Fire departments urged to inspect SCBA breathing tubes
Breathing tubes used on Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) Company Belt-Mounted Regulator (BMR) model self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) manufactured between June 1996 and April 1998 must be pull-tested and closely inspected, says the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The tubes may tear or unexpectedly separate and result in a loss of respiratory protection to the user. The agency has received several reports pertaining to this condition, according to Tim Merinar, NIOSH general engineer.
The part affected is the corrugated rubber tube that connects the belt-mounted regulator to the facepiece. The part numbers involved are 801165, 803506, and 470734; the number is stamped in yellow ink on one of the clamps at either end of the breathing tube.
MSA released a Safety Notice on May 29, 1998, stating that users should closely inspect the breathing tubes for “cracks, tears, cuts, perforations, and any deterioration or other signs of wear.” Not all fire departments, especially smaller ones, may have received the Safety Notice, Merinar notes.
To ensure firefighter safety, departments are asked to check their inventory for MSA SCBA manufactured between June 1996 and April 1998 and to test the rubber tubing according to procedures developed by MSA.
If your SCBA uses one of the part numbers listed above, contact MSA immediately at (800) 672-2222 for assistance and testing procedures.