Self-contained self-rescuer Laboratory
The CSIR established a self-contained self-rescuer (SCSR) laboratory and an industry-wide monitoring programme to detect any unacceptable deterioration in the functional performance of the SCSRs used by mines. The CSIR is the only approved testing authority in South Africa mandated by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to monitor the functional performance of these devices.
Its offerings include:
- Functional performance testing of SCSRs on the breathing simulator machine and practical performance tests, namely laboratory treadmill, underground field trials and mine training gallery as part of acceptance/approval testing of new SCSR designs/models;
- Product development testing for SCSR Original Equipment Manufacturers;
- Development of SCSR technologies; and
- An annual monitoring programme with sampling from all SCSR users in mining and construction across South Africa.
The CSIR serves on the Mine Health and Safety Council Tripartite Technical Committee to provide technical advice on, for example, product quality issues, and participates in SCSR incident investigations. The CSIR also serves on the South African Bureau of Standards Technical Committee (TC94/SC15, Personal protective equipment – Respiratory equipment) and contributed significantly to the development of SANS 1737 on which the CSIR frequently provides consultation to local and international clients, specifically about the application of SANS 1737 during research and development testing.
Over the years, the CSIR has invented and patented some critical components of SCSRs. The inventions include:
- Canister gas seals;
- Protective housing for chemical canisters;
- Training devices (Experiential trainer);
- Flexi-systems; and
- Patented nose clips, which, together with novel mouthpieces, are extensively used by equipment manufacturers that supply the South African mining industry.