inspection system for this apparatus.
Gordon Vickery, administrator of the United States Fire Administration, joined Director Anthony Robbins of NIOSH in urging users to immediately remove Survivair Mark I breathing apparatus from service and return them to the manufacturer for inspection and correction of any problems.
The NIOSH advisory, signed by Director James A. Oppold of the Division of Safety Research, stated:
“NIOSH has learned that the high pressure hose assembly installed by the manufacturer in some of these respirators is not the assembly originally tested and approved by NIOSH for this respirator. In addition, reports from two fire departments indicate the following malfunctions have occurred recently during use:
“1. Bursting of the high pressure hose assembly (Part No. 960627).
“2. Malfunction of the relief valve (Part No. 912520).
“3. Malfunction of the O-ring in the main assembly (Part No. 824193).
“Any one of these failures would result in immediate loss of air supply to the user.”
Oppold urged Mark I owners to contact Survivair or the supplier of the apparatus for further instructions.
Survivair announced that questions about the recall program should be referred to Susie Wagner at its Santa Ana, Calif., plant by phoning 714-540-8010.
Additional information can be obtained from NIOSH, Division of Safety Research, 944 Chestnut Ridge Road, Morgantown, W. Va. 26505, or phone 303-599-7595.
The statement issued by Survivair is as follows:
“On June 29,1979, Survivair received information that a Mark I model 9845 breathing apparatus had malfunctioned at the Parkland, Wash., Fire Department. This apparatus was forwarded for evaluation to the testing and certification branch of NIOSH in Morgantown, W. Va.
“On July 10, 1979, NIOSH had completed its evaluation and was concerned that the problem that existed in the returned apparatus might also be found in others. Accordingly, Survivair immediately agreed to stop sales and distribution of Mark I apparatus until corrective action could be taken. That same day, Survivair notified its distributors of the problem and voluntarily instituted a recall program. All users and/or distributors of these units are instructed to return the regulator and alarm with hose assembly to U.S. Divers Company, 3323 West Warner Avenue, Santa Ana, Calif. 92702, attention Department Mark I. Survivair will accept collect shipments and is working very closely with NIOSH to provide a very quick response and turnaround time on this equipment. Survivair has also been working very closely with the U.S. Fire Administration.
“The recall program is now in process with about 37 percent of the units having been returned to date.
“While Survivair has experienced a hose failure in the field, fortunately, there were no injuries. Working in close cooperation with NIOSH, the recall was initiated in the most expeditious manner possible.
“At a meeting held in Morgantown on July 23, Survivair presented proposed solutions to these problems. NIOSH has reviewed them and we are implementing the appropriate corrective procedures.”