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Use of Emergency Escape Breathing Apparatus (EEBD) and Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCABA)

Issue

Safety in enclosed spaces and the proper use of EEBDs (Emergency Escape Breathing Apparatus) and SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus).

Background

Recent discussions in various work groups of the Human Element Industry Group Enclosed Space Committee have highlighted an urgent need to address the current use of EEBDs (Emergency Escape Breathing Apparatus) and SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus).

This memorandum seeks to draw attention to these findings and to invite HEIG members to disseminate this important safety message to their stakeholders. 

Findings

Members of the Human Element Industry Group would like to clarify that the use of EEBDs, which has a likely duration of 15 minutes, is for emergency escape only. It is not designed to provide an adequate supply of breathable air for personnel to enter enclosed, or any other spaces, for any purpose.

Similarly, SCBA is design for firefighting, emergency and rescue operations only.  It is not designed to provide breathable air for personnel working in enclosed or any other spaces. Such spaces should be gas freed and ventilated to allow access.

For detailed instruction on usage of EEBD and SCBA please refer to IMO Resolution A 1050 as adopted on 30thNovember 2011 and ISGOTT Chapter 10 and especially 10.6 – EMERGENCY PROCEDURES; 

Readers of this circular are urged to check procedures within their own organisations and ensure that the above understanding is duly reflected in all on board procedures and risk assessments.

’The Human Element Industry Group (HEIG) is an association of the NGOs – accredited to IMO – who are dedicated to an increased understanding of the human element of improving safety and operations at sea.  Its members comprise Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) accredited to IMO, which have interests in the Human Element.