Removal of unsafe emergency escape breathing devices from vehicles and workplaces

Safety Alert | 19/10/2017

This safety alert advises workplaces and the transport industry that the HFZY30 EEBD self-rescue respirator does not meet Australian Standard ‘AS/NZS 1716 Respiratory protection devices’ requirements and should be removed immediately from all workplaces, including from road transport vehicles.

There is a potential life-threatening risk from use of the equipment in an emergency.

 Dangerous HFZY30 EEBD self-rescue respirator

Testing shows the device to be unsafe

Testing by the Mine Safety Technology Centre of the HFZY30 EEBD has established that the device does not provide sufficient breathable air to be safe and users are at risk of asphyxiation from carbon dioxide after wearing the device for more than a few minutes.

Specifically, the testing results show that the device:

  1. exceeded the accepted breathing resistance limit in less than 4 minutes of operation
  2. exceeded the average carbon dioxide limit of 1.5%
  3. exceeded the maximum carbon dioxide limit of 3%.

Due to these failures, the devices were not tested for their claimed duration of 30 minutes.

Other issues

  • The units are very difficult to remove from their vacuum seal in an emergency – often the bag had to be cut with scissors to remove them.
  • The rubber plugs that are on either side of the chemical canister often break when you are trying to remove them and so stay stuck in the canister – they break where the string pull attaches to them. This is of particular concern in regard to the plug that is inside the breathing bag as a user would be unaware of the failure and would not be able to breathe through the unit.

Action required

  • Immediately remove all HFZY30 EEBD units from workplaces, including from road vehicles.
  • Instruct workers that the HFZY30 EEBD is not to be used, even in an emergency.
  • Replace the HFZY30 EEBD with an AS/NZS 1716 compliant device as per the list of design registered breathing apparatus provided by the NSW Resources Regulator.

SafeWork NSW and the NSW Environment Protection Authority consider devices on this list meet the requirements of Table 12.2 of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG Code).

Notify SafeWork NSW of any serious injury or dangerous incident.

More information

Contact SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50 for workplace related enquiries.

Contact the NSW Environment Protection Authority on 13 15 55 for transport related enquiries.

Download a PDF version of this safety alert

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Contact Us

Email
contact@safework.nsw.gov.au
Telephone
13 10 50