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    Science of Safety Podcast: Episode 99

    August 06, 2021



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    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 99:
    Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 99:
    Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 99:
    Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus.

    When you need to work in environments where breathing the air could prove to be hazardous - even fatal - and filtering that air simply won’t guarantee you safe supply, you might have to carry your own air with you. SCBA (Self-Contained breathing Apparatus) allows you to create a portable, safe, clean air solution, and can provide. If fitted properly, maintained and used with the right training and preparation a SCBA rig can allow workers to get the job done in otherwise impossible environments.

    In this episode, 3M specialist, Kevin McComb covers all the aspects you need to be aware of and consider when it comes to SCBA; when you may need to choose this solution, how it compares with other air-purifying or clean air supplied options, what components make up an SCBA, appropriate training, use, care and maintenance or this vital piece of PPE.


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    Kevin McComb in picture

    Guest Bio:

    Kevin McComb has been actively involved in the safety industry for 34 years. Serving in the New Zealand Defence force as a rescue fire fighter before taking up a role in fire equipment sales for Tyco. He transferred to the Scott Safety business in 2001 and managed key accounts. Kevin accepted a role in Australia as a Technical and training manager for Scott Safety in 2007. As a trainer and assessor, he delivers courses in Scott Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus and airline systems throughout the ANZ region. His product responsibilities for 3M Australia include, Portable Gas Detection, Thermal Imaging and Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus. Kevin supports an internal 3M/Scott Fire and Safety service team as well as an approved distributor network.

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    In this episode, Mark & Kevin discuss the following:

    • Where does SCBA sit in relation to respiratory protective equipment?
    • When would a workplace use or consider using an SCBA?
    • How is a SCBA different to an escape breathing apparatus?
    • What else should workplaces be aware of when considering SCBAs?
    • What components make up a SCBA?
    • Pre use & Monthly inspections:
    • What are the service requirements when it comes to SCBA?
    • Is it the same things checked every year or do the things you are doing change?
    • What is a hydro test for cylinders?
    • How should SCBA be cleaned? Any recommended cleaning solutions?
    • Does SCBA have an expiry date that equipment must not be used after?
    • Where can the listeners go and get further information about breathing apparatus maintenance?

    The beauty of SCBA is that we're bringing clean air into the hazardous space, so we are not relying on any local air supply within a hazardous area and we are not concerned with whether or not our PPE is going to purify air that could contain hazardous material that simply cannot be filtered out.


    Since SCBA equipment is designed to go into hazardous areas, the people who are using it need to be trained to wear the equipment correctly and know how to operate it safely. If you don't know how to use it, or it has not been maintained correctly, you'll be putting yourself in danger.

    Additional Resources:

    Contact a 3M Safety Specialist at scienceofsafetyanz@mmm.com for more information.