DEZEGA, an international manufacturer of respiratory protection and mine rescue equipment, launched the All-European Service and Training Office in Tychy, Poland, in January 2018. This is the 4th DEZEGA office of this kind, with the other three located in South Africa, Australia and the Russian Federation.

The office will train workers and safety instructors from all over Europe to use self-contained self-rescuers. It will also service self-rescuers and breathing apparatus that DEZEGA supplies to European mining companies from its new manufacturing unit in Izmir, Turkey.

DEZEGA has been present on the Polish market since 2003, focusing on improving the safety of miners and other underground personnel. DEZEGA is constantly enhancing the technologies of its self-rescuers and improving the ergonomics and other parameters of its apparatus. The reason for such constant improvement is a deep understanding that, if a self-rescuer or a compressed oxygen SCBA is being used, it can be assumed that the workers are in a situation where they can only count on themselves and their breathing device.

12,000 DEZEGA self-rescuers are now in stock in Polish mines, the unfailing partners accompanying miners and other underground workers on their daily duties. The high-quality and reasonable price of DEZEGA self-rescuers explain why they consistently win in open tenders held by large state and private Polish mining companies, as well as the extremely positive feedback from the companies who declare worker safety as their primary focus (PGG, JSW, Tauron, etc).

“Self-rescuers are carried into mines with the most severe conditions and are subject to significant, sometimes extreme, loads. It is very difficult to control what happens to them underground, but such control is absolutely essential, because in an emergency situation the devices must work 100%. This is why DEZEGA occasionally selects and checks representative batches of SCSRs, and provides additional checkup of the SCSRs where the leakage alarms (moisture indicators) have gone off. It is important that water doesn’t get inside the cartridge with chemically bound oxygen because of incorrect operation. If this happens, the chemical reaction launches ahead of time.  And in an emergency the self-rescuer will not be able to supply the needed amount of oxygen. Clients can do such checkups themselves, if they have special DEZEGA testing equipment. But delegating it to the DEZEGA service office is simpler, faster and more reliable,” says Robert Wloch, DEZEGA Service Engineer.

“Donning a self-rescuer always happens in an emergency: the alarm bell goes off, emergency lights blink. Human behavior in such situations is difficult to predict, often irrational and sometimes self-defeating. In order to don the self-rescuer correctly and make a successful escape in it, one needs to train regularly and develop learned behavior. It increases the chances that in an emergency the right neural connections will work to save the worker’s life.”

“Breathing in a self-rescuer has specific issues, which may perplex an untrained worker. The chemical reaction releases heat, and the breathing gases inhaled by the donned worker are much warmer than usual. According to the European standard, the temperature might run up to 50C. In those countries, where the safety regulations do not obligate training, there have been cases, when untrained workers undonned the self-rescuers, mistaking the warm air for a self-rescuer failure. A particular breathing characteristic of all self-rescuers requires more exertion when exhaling and inhaling, and it is preferable to not only be aware of it, but also have experienced it,” explains Wloch.

DEZEGA includes special training programs to familiarize workers with the features of the self-rescuers, teaching them how to don quickly and correctly and to escape. As part of this program, the company offers training self-rescuers. The donning procedure and breathing specifics are identical to those in the working units. To maximize the effect of such trainings, it is necessary to constantly reinforce the knowledge and behavior. To help this, DEZEGA offers training videos, posters, manuals with the detailed description of all the procedures.

According to Magdalena Lesniak-Kubik, head of Board of DEZEGA Polska, besides training workers directly, the Service and Training office will also train and assess the instructors, who will afterwards train workers on-site.

The employees of the Office have successfully completed several course stages at the DEZEGA office in Kyiv, Ukraine, and at the new DEZEGA plant in Izmir, Turkey, where the self-rescuers for the Polish market will be manufactured.

The Service and Training Office will work not only for the Polish market. DEZEGA self-rescuers are used in almost all mining regions of Europe and worldwide. Tychy in Poland will become the hub through which DEZEGA will provide service and training for the countries in Europe.