Info 31/13Air Supply Systems for Breathing Apparatus

"Air supplied breathing apparatus (BA) are a form of Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) used in various hazardous atmosphere environments. They need a supply of breathing quality air from an independent source (air cylinder or air compressor) and may be used to provide high levels of protection to allow working in atmospheres with atmospheric contaminants that far exceed respiratory exposure limits and in oxygen deficient atmospheres.

 There have been a number of very serious incidents in recent times, including a fatality, where operators using line fed BA systems have sustained severe ill effects due to a lack of control over the air supply system. If used correctly, they can be relied on to protect personnel from both acute and chronic effects. However the integrity of the RPE depends on the quantity, reliability and quality of the air supplied to it, and this Safety Information provides guidance on this aspect in the context of industrial gases operations.

This Safety Information should be read by all those involved in the design, installation, management and use of air supplied breathing apparatus. "