Supplied-Air Respirator (SAR)

Last Updated: August 28, 2020

Definition - What does Supplied-Air Respirator (SAR) mean?

A supplied-air respirator (SAR) is a respiratory protection system worn by an individual in a situation where exposure to atmospheric air could be hazardous. An SAR will include either a face piece, which may be a hood, helmet, mask or partial mask. This face piece is then connected to an air supply hose. The hose of the SAR system connects to an air supply that is protected from the contaminated atmosphere. A compressor or other pressured system is used to deliver air through the hose to the SAR user.

A supplied-air respirator may also be called an airline respirator or an air-supplied respirator.

WorkplaceTesting explains Supplied-Air Respirator (SAR)

Supplied-air respirators (SAR) are considered light-weight and convenient. When a SAR is used, the individual is relieved of the weight of a self-contained oxygen tank. Additionally, air can be supplied continuously and without limit. However, when using an SAR, the wearer is dependent on maintaining the connection to the SAR's clean air source. Thus, his or her mobility is limited to the reach of the hose and there is risk of becomingin tangled in the hose. In addition, any breakage or kinks in the delivery hose for the SAR may put the user at risk.

To address the risks of using an SAR, the United State's Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) currently limits the maximum length of air supply hoses to 300 feet for SAR systems. Additionally, to ensure compatibility, OSHA regulations require that the hose and face piece for an SAR be made by the same manufacturer.

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