The CSE Corp. SR-100 primarily uses a chemical process to generate a 60-minute supply of oxygen.

CSE Corporation Expands SR-100 Alert

The self-contained self-rescuer unit used by underground miners generates 60 minutes of oxygen when started, but the company's investigation suggests start-up oxygen cylinders may fail in any field-deployed unit.

MSHA posted a May 10 update from CSE Corporation on its site that warns CSE customers about possible failure of any field-deployed SR-100 self-contained self-rescuer unit. Carried by underground miners for quick use in an emergency, the units use a chemical process to generate 60 minutes of oxygen when started. CSE's update, however, says the company's investigation suggests start-up oxygen cylinders may fail in any field-deployed unit.

CSE (600 Seco Road, Monroeville, PA 15146, 800-245-2224) said it is possible "the breathing bag in an affected SR-100 unit may receive less than the optimum amount of oxygen necessary for full inflation, if the unit is started with the oxygen cylinder. . . . Until the root cause can be identified, we must assume that the potential for start-up oxygen cylinders to fail may extend to any field deployed unit, and not just the serial numbers that were previously identified. CSE is continuing to investigate. Pending final resolution, CSE is notifying all customers of procedures to be followed if there is any question about unit activation. If for any reason a unit does not inflate the breathing bag, the user should don another unit if one is readily available. If a second unit is not readily available, the manual start should be used."

The initial notice about the problem, published in February 2010, indicated NIOSH and MSHA were jointly investigating the problem, which at that point CSE had identified in one SCSR that delivered less than the expected amount of oxygen, but further analysis revealed as many as 4,071 units in one lot may have had the oxygen starter problem.

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