PITTSBURGH, July 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Draeger Safety, Inc., a leading provider of safety and protective equipment used by firefighters and other first responders, said today that it welcomes the publication of findings from an investigation conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) into allegations that Draeger's Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) was prone to malfunction.
NIOSH inspected Draeger SCBA units provided by the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department. The NIOSH inspection report includes details showing that all units "as received" were in some way in need of service. As a result, none of the units passed the Draeger standard for pressure testing in the condition they were received. However, the Draeger test results still allowed for all the necessary NIOSH tests to be performed according to specifications. (See page three of the investigation report.)
In NIOSH tests, of the "as received" equipment, all units tested successfully in all test categories.
The NIOSH report also states the equipment supplied by the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department failed National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) test requirements in the "as received" condition due to significant dirt on the exhalation valves. After cleaning, the equipment passed this test. (See Test Notes, Page 5, Appendix II of the investigation report.)
Access the complete NIOSH report and full coverage from Draeger on our special website: www.draeger.com/setrecordstraight.
"We are pleased but not surprised by the results of the NIOSH investigation," said Tim Martin, Vice President Sales and Service, Draeger Safety, Inc. "We take our responsibilities to the firefighters we protect with the utmost seriousness. We would never do anything to put firefighters and other first responders in harm's way. As we said from the beginning of this process last February, we carefully looked into every reported incident of alleged product malfunction and could find no defects with our equipment design. What we did find was evidence of improper product use and maintenance, and we communicated this to the department and offered to re-train them on such procedures. Now NIOSH has confirmed that our internal analysis was indeed correct."
"We are also pleased to see that NIOSH released a Respirator User Notice entitled 'Care and Maintenance of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Units' following the completion of its investigation." Draeger looks forward to working with other organizations and fire service experts to increase awareness of the importance of performing correct inspection, maintenance and service of SCBAs. Access the NIOSH Respirator User Notice here: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/usernotices/notices/notice06292012.html
NIOSH undertook its investigation of the Draeger SCBA units at the request of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and Draeger officials have been fully supportive during the entire process.
"All of us at Draeger regret any concerns that may have been caused within the responder community by some misleading local news reports. Now we are reaching out to all of our fire departments and SCBA users to let them know the truth and to reconfirm the high quality of our life saving products. As we have said repeatedly, we stand by the integrity of our equipment," said Martin.
Draeger serves more than 1,500 fire departments in the United States, hundreds in Canada and thousands more around the world. Draeger's SCBAs are also used by the U.S. military. At this time, a total of about one million Draeger SCBAs are in use worldwide.
For detailed information about the claims of product malfunction and Draeger's comprehensive rebuttal, please visit a special section of our company website called "Draeger Sets the Record Straight" (www.draeger.com/setrecordstraight).
Draeger. Technology for Life® Draeger is an international leader in the fields of medical and safety technology. Our products protect, support and save lives. Founded in 1889, in 2011 Draeger generated revenues of around EUR 2.26 billion. The Draeger Group is currently present in more than 190 countries and has about 12,000 employees worldwide. Please visit www.draeger.com for more information.
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