MSMWHS216 Operate breathing apparatus

MSMWHS216 teaches the correct and effective use of self-contained breathing apparatus for situations where a breathable atmosphere may not be present.

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Breathing apparatus may be required when working in areas where the atmosphere is hazardous to breathe. Common scenarios when breathing apparatus include firefighting, emergency response, working in certain confined spaces and other hazardous environments.

This course covers all aspects of the correct use of breathing apparatus. It includes skills and knowledge regarding hazard assessments and the dangers of different types of atmospheres. The course also teaches participants how to correctly inspect and test breathing apparatus equipment, and its use when working in dangerous environments with an irrespirable atmosphere.

Please note participants in this course must be clean shaven in order to complete the practical component of the training. Not being clean shaven may result in a participant being unable to adequately complete the training course.

Course participant wearing a full face mask to support breathing apparatus

About this course

This course covers the skills and knowledge required to operate and maintain breathing apparatus and equipment in an irrespirable atmosphere, as defined by the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1715:2009 Selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective equipment.

Duration: 1 day (8 hours)

Student/trainer ratio: 10:1

Course objectives and content

  • Legislative requirements.
  • Hazards.
  • Communication.
  • Work instructions and safe operating procedures (SOPs).
  • Determine available working time in breathing apparatus.
  • Conduct pre-donning checks and tests on breathing apparatus.
  • Operate breathing apparatus.
  • Conclude operations in accordance with procedures, including cleaning and make-ready for operation use.

Qualifications for successful participants

Statement of attainments in:

MSMWHS216 Operate breathing apparatus

MSMWHS216 Operate breathing apparatus FAQs

Correctly using the breathing apparatus requires creating a seal around the facemask component to avoid leakage of the hazardous environment outside into the respiratory system.

It is also a requirement in the standard that breathing apparatus be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Those instructions typically require the operator ensure a clean seal, free from obstruction or foreign objects, in order to prevent leakage. Facial hair does not allow for the creation of a clean seal.

This course is aimed that those who may be required to work in areas where the atmosphere is irrespirable, and the use of breathing apparatus will be needed. This can include people working in:

  • Confined spaces
  • Areas with hazardous gases and vapours
  • Oxygen deficient atmospheres
  • Other situations, such as firefighting and other emergency response, where the use of breathing apparatus is required.

Additional information about training at HSE

All necessary equipment and learning materials will be provided. Light refreshments will be provided for training completed at our training facilities. Please wear comfortable clothing and enclosed footwear.

A literacy and numeracy quiz will be conducted prior to the start of the course. This assists us in providing adequate course material to all our students. It is recommended that participants have:

  • Numeracy skills to
    • calculate basic sums using addition, substraction, multiplication and division.
    • locate and recognise numbers commonly used in safety signage.
  • Reading skills so
    • identify and interpret information from workplace procedures, documentation and regulations.
    • follow safety instructions that are written in English.
  • Writing skills to
    • produce or complete written documents and forms commonly required in the workplace.
    • maintain records of tests and results.
    • form short sentences and paragraphs in English.
  • Communication skills to
    • use a range of techniques and systems to communicate with others.
    • ask clarifying questions.
    • inform others of hazards and report incidents.
    • communicate required actions.
    • verbally communicate with others in English.
  • Problem solving skills to
    • identify hazards and risks.
    • select and implement risk control measures.
  • Computer skills to
    • follow basic instructions to access specific websites.
    • answer multiple choice questions.
    • save documents.


Some courses will have practical components that require participants to physically push, pull, carry or climb. Participants with physical limitations are urged to speak to their trainer prior to completing practical activities to determine if reasonable adjustments can be accommodated. Participants who cannot perform practical components may be issued a certificate of attendance in lieu of the statement of attainment.

Participants must also be eligible to receive nationally recognised training within Australia. They must also provide us with a valid Unique Student Identifier (USI) upon enrolment. If you do not have a USI, one can be created here: CLICK HERE.

Some courses will have prerequisite training that will need to be completed prior to undertaking the selected course. A statement of attainment for the prerequisite course must be presented prior to the start of training. Please refer to the FAQ section, above, for details of any prerequisites your course may have.

Height Safety Engineers does not offer recognition of prior learning and/or credit transfer due to the high-risk nature of our training courses. It is also anticipated that participants will be new entrants or refreshing knowledge and skills in the area of study.

This will depend on the type of visa that you have.

For example restrictions apply to international visitors who hold a Student Visa. Any course undertaken by a Student Visa holder must be conducted by a provider who is registered on CRICOS. As Elbon Consulting Services Pty Ltd is not CRICOS approved we are unable to accept enrolments into any of our courses from any international visitor that holds a Student Visa.

International visitors who hold a Working Holiday Visa may be eligible to enrol into our courses once they arrive in Australia. This is important as some occupations in Australia will have legislative and/or licencing requirements relating to qualifications. International visitors will still be required to provide a valid USI (Unique Student Identifier) prior to enrolling into any Nationally Recognised Training. When registering for your USI number if you select Non-Australian Passport (with Australian Visa) as your form of ID, you will need to enter your Non-Australian passport number when creating your USI. The following details on the passport must match in order to verify in the USI registry system:

  • Family Name
  • Given Name(s)
  • Date of Birth
  • Passport Number
  • Country of Passport

Students from New Zealand will not be able to create a USI using their New Zealand passport until your passport has been registered with the Australian Department of Immigration. This will only happen when the student crosses the border into Australia. Once the passport is registered with the Department of Immigration it can be verified and the student will be able to create a USI using their New Zealand passport.

If you are an International Visitor, you will need to provide a copy of your Visa and/or Passport by emailing Your Visa details will be verified for eligibility to participate in accredited training within Australia. If you are ineligible, a full refund of fees paid will be provided.

We may be able to provide you with learning support. If you think you may need assistance with reading and/or writing, please contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist.

Training can be conducted in one of our dedicated state-of-the-art training facilities or be conducted on your site with the use of our mobile training simulators

Ready to book your team into MSMWHS216 Operate breathing apparatus?

Simply click the enquiry button above. If you have any questions, please contact our training team on 1300 884 978. We would be happy to provide you with any more information you might need.