NIOSHby Courtney Neiderhiser, MS and Jaclyn Krah, MA

Happy Valentine’s Day! And on this most romantic day of the year, what else could you possibly do than show some love…to your respirator. Last year on this day, we blogged about maintaining your relationship with your Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). To continue to spread the love, this year we want to focus on those mining professionals who work up close and personally with Self-Contained Self-Rescuers (SCSRs). An SCSR is a lifesaving device that miners depend upon in times of emergency to escape from a hazardous environment within the mine. To keep this important device functioning reliably, daily inspections and upkeep become a ‘life or death’ matter. Though you may consider this to be a high-maintenance relationship, it is worth the necessary attention. In the event of an emergency, youneed to successfully don and activate your respirator as quickly as possible to escape from danger.

Get to know your respirator

Manufacturer-recommended cleaning, handling, and visual inspection must be properly performed in order to ensure that your SCSR is functioning reliably. For example, a loose chemical bed or lack of starter oxygen can be the product of rough handling or a manufacturing defect, and these types of issues could go unnoticed without regular inspections. But you can easily get to know your respirator on a more intimate level and become aware of these issues. A good cleaning with a brush followed by visual inspection of the respirator case and indicators can identify failing respirators that need to be removed from service.

Click here to read the rest of the blog post and learn three recommended steps for proper respirator care.