Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)

How to inspect SCBA and keep it in good working order using a SCBA inspection checklist

Published 19 May 2022

What is SCBA?

Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) is used in areas or situations where breathable air is limited. Sometimes called CABA or Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus, SCBA is also used when there’s a need to protect the SCBA user from health and safety risks present in the air.

SCBA FAQ’s:

What is the most common use for SCBA?

SCBA is commonly used by firefighters when responding to fires. It is also used by personnel who work in oil rigs or by workers in industries such as mining and shipping where the work may involve areas with low levels of oxygen or where there’s a presence of dust, fumes, or other harmful substances in the air. A lot of other industries or situations require the use of SCBA whenever safe breathable air is compromised.

How do you inspect SCBA?

Considering the importance of SCBA for helping keep workers safe in their workplace, inspecting SCBA involves checking almost all the components to ensure its good working condition. Using a SCBA inspection checklist can be helpful to ensure that no part is missed and that the SCBA inspection is done thoroughly.

How often should SCBA be checked?

SCBA should be checked before each use, during cleaning, and, per OSHA regulations, should be checked at least once a month. The cylinders, a type of pressure vessel used with the SCBA, should also be tested every three to five years depending on the material. 

When should I replace SCBA cylinders?

SCBA cylinders are good for 15 years provided that they are properly maintained. After 15 years, SCBA cylinders should be disposed of and destroyed to prevent reuse.

What is a SCBA inspection checklist?

The SCBA inspection checklist serves as a step-by-step guide to inspect SCBAs and their components such as:

  • Face piece
  • Back frame and harness
  • Cylinder
  • Hoses
  • Negative pressure
  • Regulator
  • Control module
  • Power module
  • HUD
  • Low pressure warning device

iAuditor for SCBA Inspections

iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a powerful safety inspection tool that can help SCBA users properly inspect SCBAs using SCBA inspection checklists. With iAuditor, you can check SCBAs and do the following:

  • Schedule timely SCBA inspections to ensure compliance with regulations in keeping SCBAs in good working order
  • Generate and save SCBA inspection reports that can be retrieved when needed and can serve as proof of compliance with the required frequency of SCBA checks
  • Customize ready-to-use SCBA inspection checklists to fit the needed SCBA inspections
  • Capture photos and include on inspection reports to provide more context on what was done and seen during SCBA inspections
  • Share inspection reports to designated members of your organization
  • Track and make follow-ups on assigned corrective actions regarding SCBAs
  • Keep employees up-to-date about SCBAs and other concerns using Heads-up
SafetyCulture staff writer

SafetyCulture staff writer

Erick Brent Francisco

Erick Brent Francisco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. As a content specialist, he is interested in learning and sharing how technology can improve work processes and workplace safety. His experience in logistics, banking and financial services, and retail helps enrich the quality of information in his articles.

Erick Brent Francisco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. As a content specialist, he is interested in learning and sharing how technology can improve work processes and workplace safety. His experience in logistics, banking and financial services, and retail helps enrich the quality of information in his articles.