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Air quality testing by Safe Environments for workspaces using compressed air and cylinders

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Safe Environments  conducts breathing air quality testing through atmospheric air monitoring assessments, gas detection and personal fit checking in industrial workspaces to ensure an effective respiratory program.

Breathing air quality testing to AS 1715:2009 Appendix A for workers using compressed air line or cylinder respirators assures them of the safety of the atmosphere in harsh working environments.

AS1715:2009 Selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective equipment sets out requirements and guidelines for respiratory protection. The Australian Standard includes discussion of respiratory hazards, the assessment of associated risks and various methods of control including the use of respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

Air quality testing conducted for compressed air involves an assessment of the compressed breathing air quality, which includes:

  • Air temperature testing
  • Air humidity testing
  • Oxygen (O2) testing
  • Water vapour (H2O) testing
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) testing
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) testing
  • Oil mist testing
  • Odour air quality testing
The compressor line or cylinder should be filled initially to at least 12 MPa and subsequently tested to ensure the air quality of the breathing air. The capacity of the breathing air should be 180 LPM for each person. Compressor lines with a ring circuit are recommended to reduce the potential of flow reduction due to multiple lines feeding off the same compressor.

Compressed air quality testing is conducted using specific colorimetric apparatus and direct reading instruments connected to the compressor lines or cylinder, downstream of the filters, ensuring the breathing air quality of workers using full face positive pressure respiratory equipment.

Safe Environments are Occupational Hygienists, providing atmospheric air monitoring assessments, gas detection and personal fit checking to ensure the effectiveness of the respiratory program. The company offers expertise in identifying different contaminants that need to be controlled while helping to reduce exposure to eliminate the need for in-line compressed respirators.

Results of compressed air quality testing are provided instantly, followed by a full report documenting the findings. The reports should be collated within an Occupational Health and Safety Management System.

Safe Environments recommends a regular breathing air quality testing program on a quarterly basis to ensure that workers breathing compressed air are not placed at undue risk. Breathing air quality tests should be conducted and reported to AS 1715-2009 Appendix A - Air Quality Requirements.

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