Self-Contained Self-Rescuer Long Term Field Evaluation: Tenth Phase Results
Description:The National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has undertaken a collaborative study with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to determine how well self-contained self-rescuers (SCSRs), deployed in accordance with Federal regulations (30 CFR 75.1714), withstand the underground coal mining environment with regard to both physical damage and aging. Apparatus tested included the CSE SR-100, the Draeger OXY-K Plus, the MSA Life-Saver 60, and the Ocenco EBA 6.5 and M-20. This report presents findings regarding laboratory-tested SCSRs in the tenth phase of testing, from July 2004 to March 2006. The SCSRs were tested on a breathing and metabolic simulator and on a human subject walking on a treadmill. The tests performed in this study are not the tests used for certification (Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 84). The tests performed in this study continue until the apparatus are empty to enable comparison of new versus deployed apparatus. The method for obtaining deployed SCSRs for this evaluation was not a random selection from the deployed population of SCSRs. We sought older apparatus with visible environmental impact rather than newer apparatus, and we attempted to sample a wide range of deployment modes. Although the results of these tests are useful for observing performance of the tested SCSRs, they are not representative of all deployed SCSRs. This report is the last of 10 report phases begun in 1982. Previous reports describe phases 1 through 9 [Kyriazi et al. 1986; Kyriazi and Shubilla 1992, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006] A new evaluation protocol, with revised sampling strategies, test methods, and reporting procedures, is currently being designed to enhance the applicability of the results. The results of these studies suggest that the large majority of SCSRs that pass their inspection criteria can be relied upon to provide a safe level of life support for mine escape purposes. However, the storage and handling in the mining environment seems to have caused performance degradation in some of the apparatus. In this phase, phase 10, we found some CSE SR-100s (93 tested) that exhibited high CO2 levels, stuck-together breathing hoses, starter-O2 failure, breathing hose punctures and tears, high breathing pressures, and loose particulates in the breathing hose. The loose particulates caused coughing in human-subject tests. One MSA Life-Saver 60 (20 tested) in this phase had a stuck-open relief valve. One Ocenco EBA 6.5 (50 tested) had an unattached O2 supply hose. An unexplained phenomenon occurred with two Ocenco M-20s (20 tested): low O2 flow rates preventing their successful use. Almost all of the failures noted involved units that failed their inspection criteria.
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