SCBA or CABA with a demand valve full-face mask - Healthy Working Lives

Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or compressed airline breathing apparatus (CABA) with a demand valve full-face mask

​​ Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or CABA with a demand valve full-face mask  ​​

General information ​

  • It may be worn continuously for more than 1 hour.
  • It is used for short term work such as work in tanks, trenches and sewers.
  • A 'Demand valve' is designed to provide air flow as demanded by the wearer.
  • The BA can be cleaned and reused many times, as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • It is OK for a heavy work rate (heavy manual work requiring a lot of exertion and energy).
  • SCBA is highly specialised equipment. The wearers require high levels of training for safe use.
  • SCBA is suitable for use in oxygen deficient atmospheres, and in harsh and demanding environments.
  • SCBA is fitted with a full face mask and a demand valve to provide a small positive pressure inside the mask.
  • This BA is OK for medium work rate (work involving sustained hand and arm movements, or similar to brisk walking).
  • Precautions and safety procedures are required for safe use. These come with training, experience and knowledge of the harsh environment.

Do

  • Fit the straps as recommended.
  • Set up a reliable system for communication.
  • Establish the time limit - the duration for safe use.
  • Set up a check-out and check-in procedure for SCBA.
  • Ensure that the compressed air quality meets the minimum requirements of BSEN12021.
  • Ensure that wearers check the RPE fits correctly every time, as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Select the right size mask for each wearer. Fit-testing for each wearer is required when using this RPE for the first time.

Don't

  • Make DIY modifications to the RPE.
  • Use unserviced or dirty equipment.
  • Store SCBA in a dirty area or a dirty state.
  • Keep working beyond the safe working time.
  • Continue to work if any warning signal sounds.
  • Use solvents to clean the mask, straps or hoses.

​Find out more

Go to our respiratory protective equipment (RPE) guidance​